Murray Goulburn Co-Operative is Australia’s largest dairy company with eight plants located throughout Victoria and Tasmania and is wholly Australian owned by its 2,800 farmers. Murray Goulburn processes 38 per cent of Australia’s milk – which equates to 3.5 billion litres annually. The company accounts for 50 per cent of Victoria’s dairy food production and exports to more than 100 countries.
The Cobram plant manufactures Bulk & Retail Cheese, Whey Powder, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate and Lactose. Cobram is a small community with a population of around 5,500. As major water users in a small community Murray Goulburn is committed to reducing our water usage where ever possible.
The proposal is to replace liquid seal vacuum pumps with dry running vacuum pumps to eliminate the need for a water seal. For this project we targeted liquid seal vacuum pumps which consume 29,400 litres per day of mains drinking water which equates to 9.7 mega litres (ML) per year. The two vacuum pumps operate the de-aeration of a powder packing line.
This type of system used in this process is new for the dairy industry and will be used as a demonstration site to its other sites across Victoria. The proposed system aims to save approx 9-10 ML per year of water.
The vacuum pumps have been operating for 12 months now with no reported problems. Operationally they have performed well over the past 12 months.
The return on investment was calculated using the total project cost divided by the annual savings. The total cost of the project is $65,697, with a total annual savings of $14,383, the payback on this was four years.