Reliable industrial valves, notably from Burkert Fluid Control Systems , are helping Australia's largest co-operative dairy manufacturer to reduce downtime, improve efficiency and enhance safety levels.
The Murray Goulburn Co-Operative is one of the few dairy manufacturers in Australia with national distribution. The Co-Op is supplied by more than 3,000 farms in New South Wales and Victoria and produces a range of butter, milk and cheese products under the market-leading Devondale brand.
The Co Op's eight processing plants produce more than 35% of national milk consumption, and 45% of Australia's total dairy exports.
Demanding conditions found within the dairy industry necessitate powerful cleaning and sterilisation; needs which are met at Cobram by a comprehensive CIP (cleaning in place) system utilising steam under pressure and caustic solution treatments, along with water wash-downs.
The company said that a major problem faced at the plant was that the valves used across most systems were not sufficiently robust to handle the demands of the aggressive CIP system, which cycles through continuously 24 hours a day.
After ongoing issues with existing CIP valving it replaced the troublesome products with Bürkert's 2000 series Angle Seat models, which they have found to operate faultlessly.
Local Bürkert Area Sales Manager David Mennie says the units cost little more than the other common valves, but the savings in terms of eliminated maintenance needs and trouble-free operation usually offset that cost.
Mr Mennie said that although valves may be advertised as comparable, it is worth taking the time to compare the valve body and diaphragm materials as well as the quality level to which the valve is manufactured.
Mr Mennie said that the issues faced by the Murray Goulburn plant - which operates within a stringent OHS charter - mirror those of many Australian manufacturers.
The integrated nature of manufacturing plants in Australia means that it is the least-reliable system component that establishes reliability and uptime levels for the whole site. He notes that when one system fails, it generally impacts throughout operations.