The team at Sycamore Process Engineering has recently completed an upgrade to a Three Tank Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Export System for our customer in Northern Ireland. The customer has operations across the UK and Ireland, producing a wide range of dairy products that are sold in the UK and Ireland while being exported to over 45 countries worldwide. They have recently announced a partnership with a major dairy cooperative to supply whey protein concentrate for use as an ingredient in infant formula and consumer health ingredients.
With the formation of this new partnership our customer identified the need to upgrade their WPC system. The project was to deliver robust processing, storage, and despatch facilities for WPC. Upgrading from their current system, which will provide enhanced processing reliability, plus cooling and storage facilities in line with best practice. The new system allows for the WPC to be cooled and stored in three 100,000 litre storage silos, ready to be dispatched at the correct temperature.
Sycamore utilised their partnership with Alfa Laval, who they are an authorised integrator, to supply their Frontline premium range of Plate Heat Exchangers for this application. These were selected due to the strictest demands regarding hygiene control as well as gentle product treatment. The plate heat exchangers are suitable under long operating times and have superior cleanability.
Using Sycamore’s in-house design team, based in Sparkford Somerset, the project was designed and modelled prior to manufacturing which commenced in late March 2021. Manufacturing took place at our in-house workshop where the team were able to manufacture the skids to be shipped to site ready for the installation.
The installation of this project was overseen for the entirety by members of the Sycamore team, guaranteeing the high standards set by Sycamore to deliver an end-to-end process solution were met. The team worked effortlessly to ensure installation into the customer’s facilities could be completed by the end of May 2021.
The project wasn’t without its challenges. Due to Brexit, Sycamore struggled to import specific components from Europe, which caused unforeseen delays. Not only were they hit with the repercussions of European trade deals, but COVID-19 affected the global supply of electronic components from multiple suppliers as well as social distancing restrictions that provided the team with another challenge to overcome.
Even with these two external challenges, the team were still able to deliver the project within the tight schedule outlined by the customer. Both Sycamore and their product partners worked effortlessly to achieve the deadline, ensuring all expectations highlighted by the customer were met.