Dairy cooperative Arla Foods has, for the first time, offered transparency over the amount of energy consumed in cottage cheese production at its Falkenberg location in Sweden. To help them establish the numbers, the company has been using Baumer Flex-Flow sensors, which are able to measure the temperature of the medium itself as well as its flow rate.
At this particular plant, Arla Foods produces 20,000 tonnes of cottage cheese every year to satisfy almost the entire cottage cheese demand from the Swedish market; it also exports to Finland, Denmark and Greece. Production volumes of this magnitude call for a resource-efficient manufacturing process, and Arla Foods is a leader when it comes to sustainability: the dairy cooperative intends to be making its products completely CO2-neutral by 2050, and a key element of this journey is energy efficiency. Mattias Abrahamsson, Production System Manager at Arla in Falkenberg says: “In recent years, we have placed an increasingly strong focus on monitoring the energy consumption of our plants. In certain areas, however, we simply didn’t know exactly where the energy was being used”.
FlexFlow, the calorimetric flow sensor from Baumer, helped them achieve a breakthrough. Arla installed these sensors at the key points in the cooling and heating system and used the measurement results to obtain, for the first time, a clear image of the energy consumption. This has allowed the dairy producer to put in place some positive measures that reduce energy consumption. Cooling and heating were the tricky points in the energy consumption identification for Arla, but thanks to the data captured and provided via the Baumer Flex-Flow sensors, the company has been able to reduce its energy costs significantly. The sensors also meet the IP 68 standard (Baumer proTect+), making this sensor, together with the materials used, a sound option for hygienic and/or food applications. A further advantage for users is its maximum operating temperature of up to 150degC: this also qualifies it for Sterilization-In-Process (SIP) tasks.
Arla has installed 15 of these Baumer flow sensors in the cooling circuits and heating systems and the plan now is to also integrate them into the CIP return line to monitor and optimise the energy consumption there as well. Arla’s Mattias Abrahamsson says: “This has proven to be a cost-efficient solution. And because the sensors installed so far are reliably returning the results we need, we will now install more and more of them”. Baumer’s Martin Leupold concludes: “This solution is allowing Arla to systematically optimise its energy consumption, save resources and deliver on its sustainability promises”.
For more information about Baumer’s Flex-Flow sensors please visit www.baumer.com.