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30.07.2018 Saudi Arabia’s most modern dairy processing plant

GEA, Düsseldorf, Germany, has worked with Almarai Company in Saudi Arabia to build the nation’s largest and most modern dairy processing facility. The new plant at Al Kharj includes multiple production lines for a wide range of milk and yoghurt products. It has the capacity to process two million litres of milk a day.  The project has already been successfully completed and the plant is in operation.
Key features of the plant include GEA separators with integrated direct drive that employ fewer moving parts and therefore reduce friction losses. They also use asynchronous motors that are extremely robust for maximum machine availability. To reduce the environmental impact and energy consumption, the plant is equipped with GEA’s latest energy recovery technology.
The German engineering firm has installed the latest control systems and operating protocols in line with Industry 4.0.  These include the inter-operability of the equipment, the transparency of information, autonomous decision making where possible and the highest level of technical assistance. The management execution system captures data such as KPIs and utilisation levels to allow comprehensive monitoring of the entire plant operations and energy usage. The plant also features end-to-end track and trace for ultimate quality control and a plant-wide uninterruptable power supply.
Torben Jul Jensen, regional sales director for dairy, beverage and food solutions at GEA Middle East, said that despite his company’s experience in building similar dairy plants worldwide, the Al Kharj plant did pose some specific challenges, especially in the final commissioning phase. The extremely hot weather also caused problems. 
Almarai’s new dairy processing plant at Al Kharj

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