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24.04.2017 Novel mixing technology at heart of Europe’s largest baby food plant

Dinnissen Process Technology, Sevenum, the Netherlands, has provided an innovative dry mixing concept, called Lean Gravity Mixing, for Europe’s largest infant food production plant which was recently put into operation in central Brittany, France (see EBS News for week of 19 September 2016).  The facility has a capacity of 100,000t/yr. 
The Chinese infant food manufacturer, Synutra (12,000 employees) has invested €170 million in a new 38,000m² greenfield mega-plant located in Carhaix-Plouguer, Brittany. It processes milk into dry baby food intended for export to China. The plant requires 288 million litres of milk per year, which is provided by 800 farmers from the Sodiaal regional cooperative. The construction of the plant began in 2014 and the process involved a total of 10 suppliers from 10 different countries. Dinnissen came into the picture at a relatively late stage with an unusual proposal for the dry mixing line. This turned out to have so many advantages that the concept of the plant and the design of the building were substantially adjusted to suit it.
Dinnissen made a proposal for a lean gravity mixing line, which makes optimum use of gravity, so that product conveyor lines were no longer needed. This is beneficial because an alternative transport system, whether pneumatic or screw conveyor, might cause damage to the product. In the gravity mixing line, all the raw material components are raised up and dosed fully automatically into the mixer from above. The mixed product is discharged from the bottom of the mixer and goes through multiple process steps by force of gravity. Dinnissen has already built many lines according to this concept which can accommodate various sizes of mixer. Further details about this project will be published in the May/June issue of EuroBulkSystems magazine. 
Milk powder resulting from the drying process is stored under strictest hygienic conditions in bulk bags which provide the most important input for the mixing line; The Dinnissen double-axle Pegasus mixer (below) has a capacity of 6.5m3 and can handle up to 4t, producing up to 14t/h of baby food

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