FrieslandCampina: Hygienic Design allows process-oriented automation
In dairy enterprises, pneumatic valves ensure that networked systems consisting of pipes, heaters and stainless steel tanks work precisely. Up to now, pneumatic actuators have been controlled by valve islands installed for reasons of technical cleanliness, and which were kept in standardised stainless steel enclosures located at a safe distance from the actual application. The new AirLINE Quick valve islands from fluid control system provider Bürkert, which are installed in Rittal Hygienic Design enclosures, now offer a number of benefits.
“Pneumatic enclosures so close to the process took some getting used to at first. However, we noticed a long time ago that these necessary cleaning procedures are really not a problem!”
Tim Borgstaedt, dairy master at FrieslandCampina
Ready for automation in the midst of the hygienic environment
With the valve island, the need was for fast installation and the highest operational reliability. The new automation system was technically optimised for hygiene through the clever combination with stainless steel enclosures from Rittal’s Hygienic Design series. These HD enclosures, tailored to the high hygienic standards of the food industry, can be easily cleaned. Through the symbiosis of the AirLINE Quick with the HD modular system a complete solution is now available that can actually be used within a hygienic environment in a dairy or brewery.
Advantages of the “on-site” system
This solution offers users short distances to actuators and sensors, far shorter times and reduced costs for installing pneumatic hoses and control cables, the quick detection of any possible hose leaks, better monitoring and maintenance of the overall system, low air consumption, as well as substantial improvements in the hygiene of the entire system.
The innovation also shows its strengths in terms of costbenefit ratio: In many cases, the extra costs of the new “local” system can be offset by the savings of hundreds of metres of hose and cable.
Use at FrieslandCampina
Installing the system at a new dessert and yoghurt line at FrieslandCampina in Gutersloh represents a reference project. The process valve nodes that control which medium is currently being moved and in which dosage, are regulated by 42 HD enclosures, each with two 24-fold AirLINE Quick valve islands, including digital feedback inputs.
The bulk of the pneumatic enclosures are lined – in rank and file – next to the valve nodes, so they installed right in the middle of the hygiene-sensitive process field.
Where once 20, 30 or even 50 metres would have been necessary, now just five metres are sometimes enough to get from the enclosure to the actuator or sensor in this improved installation option.