Slovak dairy company expands range and increases capacity

Founded in 1964 and located in Velký Meder, southern Slovakia, EUROMILK has long built on the traditions of agricultural production in the country and, since its establishment, has been engaged in raw milk processing and the production and distribution of dairy products. Now a joint stock company, EUROMILK’s production structure is focused on preserved milk, cream, butter, curd, fermented milk products and powdered milk puddings.

Looking to meet evolving market trends and expand into the healthy beverage sector with high protein and plant-based drinks, EUROMILK contacted GEA to source the appropriate equipment. “The customer needed more flexibility and wanted to strengthen their market position by expanding their production portfolio,” notes Bjarne Darre, Manager for Offer Preparation at GEA. “And, having previously worked with GEA, we were their first choice as a preferred supplier,” he adds.

With a combination third-party powder dissolver and tank disperser already on site, the company’s plan was to install more versatile equipment that would make production faster, easier and deliver more homogenous products for both the private label and own-branded markets.  

In mid-2021, the decision was made to acquire a GEA single-pass inline vacuum mixing solution. And, following an 8-week installation process, the 20000 L/h system was commissioned in December 2021. “The selection process was made a lot easier because of the versatility of the mixer,” says Florian Fliß, Project Engineer, Offer Preparation/Engineering at GEA: “The easy product changeover minimizes downtime and the hygienic design reduces the time required to clean between products.” This was important for EUROMILK as their products vary from standard market offerings such as cocoa milk to specialized high-protein drinks and plant-based beverages such as oat milk.

EUROMILK oat drink

At the same time, to replace an existing UHT line and aseptic tank configuration that had been in service for more than 25 years, EUROMILK also installed new plant with an 8000 L/h UHT plant, a homogenizer and a larger tank (12,000 L). Tibor Balogh, Managing Director, EUROMILK, explains: “We needed more flexibility and a wider product portfolio to remain competitive. And although the equipment we already had was from GEA, the time was right to invest in new mixing and separation technologies.”

We needed more flexibility and a wider product portfolio to remain competitive. And although the equipment we already had was from GEA, the time was right to invest in new mixing and separation technologies. - Tibor Balogh, Managing Director, EUROMILK

- Tibor Balogh, Managing Director, EUROMILK

The new UHT product treatment plant features indirect heating and a homogenizer that can accommodate both downstream or upstream functionality, and a sterile/aseptic buffer tank system that’s positioned between the UHT plant and one of several filling machines. The UHT plant can handle a variety of different products and is compatible with the established recipes that had been set up for the original UHT system.

Customized to meet the exact requirements of EUROMILK in terms of both capacity and the need to handle different kinds of products, the highly flexible plant now offers higher throughputs, less energy consumption and contributes to a faster and easier working environment. “Having had the mixer and separator installed and commissioned at the same time, like the new UHT System, in a short period of time (5 weeks), we’re already seeing a huge difference,” says Tibor: “This highly flexible plant is not only fulfilling our current requirements, it will allow us to continue to grow and expand in the future.”

Plant-based beverages breakfast

High shear mixing for plant-based drinks

Versatile mixing

The extremely versatile GEA INLINE FORMULA® SOL High Shear Mixer can be used to improve an existing production line or replace existing equipment.
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