Thanks, Louis!

It may sound easy to replace a pasteurizer in a dairy when it breaks down. It is more complicated than that, however. A new state-of-the-art facility has now been developed at wheyco in Hoogeveen.

The problem

Incoming whey has to be heat-treated in order to kill bacteria and ensure food safety. But most of the system’s parts had reached the end of their service life. The company that had originally made them was no longer in business. But action was needed, as the risk to the pasteurization process was growing. An internal team at wheyco set out to find an alternative solution.

The hope

What the team needed and hoped for was a device that could start, stop and be cleaned at the flick of a switch. An interdisciplinary team looked for an alternative model with better components, a greater degree of automation and higher safety standards.

The approach

The search was a journey into the world of innovation. The team used many new working methods, standards and techniques along the way, with everyone actively sharing their knowledge and expertise.

The hurdles

The challenge was that most of the work was carried out during ongoing operations. The process involved exchanging not only the hardware but also the software. The way the operators worked with the pasteurizer changed completely in the process. The entire exercise required a great deal of planning and coordination between the different departments.

The solution

The result is a pasteurizer that everyone is proud of. It is named “Louis,” after Louis Pasteur, who invented pasteurization, and it meets all the latest standards when it comes to food hygiene, safety and ease of maintenance. The highly-automated unit has transparent software and a great deal of information and data is easy to access, from energy consumption and air consumption to the valve operation and the pump’s operating hours. All that makes it easy for operators to monitor the technical side of the process. It is also equipped with a cooling section, hygiene equipment, and its design is simple and robust. Developing Louis was a major challenge for the team, but one that sparked many innovative and groundbreaking ideas. Thanks to that process, the plant in Hoogeveen is now wellequipped for the future when it comes to safe pasteurization.