With factories or operations in almost every country, Nestlé is the world’s leading nutrition, health, and wellness company. Since Nestlé first began selling its products in Chile in 1934, the country now provides one of the highest per capita consumption and sales. Nestlé’s continued commitment to developing operations in the country, and a change in society towards healthier lifestyles, has led to an increased demand of milk powder products. Russell Finex, a long-term supplier to Nestlé, provided purpose built screening solutions for the new plant.
Based in Osorno, the new factory is one of the most technologically advanced dairy factories of its kind. The facility produces a range of milk products with added nutritional value, targeted at the domestic and overseas markets, including the U.S., Central America, the Middle East, and Asia. Having strict Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) in place, Nestlé sought only the highest quality equipment for the new factory.
Having previously worked with Russell Finex at many of its factories worldwide, there was no hesitation in choosing Russell Finex to be the supplier of choice for its screening operations in the new factory. “The ongoing relationship is due not only to the high-quality manufacture of all of Russell Finex’s separation equipment, but also the accompanying documentation and certification that is provided,” said Jaime Sanchez, maintenance manager.
Rotary sifters have traditionally been used for the screening of powders. However, this method of screening presents many problems. With the impeller forcing the powder through the mesh, product quality can be compromised as little oversize is collected. In addition, most rotary sifters are supplied with nylon mesh that is prone to breakage. These issues have led to manufacturers using gravity-fed circular vibratory sieves as an alternative.
Following a consultation with a Russell Finex sales representative, it was decided that the Compact Sieve would best meet Nestlé’s requirements. With three different milk products being processed, each requiring a variety of flow rates, multiple different-sized Compact Sieves, 22-, 36-, and 48-in.-diam units, were supplied to each process line.
Recent changes in industry practices have led to milk powders being screened finer than ever before. Traditionally 4mm aperture mesh (5 mesh) has been used but 2mm (10 mesh) is becoming more common practice. Unlike conventional vibrating screeners, the high-performance Compact Sieve is able to screen the milk powder at this finer mesh size without compromising flow rates, which prevents the sieve from becoming a bottleneck in the process. “We required a sieving system that would enable us to check-screen the milk powder to meet the standard set not only by Nestlé, but also by Chile and the countries the milk powder is being exported to,” said Sanchez. “With the industry moving towards 2mm screening, it was important to choose a sieve that would meet this criteria without slowing down the production process.”
The Compact Sieves have enabled the new factory to meet its target throughput rate of 26,000 tn/year.
Constructed in the highest quality stainless steel, the Compact Sieve is easy to clean between batches, and its simple design allows operators to strip down and clean the machine without tools. With enclosed screening for total containment, dust and fumes are also eliminated, helping Nestle meet its strict “zero dust environment” policy and also safeguarding operators’ health and safety. The machines were also fitted with BFM connectors, a unique innovation designed to provide a hygienic connector system, allowing for easy removal for cleaning or replacement.
“The Russell Compact Sieves have not only helped us to meet our required capacity, but have also provided a hygienic solution that is mandatory for the milk powder industry,” said Sanchez.
For more information on Russell Finex, email [email protected] or visit www.russellfinex.com.
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