Fast-growing Milky Mist Dairy Food and global equipment supplier GEA have teamed up to field-test the GEA FLOWVENT valve series. This new family of German-engineered process valves is manufactured in India and will be easy to source for dairy, beverage, and food manufacturers in the country. The test results at Milky Mist confirm the unique ease of use and efficiency of these valves, as well as a remarkably high level of ruggedness.
Milky Mist is a prime example of a modern private dairy company that has become a major player in the continued growth of the Indian dairy industry. The company was founded in Erode by its CMD, T. Sathish Kumar. It is known for its focus on value-added premium dairy products and state-of-the-art production and distribution concepts. Over the past decade, Milky Mist has become a national growth leader, helping to establish paneer as a consumer favorite in South India and increasing its annual turnover tenfold. Its current product range includes 180 articles, such as paneer, ghee, yogurt, cheese, curd, RTDs, UHT lassi, and popular regional sweets – Shrikhand, Kalakhand, Payasam, Mishti Doi, Rasgulla, Gulab Jamun, and more.
Striving for growth in a dynamic market
A smart web shop, a vibrant social media presence, and upscale City outlets mean that the Milky Mist brand is very much in touch with young urban consumers. The company is now set to further expand its consumer reach by extending its sales organization across India and beyond. With renowned industry thought leader Dr K Rathnam at the helm as chief executive officer, the planners have every reason to be confident. Another pillar of success is Milky Mist’s fully automated liquid milk processing plant. This modern facility was commissioned in 2017. GEA has supplied turnkey solutions for liquid milk processing, mozzarella cheese, UHT, skim milk powder, dairy whitener, and whey powder plants, as well as process equipment such as separators, clarifiers, homogenizers, and valves. The plant has an installed capacity of 1.5 million liters per day and covers all process steps from reception to packaging, using green energy and water resources.
Testing tomorrow’s valve family
Previous advantages with GEA equipment ensured that Milky Mist was enthusiastic about the idea of carrying out initial field tests for the supplier’s new valve family. GEA has channeled its proven global technology for flow components into four economically designed valve types used everywhere in hygienic dairy, beverage, and food processing. Manufacturing and maintenance operations for these valves are notably located at GEA’s Bengaluru facility, close to the customer. “India’s dairy industry is taking yet another step towards a bright future with quality equipment such as this now available from domestic sources,” said Dr Rathnam. “We at Milky Mist are proud to be part of this progress.”
In January 2021, valve experts from GEA, led by Rakesh Negi, director - sales & service, Flow Components, GEA India, joined forces with the dairy specialists at Perundurai to implement four test valves at key application points. One diverts valve (3” OD) was installed in the raw milk storage valve battery, other diverts valve and one shut-off valve (2.5” OD) in the raw whey storage valve battery, and one mix-proof valve (2” OD) in the rinse milk recovery station.
Apart from the three tested types, the GEA FLOWVENT series also includes a double-seal valve with the same design concept. In November 2021, the first scheduled inspection of the test valves took place. Not only had they performed their tasks flawlessly, but the GEA team also proudly found them “fresh and clean”, with materials and structure not affected in the slightest by daily operation.
Well-suitable for local conditions
The customer’s process engineers were particularly impressed with the ruggedness of the tested valves, including the electronic control tops. GEA has successfully shielded the built-in digital circuits against mechanical vibrations in the dairy process line. The same technology is now part of every GEA FLOWVENT control top. “The overall design of these valves gives a feel of being well-considered and well-suitable for local conditions,” concludes Dr Rathnam.
Deepak Singh, vice president, Separation & Flow Technologies, GEA India, is also excited about the results of the field test, “We expect great things from this family of hygienic valves in India and this confirms we are fully on track. We would love to hear from more customers who are looking to drive their production with this new, efficient selection of modern process valves.”