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How to Automate and Control the Quality of a Dairy Farm CIP - Milk Plant Vat Wash Routines

Published In: Products Created Date: 2022-05-13

The DAIRY MGR is an all-in-one solution for automating CIP plant and vat wash routines.

John Brooks specialises in technical innovation applying engineering ingenuity and existing technologies to create equipment that helps farmers to conserve energy and resources by optimising fluid pumping.

We work for everyone who wants to ease their life by using advances in modern industrial automation engineering. We seek out opportunities to automate the manual or mechanical processes which in turn free up time and ensure more people can finish work sooner to spend more time at home.

A perfect example of this would be the DAIRY MGR John Brooks have launched in 2021.

The DAIRY MGR is an all-in-one solution for automating plant and vat wash routines for multiple vats, fault monitoring, and recording what was washed and storing these records securely. The best feature being it is compatible with the existing wash infrastructure in the dairy shed allowing to retrofit onto your existing equipment – washtub, pumps and pipes to both the milk pit and the milk vats.

What Are the Challenges DAIRY MGR is solving?

A Repeatable, Reliable and Automated Cleaning Routine with no standing around to ensure the next step in a wash process is executed.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority has strict guidelines related to cleaning in order to maintain  maintaining milk quality standards.. You can learn more about them here.

There are a number of dangerous microorganisms present in the silage, animal bedding and soil that can infiltrate into the milk being delivered from the bovine. It is important to avoid as many of these dangerous microorganisms as possible especially on sensitive areas like the teats to ensure its cleanliness prior to milking.

Even if only 1% of bacteria is left after thorough cleaning, they unevitably continue to grow and over time can contaminate milking machine clusters, milk receivers, milk pipelines and the bulk tank. Without a consistent, established cleaning routine, contamination will build up, especially in hard to reach areas, such as pipeline joints, that are hard to clean.

The bacteria affect milk quality because it is breaking down the components in milk. That in turn reduces the shelf life of milk and milk products, and produces off flavours in cheeses and milk powders.

That is why to ensure consistent high milk qulity it is important to establish a process so that cleaning is done properly and all residues are removed in a timely manner and bacteria are destroyed.

While there is an established plant clean in place process, there are number of challenges which have to be addressed. That is the reason why Dairy MGR was developed in the first place.

Let’s explore the traditional established plant cleaning process to uncover these challenges, so that the advantages of Dairy MGR can be better understood in relation to these common challenges.

Since bacteria is wide spread it can enter the plant from cows skin and the surrounding environment. There are many reasons why the milking environment is perfect for bacterial growth. That includes complex pipes architecture full of hard to reach area where residue can build up and create localised clusters feeding the bacteria growth.

The end goal is to develop an effective plant cleaning vat routine which can control the presence of bacteria in the plant. That includes control over the quality of the water in order to achieve quality cleaning.

Typical minimumal set of activites are required to be carried on a milking plant after every milking or milk vat pickup:

  • Cold water rinse
  • An acid wash
  • An alkali wash at least twice weekly.
  • An acid rinse after every alkali wash.

It’s important to understand these three key factors affecting the qualtity of cleaning vat routine to in order to assess the effectivemess and limitations of this minimal set of required actions:

  1. Temperature

Cold water is not suitable for effective water cleaning because it tends to redeposit the milk residues that needs to be removed and the "rewash" technique will not effectively remove residuals.

At the same time when the water is too hot, it leads to breaking down detergents and damages seals and rubberware.

The proper temperature to use in vat cleaning routine is 80-85°C when it exits the hot water cylinder. That provides sufficient temperature, which drops down as the water ‘travels’ through the pipes. Hot water wash should be dumped when water temperature reaches 55°C and below as this is considered to be no longer hot enough for effective cleaning of residue.

The big question is: how do you control the water temperature without constantly monitoring it in person. The good news is that this water temperature can be monitored and controlled every time saving time and effort, including the need for physically being on site wth the help of DAIRY MGR.

  1. Time

In order to achieve proper cleaning, hot water should contact the surface for at least 4 minutes. This time needs to be increased to a minimum of 7 minutes by re-circulation during an alkali wash.

Pre-heating the plant can assist to achieve at least 5 minutes of contact time at needed temperature.

For example, for a milking plant the recommendation is to use at least 10 litres of hot water per cluster to ensure sufficient contact time.

For the bulk milk tank and all larger tanks,  it is recommended that hot water needs to be a minimum of 2% of the total capacity or 120 litres for 5,700 litre tanks or smaller.

The question here is: who is controlling the time to make sure there is sufficient contact time with the surface? And again the good news are that DAIRY MGR can help to control the timing to ensure that hot water has a sufficient time contacting the surface so that residue that creates an ideal environment for bacteria growth can be removed and de-contaminated. Since each wash step is automated there is no downtime where traditionally the next step needs chemical or water added.

  1. Chemical energy

Acid detegrents are required to remove mineral deposits. While they can be used with cold water, they are more effective when used with hot water. Typically acid sanitisers include chemicals that also kill bacteria. They are designed to remain in the plant after washing in order to provide extended protection from bacteria. That is why acid detergents should be always be included in the final wash.

