Baumer flow sensors in the dairy production of Arla Foods

Posted 2 October 2020
Baumer sensori di flusso Arla Foods

Swedish dairy cooperative Arla Foods implemented the Baumer FlexFlow sensors to create transparency over the energy consumed in cottage cheese production at its Falkenberg location, thanks to the ability of the devices to measure the temperature of the medium as well as its flow rate.

Arla Flood produces in Falkenberg 20.000 tons of cottage cheese every year, equivalent to 76,9 tons per day, satisfying almost the entire cottage cheese demand on the Swedish market and also exporting to Finland, Denmark and Greece. The food company is strongly committed to sustainability and intends to be making its products completely CO2-neutral by 2050. Arla Foods in recent years has also placed an increasingly strong focus on monitoring the energy consumption of its plants. In certain areas, however, the producer simply didn’t know where exactly the energy was being used.

The collaboration between Arla Foods and Baumer dates back to the 1990’s, and now has led to the integration into the existing plant of the Baumer FlexFlow calorimetric flow sensors. The sensors have been installed at the neuralgic points in the cooling and heating systems, and Arla Foods used the measurement results to obtain, for the first time, a clear image of the energy consumption. The dairy producer can therefore now derive concrete measures for reducing it.

The installation of the FlexFlow sensor is down to the symmetrical and centered design with one sensor element ahead of the sensor tip, which allows the sensor to be optimally installed in the process regardless of installation position and orientation. The flow sensor has a robust stainless steel housing that accommodates all the electronics, so there’s no need for complex wiring or control cabinet installation. The FlexFlow also meets the requirements for protection class IP 68 (Baumer proTect+), making this sensor, together with the materials used, the perfect solution for hygienic applications. One further relevant feature is its maximum temperature range to 150 degrees Celsius, which also qualifies it for Sterilization-In-Process (SIP) tasks.

Arla has already installed around 15 of these flow sensors in the cooling circuit and heating system. Thanks to the reliable results returned so far, the plan is now to also integrate the sensors into the CIP return line to monitor and optimize the energy consumption there as well.

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