The Challenge

A client in Switzerland encountered some problems related to the spray drying process of protein, skim milk, and cream. The client had a Filtermat from 1993 on-site. This type of dryer is ideal for drying milk products with up to 80% fat content. The machine consists of a drying chamber with a conveyor belt underneath on which the product can be dried. The problem arose when drying skimmed milk products on this spray dryer. Our focus was on mechanical, air technology, cleaning, and control aspects.

The Solution

A solution is obtained through several phases. Our specialists started by identifying and analyzing the problems. They started with drying the milk cream powder in collaboration with operators and the production management. The next step was creating a more stable drying process by mapping and adjusting the control system parameters as needed. This always occurs in consultation with the production team. During such a ‘run’, the team also examines the mechanical adjustment of the conveyor belt in the dryer, which consists of several rollers to guide, tension, and drive the belt through the lower section. The roller inspection revealed several points for process improvement, including roller alignment and steering optimization.

We then examined the contamination in various compartments, which was minimal in this case. The next product dried on the tower was skimmed milk. After adjusting the parameters in the first run, the drying of this product progressed smoothly. After completing several runs, the Clean in Place (CIP) took place. The initial impression of cleaning after the lye phase was positive. The drying chamber, conveyor belt, and other parts of the installation appeared clean. After the inspection, the cleaning program could be restarted.

The Result

Thanks to consultancy and advice from our engineers, the client was able to immediately implement the recommended parameters. Furthermore, the advice for cleaning improvement was followed and the results were reviewed. With a few minor adjustments, the spray dryer is now operating effectively. The result is an optimized production process that is less susceptible to wear and tear.


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