Alkaline detergents are needed to remove blood, fat, and protein. If left inside the milk plant long enough, they can damage rubberware so it's important to neutralise the alkaline with an acid wash once they've done their job.  Acid wash helps to neutralise the alkali and complete the process of plant sanitization. The alkaline detergent is almost always chlorinated, or chlorine added.

For both types of detergent, too much or too little is not a good option because striving for a greater quality wash and resuction of bacteria contamination, it’s important to aim for the right amount of chemicals used every time.

You can only imaging that carefully measuring the right amount of detergent every day may be not the most interesting jobs in the farm. Fortunately today every farmer can choose to leave the job of careful measuring of the correct amount of chemicals required to DAIRY MGR, which was purposely designed to do this exact job right every time.

The best thing is that the farmer can monitor what’s going on remotely in real time. This is important because as a responsible farm owner, every dairy farmer pride themselves in attention to detail especially when it comes to cleaniness and sanitisation of their plant.

The whole food chain is someone reliant on every farmer delivering best quality milk and that is why Dairy MGR is designed to become a crucial part of everyday milk plant operation.

Every farmer is now facing a dilemma, to continue dedicating time measuring chemicals and checking water temperature, or to be monitoring the process remotely from the comfort of their home. All Dairy MGR users need to do is to check their mobile phone remotely to learn that the cleaning routine kicks off with the correct water temperature, right amount of chemicals and is done correctly every time for both the plant and Vat.


What is the benefit of DAIRY MGR for the dairy farmer in a nutshell?

“For dairy farmer, DAIRY MGR can save 20-30min every single day by establishing control over the correct execution of plant & vat wash routine.”

In layman terms, DAIRYMGR allows a farm worker to come home earlier to be with their family.

How does it help you to come home earlier? Imagine this: Dairy MGR saves dairy farmers 20-30 minutes approximately every day, it is very reliable and accurate, it does not forget, doesn’t get tired, and initiates the correct wash cycle based on what is scheduled every day, with the right amount of chemicals, this allows the worker to multitask and ensure that you can get home earlier. Or a Full wash routine can be done on the milk vat after the tanker driver picks up the milk. Not just a rinse, so your ready to get straight in to milking particularly in the morning. 

DAIRYMGR is suitable for use in all types of dairy farms. Whether you have a small farm with 16 cows or a herd of 10,000, John Brooks can offer a complete solution to help you be more in control of your milk plant vat washing.

This complete solution may include a combination of Dairy MGR with other key pump control innovations from John Brooks that include our most popular solutions like:

  • Dairy Flo - The Milk Pump controller can be a complete unit or upgrade your existing older unit in your shed. This upgrade provides the constant flow control mode while helping pump milk from the receiving can then through the heat exchange it reduces the temperature as low as possible; therefore reducing your refrigeration & energy costs. Lowering the temperature quickly improves milk quality & increases the payout. Dairy Flo is manufactured using a high-quality stainless-steel cabinet protecting the VSD unit and this enhanced feature protects it from the elements thereby increasing the overall life of the product. An innovative feature is the Froth control which enables froth removal from the receiving can even with a centrifugal pump. Dairy Flo can be retrofitted in any existing or new plant up to 2.2 kW (1 & 3 phase)
  • Dairy Vac - Vacuum Pump Controller- has been delivering a high level of energy efficiency and control for various types of Vacuum Pumps used throughout the Dairy Industry.  It can be a new unit or an upgradeable service kit to your existing unit - providing features that not only control the vacuum stability with very fast reaction times while offering up to 70% in energy-saving and significant noise reduction. Suited for the environment in an all-stainless-steel cabinet the membrane keypad allows parameter changes, and the LCD screen displays information such as Vacuum level and power savings as well as other functions. The quick and easy installation menu enables auto-setup without the need for laptops or experienced technicians. As soon as you start using Dairy-Vac the benefits offer immediate payback and high levels of depreciation leading to tax savings.
  • VSD water pump controller (Water-Flo)  - Reduce water hammer and energy consumption by soft starting of the water pump and varying the speed of the water pump to keep up with water flow rate demands for systems where a large water pump is providing water to a variety of applications and duties.
  • Double bank plate heat exchangers  - Enhance milk cooling with trusted Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers. The addition of a second bank of primary milk cooling, when paired with a chilling system, will ensure your milk is reaching the vat at the temperatures required by the milk cooling regulations.
  • Electric motors (Single and Three phase)  - John Brooks is a major NZ supplier of quality AC electric motors at competitive prices. Servicing the high demand nature of the NZ dairy industry since 1964.

For every dairy farmer who want to come home earlier every day and save time, money and resources John Brooks Limited has a very important message:

Get in touch with your trusted milk machine dealer or you can reach John Brooks directly at your nearest branch in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Our friendly sales specialists will help you find a control automation solution most suited to your varied dairy farming needs and connect with a local supplier and installer so that you get a great local support your farm deserves.


Get in touch today to learn how John Brooks specialised dairy equipment including pump control innovations can make a difference on your farm.