Taha Farmthe taste of nature
The evolution of a traditional cheese factory into a unit that combines knowledge and experience with advanced process automation, to entice the modern consumer.
The unit has been upgraded with equipment for energy efficiency, accuracy, and safety in critical production processes. Thus, it will be able to support the development of the company for many years.
Feta, otherwise known as the "white gold" of Greece, is one of the most popular foods both in Greece and abroad, as it has a special taste and a nutritional profile that suits modern consumer habits.
Feta sales have a significant impact on the economy as a whole, but also on local communities, as more than 600 dairies throughout Greece are licensed to produce the product.
Apart from the large companies that produce Feta, a very important part of the production comes from dairies that are scattered throughout Greece in designated areas. The geography, and the artisanship of the local cheese producers, determine the differentiation in the taste characteristics, and makes the market of Feta very intriguing.
One of the most prominent local producers is the TAHA BROS dairy. Brothers Nikos and Zisis Tahas are second generation cheese producers building upon 40 years of tradition and experience. They created a modern cheese factory in Eleftherio, Larissa.
In 2021, they decided to modernize and expand the dairy. The requirements of the project concerned the critical processes of Milk reception and pasteurization, as well as the cleaning of the circuits for reception and storage of fresh milk, reception tanks and tankers. The project also included the design and installation of all service networks and required significant experience and know-how in process engineering in the Dairy Industry. That is why, TAHA BROS trusted AS HELLAS for the design and implementation of the project.
Reception and Storage of fresh milk
In the reception and storage of fresh milk department, AS HELLAS supplied and installed new milk silos which significantly increased the total capacity. Together with a new automatic milk collection line (supply, installation, and commsissioning). Thiw one is designed to ensure that milk losses are minimized and CIP chemicals are reduced when the time comes to clean the lines.
Α Mixpoof An automatic Mixproof valve-cluster ensures the safety and flexibility of the reception and storage system, as it enables simultaneous processes (reception, dispatch for pasteurization, silo washing), in any order and direction and with absolute safety. Also included is a line with automatic valves and an automatic suction pump for cleaning the tankers after the reception.
The milk is then transferred to the pasteurization sector. For this procedure, an automatic prefabricated GalaxiAS™ pasteurization unit was installed to pasteurize either the milk or the yogurt mixture. This unit has a variable capacity and operates on a lower capacity when pasteurizing milk for yogurt. This feature is a specialized design solution developed "in-house" at AS HELLAS.
Of course there is the provision for increasing capacity of the GalaxiAS™ pasteurization unit in the future if needed. It is worth noting that for the critical cleaning process, the pasteurization will be cleaned with CIP through its own circuit, saving valuable time from the central CIP unit, while the dosing of chemicals will be done automatically by the central CIP.
Cleaning in Place (CIP)
Cleaning and sanitizing the processing unit is one of the most critical aspects of food processing, as it ensures product quality, health and consumer safety. Proper cleaning is essential to produce high-quality products with longer shelf life. Cleaning in Place is not only a key process in the production cycle but also a significant part of the operating cost. A typical CIP cleaning process requires large amounts of water, chemicals, and energy. A dairy unit is likely to use 13% of its total energy in the CIP process. AS HELLAS has more than 25 years of experience in designing fully automated CIP systems for the Food & Beverage Industry, adapted to the specific needs of each production, while it has very high know-how in cleaning Production Lines for Dairies. AS HELLAS's approach to the CIP process has a dual purpose. To ensure the most efficient cleaning of production lines, taking into account all the parameters of dairy production, as well as the best and most efficient use of resources.
For the ΤΑΗΑ BROS Dairy, AS HELLAS installed a fully automated CentrASIP™ 250 unit for washing fresh milk reception and storage circuits, collection tanks, and tankers. The cleaning unit can accommodate expansion for two lines in the future. The extensive know-how of AS Hellas and its long experience in the construction of automatic CIP systems, ensure efficient use, low water consumption and minimization of energy and detergent losses.
The Plant’s Automation
For the process control system, TAHA BROS Dairy wanted an automation solution that automates and controls critical production parameters that ensure the quality and safety of the final product, and at the same time be energy efficient. The system monitors and controls the procedures for the reception, storage and preservation of raw milk, the pasteurization of the final product, as well as the cleaning process of the above units (CIP).
At the same time it has the ability to create management reports with production data, as well as a complete history of operations and production processes.
THE AUTOMATION CONFIGURATION
1. The purpose of the automated production process is to control the following subsystems:
- Reception and storage of raw milk
- Pasteurization of the final product
- CIP (Cleaning In Place) of the above units
2. Features of the automation system
- Remote access via VPN for faster service
- Generation of alarms in case of failure or malfunction
- Recording and graphical display of all variables (temperature, pressure, etc.)
- Operator access level
- Interlocks to avoid operator mistakes
- Ability to communicate with external systems for the exchange of information.
- Ability to exchange data with ERP.
3. Technical characteristics
- Latest generation PLC of the SIEMENS S7 1500 series.
- SCADA software for visualizing and controlling the installation (SIEMENS WinCC Advanced)
- More than 500 control points
- More than 100 I/O cards
- MCCs (motors control center) & CPs (control panels)
TAHA BROS Dairy continues and builds upon a 40-year tradition in cheese-making by investing in mechanical equipment and process automation to improve the safety and quality of the final product, and and to best meet the evolving needs and preferences of consumers.
The investments will give the Cheese producer the flexibility needed by modern dairy units, and at the same time the company will become more efficient and will use its productive resources in the best possible way.