Centrifuges are an essential part of every dairy plant — without them, we wouldn’t have many of the dairy products sold on shelves today.
Ten millennia ago, humans domesticated a small herd of wild ox in the Near East. And nearly 4,500 years later, they started milking them. Since then, humanity’s obsession with cow milk has spread into a multi-billion dollar industry and is still growing.
Ever since us clever homo sapiens figured out we could drink cow milk, the biological fact that milk separates naturally from cream has been part of that calculation. We’ve figured out how to make butter, ice cream (yum), cheese, kefir, and more recently, whey protein powders and probiotic yogurts.
Centrifuge care and maintenance isn't something that comes naturally to most. Instead, it’s a skill that takes time to develop. I've been working with centrifuge equipment for decades, and I’ve worked with countless individuals who needed training on the basics of centrifuge service and maintenance because if you don’t know, you don’t know. So if you’re new to centrifuge equipment or if you’re just looking for a refresher, I've prepared the following list of ways anyone can increase their proficiency with this equipment.
When it comes to getting the most out of your centrifuge, a great place to start is by taking an honest look at your separation process. Centrifugal separation is complex, to say the least. Every process differs based on countless variables all working together. Still, when you break things down to their simplest forms, you’ll find that separation processes as a whole all depends on similar variables.
By servicing centrifuge equipment all across the United States, we’ve come to know these machines really well. After all, Separators is the largest independent centrifuge service provider in the U.S. We work on (and remanufacture) machines from all the major OEMs and we’ve developed an expertise that allows us to help customers — and facilities — operate at peak efficiency.
Having a centrifuge is vital to many businesses. For instance, dairy companies across the country rely on a working machine to make the best milk products that consumers can find on a store shelf. Centrifuges can perform a whole gamut of operations and these machines are found in a wide range of industries.
Today, rather than talking about the general concept of a centrifuge and its accompanying technology, I'd like to take a chance to discuss their efficiency. In particular, I'll be taking a look at the milk production process.
The centrifugal separation of milk can be a tricky business if your machines aren't efficient. But how could they be more productive? We'll go over five ways to optimize your milk separator and kick your production into high gear.
There are endless ways to decrease and improve your separation process efficiency. As you know, centrifuges are rated by the volume of material they process per hour. If your centrifuge is rated at 40,000 lbs. per hour, that's the greatest amount of material it can process efficiently.
Both routine maintenance and occasional service are essential to keeping your equipment running optimally. This is to say, centrifuge service cannot be skipped or avoided, but it can be made easy.
In today’s world, if you run separators, you run with automation. Sure, you might have components of your process that are still manual, but overall, automation is what’s responsible for the performance of each centrifuge. Feedback from pressure transmitters, temperature meters, and back pressure valves communicate with a control system, telling the automation how to adjust processes in real-time. That, in effect, is what controls the machines.
All too often, issues with a centrifuge’s separation process aren’t related to the centrifuge itself, but instead with the components around it. When it comes to troubleshooting and diagnosing a process problem, some technicians look to the machine first, but this is not the most efficient or effective way to go about things.