One of the most important requirements of the production equipment for liquid dairy products is that it must be easy to clean to be able to maintain good hygiene. The cleanability requirement puts ever greater demands on the manufacturers of smart production equipment for the dairy industry. Also, the production line must achieve a reliable and flexible production flow.
The importance of gentle product handling
The dairy industry consists of many different products. Milk is one of them and belongs to the subcategory of liquid dairy products. To achieve a successful production in the liquid dairy industry it is important to have equipment with the right qualities, such as cleanability, modularity, reliability, and robustness. For example, products must transfer easily from one conveyor to the next. Since the products in the liquid dairy production can be fragile, it is also important that the equipment is gentle towards the products in order to avoid product damage.
Avoid spillage by using stable and robust production equipment
One of the most important aspects to consider in the liquid dairy industry is to maintain good hygiene in production. Usually, milk is transported in bottles or cartons which are normally sealed, so the risk of any contamination getting into the product is quite small. However, spillage in production can cause contamination and bacterial growth on both the product packaging and on the production line. Contamination can then be transferred from the products straight to the supermarket shelves and can possibly contaminate the outer packaging of other products.
Spillage can be prevented by using stable and robust production equipment that controls the bottles and cartons in a good way. It is also recommended to use production equipment that does not build up long conveyor lengths full of bottles or cartons. By queuing many products, they can get exposed to a lot of pressure that eventually can damage the products.
A hygienic design avoids contamination and bacterial growth
To avoid bacterial growth, the conveyors must have a hygienic design that is easy to clean. There are many different automated cleaning possibilities to choose from. For example, there are cleaning systems that isolate sections before they are cleaned and use inbuilt modules to allow the rest of the system to run a different route. This way, the conveyor chain can be cleaned while the production is still running. Most automated cleaning systems are operated from a control panel that turns on high-pressure jets to clean the chain and the conveyor. This is often followed by disinfection of the production line. Also, the systems often collect dirty residues into a collection chamber so the line will not be cross-contaminated. All automated cleaning systems are efficient and clean to a good standard.
The cleaning process could also be performed manually by operators cleaning and wiping the line. However, when manually cleaning the production line there is a potential risk that the cleaning will not be performed to a consistent standard. In addition, a prerequisite for manual cleaning is that the equipment is installed so the operators have good access to the equipment and are able to use, for example, access platforms.
FlexLink offers equipment that is adapted to food production
We, at FlexLink, offer automated production flow solutions that are adapted to the liquid dairy production and consist of material that is qualified to use in food production. They are designed to maintain high efficiency, avoid bacterial growth and have smart and automated cleaning systems. Our solutions are modular and flexible in the sense that it is possible to change and adjust the layout based on different needs and make the most use out of the factory space without affecting the operating environment. We also work constantly on designing solutions with limited environmental footprint, to create smart production equipment for both you and the environment.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog article about production equipment and needs in the liquid dairy production. Feel free to contact me with questions or visit our website or social media channels for more information about our company and our offer. Also, visit our smart factory blog for more interesting blog articles!