Bulk materials plants from a single source

Production of powdered and functional milk and whey derivatives

Milei produces high-quality milk and whey derivatives, which are characterized not only by high nutritional quality and value, but also by multiple functionalities. During the expansion of production capacities, Derichs was entrusted with the realization of all bulk handling equipment.

For almost 40 years, Milei has specialized in the enrichment and fractionation of valuable ingredients from whey and milk. The company’s product range extends from lactose and permeate powder to demineralized whey powder and whey and milk protein powder with a protein content of up to 80%. In addition, there are various dry-mixed products.

In order to expand the production capacity and modernize the production process, a new state-of-the-art production facility was built on 15,600 m2. It has enabled the volume of milk that can be processed to be increased from 20 million to 150 to 200 million kg per year – while maintaining high product quality and efficient use of energy. The plant demonstrates Milei’s innovative strength in the production of powdered and functional high-protein derivatives from milk and whey.

The master planning of the overall plant was in the hands of the engineering firm KSI; the planning and realization of the entire bulk handling equipment, from the outlets of the four drying lines to the filling lines and an additional blending line, was carried out by Derichs.

Milei products are used as food additives, for example in baby food. Hygiene and product safety therefore play a major role in their manufacture. Against this background, the plant built by Derichs meets the hygiene requirements typical of the industry (EHEDG, GMP, IFS). It goes without saying that the Atex regulations as well as the legal regulations for batch tracing are complied with. From the conception to the design and in-house production of many components to PLC programming and visualization, Derichs was able to underline its competence as a plant manufacturer for the dairy industry in this project.

The complete plant realized by Derichs consists of a plant section for permeate and lactose powder and a second one for high protein derivatives from milk and whey. Both parts operate independently of each other. They have several pneumatic conveying systems and a large number of silos.

The conveying systems have been specially adapted to the properties of the products to be processed. Thus, the protein derivatives are transported very gently by dense phase conveying systems equipped with sending vessels. Special conveying systems for lactose and permeate powder prevent the usual vitrification in the pipelines and thus ensure high operational reliability. In all conveying systems, filter systems and conveying air conditioning stations ensure that the required product quality is maintained.

Silos and discharge systems

The overall plant has 13 silos with a storage capacity of 150 m3 each. They are installed in the building, are Atex-compliant, and are equipped with weighing systems that record the silo contents with an accuracy of up to 50 kg. Special discharge systems optimized for lactose and permeate powder ensure trouble-free and safe product discharge even during extended plant downtimes. Ventilation systems supply the silo heads with filtered and dried air; they thus ensure hygienic storage of the products.

Milei’s product range also includes various functional dry blends. They are produced on a mixing line whose heart is a two-shaft paddle mixer of the MBZ series from Derichs. It can be cleaned thoroughly and quickly thanks to its large, motor-operated cleaning doors. The batch mixer, which is gentle on the product, is supplied with raw materials from silos, big bags and sacks via appropriate metering equipment.

Dust-free plant operation

The dust-free operation of the plant is evidence of both the well thought-out plant concept and the quality of the components used. For example, all silos are kept at a slight negative pressure so that no dust can escape to the outside. In addition, the exhaust air from the filters is not routed into the building but to the outside.

Safety first

Before the finished products are filled into bags, big bags or silo trucks, they pass through control screens, metal detectors and areas equipped with rotating permanent magnets. In this way, foreign bodies are reliably detected and discharged.

The end products are loaded into silo vehicles using a hygienic pneumatic bulk loading system. During loading, the silo vehicle is located in a closed and air-conditioned room.

The plant is controlled by a Siemens S7 with decentralized peripherals. The plant operation and process visualization is carried out via a WinCC-based process control system with redundant servers.

A special feature is the remote maintenance of the plant. It enables diagnosis and maintenance of the hardware and software components as well as on-site support of the operating personnel by Derichs specialists from Übach-Palenberg.


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