Butter is a traditional product in Belarus and Russia. Made with buttermaking machines that work in accordance with the Fritz process or on the basis of highly concentrated cream, the preferred fat content is however below the standard fat content of German manufactured butter. In recent years, the dairies OAO Ossipovichi and OAO Kalinkovichi have also faced the question of replacing old installations whilst at the same time increasing productivity and efficiency.

The focus of the operators was primarily on the buttermaking plants as a central pillar of their businesses. Increasing added value and competitiveness through product differentiation corresponding to the major markets of the former CIS states were the overriding aims. In practice, the current production of butter with 82 percent fat content should initially be expanded. However, there is increasing demand from consumers for butter with reduced fat content (also known as three-quarter butter or farmers’ butter). Production should accordingly also be expanded in this area. A process line for a minimum of 1000 kg and a maximum of 3000 kg butter per hour was considered. As a partner for these ambitious projects, both businesses selected the dairy experts from GEA.

Slimmer system design: increased performance, reduced costs

The GEA project team solved the problem using the latest buttermaking machines from the BUE series, which work in the continuous Fritz/Eisenreich process and with which “over-churning” is also possible with an adjustable cream intake and a dasher speed that can be selected to be higher. Furthermore, unlike the old butter lines, the systems developed in line with the latest hygiene and economic considerations have buttermilk circulation with a cooling circuit. This consists of buttermilk pumps, cooler and tank. The latter is additionally available for the system as a connection for the cleaning circuit – a further advantage for businesses that cannot install a separate CIP system.

The result: faster production of the same product volumes with a capacity increase of around 30 percent compared with the old production line.

Alternatively, the addition of cooking oil is possible, which can replace part of the milk cream and provides the basis for making reduced-fat butter types – an economically attractive expansion of the product line. 

Availability has also been increased: with the system, butter can now be produced continuously for up to 72 hours before the first cleaning process is due. Even the energy efficiency sets benchmarks, as the drive power and thus also the energy consumption have been reduced considerably. The process lines are designed as complete solutions and, in addition to the latest generation of buttermaking machines, include all other components required for the economic production of premium butter qualities.

The buttermaking process used in both Belarusian systems offers dairies increased competitiveness:

  • Greater flexibility in the market: production of additional butter products with fat content between 62 and 72.5 percent
  • 30 percent capacity increase compared with the old production line: faster production of the same product volumes
  • Longer service lives with up to 72 hours of continuous operation
  • Reduced investment costs due to slimmer system design: e.g. no CIP connection required, as the dosing circuit is also used for cleaning
  • Excellent product quality due to hygienic design
  • Saving on energy costs: drive power almost halved
  • GEA complete solution from one source

GEA buttermaking process offers new competitive prospects

The scope of supply and performance selected here has now been set as the standard at GEA for small and medium-sized systems with an hourly output up to three tonnes.

Replacement and new investments in Eastern Europe and Asia are the focus here. In the short to medium term, there is still a considerable need for modernisation and investment in the dairies there. A substantial proportion of these milk processing operations have an inadequate design with respect to production size. The limited processing capacities per site generally make it impossible to achieve profitable production volumes – the costs per unit are simply too high. Additionally, the legal hygiene requirements, which are now also ever-increasing, exacerbate the cost pressure on the businesses. This is why many of the milk processors, some of whom are still working with extremely outdated systems from Soviet production, are not keeping up with the technically optimally equipped importers of milk products – on price, quality, or range breadth and depth.

That can change with the GEA buttermaking process: equipped with this process line, dairy businesses can react extremely flexibly to raw milk and cream offers available and to changing market demands – with the best product quality and profitable operating costs.