There are a number of industries out there based on processing liquids, and these liquids vary from dairy and soft drinks to water, pharmaceutical chemicals, crude oil, and even sewage. A plant will have all necessary pipes, valves, tanks, and pumps on hand to keep the materials flowing correctly, and a dairy processing plant in particular will have sanitary pipe valves, sanitary butterfly valves, stainless steel sanitary filters, and more. All of these fittings must be completely clean during the handling of dairy, so diary products made from that milk can be clean and safe to eat. A sanitary ball valves manufacturer can be contacted for new or replacement parts, and these sanitary ball valves manufacturer can be consulted for repair and inspection tips on that hardware. So, what else is there to know about sanitary valves and their maintenance? And what do they do during a hard day’s work?
The Work of Pumps and Valves
It is not enough to just have pipes and tanks in the plant; pumps must be present to move the material along at a decent pace, and sanitary ball valves manufacturers can provide the right valves to regulate the flow of materials. What are they made of? Pumps vary in material based on the strength they need for the job, and pumps that handle thick liquids or sludge may be made of tough alloys and have a powerful motor backing them up. But for thinner liquids, such as water or dairy, a plastic pump may be all that is needed, and such pumps are lightweight and affordable for any plant. Still, it is important these pumps are gentle on the product; that is, the pumps must not create too much shear on the dairy. Shear can disrupt and alter the dairy’s viscosity or other properties, and this may make for a faulty product later. For example, in the receiving bays of fluid milk plants, the centrifugal pump should have a low RPM, such as 1,750, due to a high flow rate there (such as 1,000 gallons per minute). This results in minimal shear.
What about the valves? Sanitary dairy valves act as a border between raw and pasteurized milk, and the valve will allow pasteurized milk to flow further into the system while other milk is sent back to to balance tank. This is done in dairy plants with a pasteurizer/HTST system, and this vital work means the valve is regularly inspected for any potential issues. it would be a real problem if unpasteurized milk was allowed to get too far into the system, after all. These valves are typically made of stainless steel, a tough and sanitary material that may last for around 100 years if treated correctly and inspected regularly.
Cleaning and Repairing the System
The manager at a dairy processing plant must set up a schedule for regular inspections and cleaning of these pumps and valves, and this preventative work will help minimize the odds of an inconvenient and costly issue during production in the future. What is more, the manager can consult a sanitary ball valves manufacturer, or the manufacturer of any equipment in the plant, for repair and cleaning advice. The staff can also consult online videos for detailed guides on dairy pump and valve repair or cleaning work. The original equipment manufacturer should be ready to help.
Routine cleanings and inspections are a good start, but the staff at the plant should also familiarize themselves with the proper pressure, noise, and flow rates of their equipment, so they can tell right away of something is wrong. Such diagnoses can help prevent any blind spots in the repair or cleaning of the pumps and valves. And as for cleaning, thorough cleaning work should be done as soon as the day’s production is over, before any dairy has a chance to dry and harden inside the pipes, pumps, valves, or tanks. The system is first rinsed with water to remove large particles and materials, then it is blasted clean to remove the rest. Valves should have pulsed pressure applied so any leftover dairy is cleaned out of their seating. Steel and plastic pumps and valves alike will need cleaning work like this.