Case Studies

Undisclosed Dairy/Cheese Plant

Customer: Undisclosed Dairy/Cheese Plant
Location: Wisconsin
Product: Cheese and Whey products
Metrics: 2.7 Million lbs/day of milk intake
Membrane type: Spiral Dairy RO

Project Overview:

Increase capacity of a pre-concentrating RO system, the RO seeds an existing evaporator to further increase the solids of the whole whey prior to shipping. The existing evaporator utilizes both Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) and Thermal Vapor Recompression (TVR) based heating, however the MVR was in need of a major overhaul that would limit the overall performance of the system. In order to maintain the current production rates the existing RO would need to be upgraded to allow the TVR to run the evaporator in the absence of the MVR.

The Challenge:

Complete Filtration Resources was asked to upgrade an existing RO to increase the solids concentration capability of the machine. The existing RO utilized 3.8” spiral dairy RO membranes in a 4-long vessel, the existing machine had 2 stages to pre-concentrate whole whey to 8% solids prior to evaporation. The customer had a 3-stage vessel skid with 3.8” by 4 long vessels and existing pumps they wanted to utilize for the increase in capacity. Complete Filtration went to site to gather data, map out equipment installation routes and confirm the space available. While on site we soon realized the room where the RO was only had 36” wide walk doors, this would require us to completely disassemble the 3-stage skid to place it in the room. Furthermore, the room to install the 3-stage skid was extremely tight and caused future access challenges to maintain the equipment.

The Solution:

Our team sat down and came up with a few options, then ran designs and assembled pricing to present to the customer. We settled on upgrading the system to 8” vessels and membranes in lieu of the existing 3.8” membranes. This gave us the required surface area needed to meet the needs of the customer while staying with the current footprint of the machine. We were able to use the existing vessel skid frame with minor modifications. We were also able to upgrade most of the pumps with new motors and impellers to handle the new requirements of the 8” membranes. By upgrading the system with 8” membranes, the customer saves on the membrane replacement costs since 8” membranes have on average 5 times more surface area with only 2.5 – 3 times the cost. In addition to saving on the membranes cost they are also saving on ATD O-rings/Lipseals, Perm Hoses etc. Along with re-using the mechanical components we were able to keep the controls system as it was, and reused the instruments, thus eliminating timely operator training and controls commissioning.

Downtime is the word no manufacturer wants to hear; we were able to pre-build and pipe much of the upgrades to reduce the downtime to completely convert the system in just 36 hours. Give us a call today, we have the industries best technical team to solve all your challenges and provide cost effective and lasting solutions.

View in Browser Download File