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Smooth ops at dairy co-op

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RELIABLE industrial valves are helping Australia’s largest co-operative dairy manufacturer to reduce downtime, improve efficiency and enhance safety levels.

The Murray Goulburn Co Operative, one of the few dairy manufacturers in Australia with national distribution, is supplied by more than 3000 farms in New South Wales and Victoria. Butter, milk and cheese products are produced under the Devondale brand.

The co-op’s eight processing plants produce more than 35 percent of national milk consumption and 45 percent of Australia’s total dairy exports. Murray Goulburn’s facility at Cobram, in northern Victoria, operates around the clock to produce cheeses, whey products, lactose, milk and cream.

Demanding conditions necessitate powerful cleaning and sterilisation. These needs are met at Cobram by a CIP (cleaning in place) system, utilising steam under pressure and caustic solution treatments, along with water washdowns.

A major problem however 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.

“After ongoing issues with CIP valving, we replaced the troublesome products with Burkert ’s 2000 angle seat models,” said Heath Crawford, maintenance planner supervising the Cobram facility.

“That was eight years ago,” he said. “Since then, the valves have operated faultlessly. Soon after that installation, we decided to move to Burkert wherever our specialised site technologies would allow.”

The performance of the 2000 series valves at Cobram made local Burkert area sales manager David Mennie the first call for a recent emergency replacement of a failed 100 mm isolation ball valve on the steam line.

The old valve had necessitated frequent servicing and maintenance, causing unplanned downtime and reduced system productivity at the plant.

The Type 2012 100 mm flanged globe valve was despatched by Burkert for next-day delivery to Cobram, and installed. The Murray Goulburn Co Op has since ordered two more of the large valves for other processes at the site, in order to enhance efficiency and service availability site-wide.

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