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Armfield - Miniature-Scale Research & Development Technology - FT94LT HTST/UHT Mini Pilot System

Due to the increased demands from marketing departments, food and beverage manufacturers' R&D teams are required to prepare increasingly larger volumes of sample product. As a result, Armfield have developed the new FT94LT Mini Pilot System complete with Tubular Heat Exchanger. The new FT94LT is a cost-effective HTST/UHT processing system, based on a tubular heat exchanger only, with a range of options including data logging, to tailor the product to your requirements. The FT94LT comprises a three-stage heat exchanger complete with the services, controls and instrumentation required to operate the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is mounted on top of a stainless steel table with the feed pump, heating and cooling services and the electrical cabinet mounted below it.

The FT94LT comprises a three stage heat exchanger complete with the services, controls and instrumentation required to operate the system. The heat exchanger, control panel and feed pump are mounted on top of a stainless steel table with all scervices and electrical cabinet located below.

The tubular heat exchanger design uses ten concentric 316 stainless steel tubes for product preheating (two tubes), final heating (four tubes) and cooling (four tubes). In all cases the product passes down the inner tube and the heating/cooling medium passes through the annulus in a counter-current direction. As with all Armfield systems, it comes with hygienic fittings throughout as standard; it is easy to clean and very flexible in use.

For the main heating, steam is applied to the service side of the heating section using an electro-pneumatic steam-control valve. The product temperature is measured at the end of the heat exchanger (or holding tube) and this value is used by a PID control algorithm, implemented in the PLC, to control the steam-regulating valve, hence ensuring the user-defined set point is maintained.

In order to provide a gentle preheat action, steam at sub-atmospheric pressure (and hence low temperature) is applied to the service side of the preheat section. In this way, steam temperatures at or significantly below 100°C can be produced and low differentials between steam temperature and product temperature are achieved. Stable preheat temperatures of 60°C or less are feasible. Control of the steam pressure/temperature is achieved by a manual steam-control valve, and automatic PID control is an available option.

Cooling water is applied to the cooling section of the product heat exchanger via a rotameter. For applications requiring chilled exit temperature, the system can be configured to use two initial cooling tubes using city water, and two final cooling tubes using a source of chilled water (Armfield can provide a recirculating water chiller if required)

The system is PLC controlled, with a high-resolution TFT 8" colour touchscreen panel making it extremely user friendly to configure and monitor processing parameters. The operator is prompted at every stage whenever intervention is required.

All operation functions are controlled from this panel, including configuration, mode of operation (sterilisation, process or clean in place). Different sets of processing parameters can be edited, stored and quickly recalled using the menu capability of the system.

The ancillary items such as the homogeniser and sterile filler are also controlled from this panel. The system can be quickly and easily interfaced to other free-standing Armfield process items such as a mixing vessel, a chiller or a sterile filling system.

Available models

Armfield can offer a range of mixing tanks with low-speed agitators, optional heated jackets and optional high shear mixing. Standard sizes are 50l and 100l. Please contact us with your specific requirements.

A recirculating chiller allows product to be output at reduced temperatures. The FT63 is suitable for lower flow rates, but the FT64 is recommended for higher flows.

When used with the sterile options, the FT83 can be used to fill presterilised containers in a sterile environment. The FT83-94L version is completely compatible with the FT94LT and is controlled from the FT94LT's touch screen.

The FT94LT contains all the necessary functionality to sterilise the FT83-94L. The FT94LT can also be interfaced directly to a sterile sealed bag filling system. Contact Armfield for details.

Inline homogeniser can be provided for use with the FT94LT. Controls for the homogeniser are fully integrated into the FT94LT and its speed can be automatically matched to the FT94LT throughput. The homogeniser is fully sterilisable and can be positioned adjacent to the FT94LT.

A sophisticated data logging package allows the measured data to be recorded onto a Windows PC (not supplied). The software records all temperatures, product and steam pressures, feed pump speed and many other sensor values. Data from optional accessories (eg the flow meter) is also recorded. Data may be displayed in tables and graphs (both real-time and comparisons across previous runs), and may also be exported to MS Excel.

The FT94LT-21 is a set of static mixers for two heat exchanger tubes. These significantly improve heat transfer with more viscous products and can be used for improving both heating and cooling efficiency. Multiple sets can be used to optimise both heating and cooling performance.

The FT94LT-42 is a manually controlled pinch valve, which provides much better performance than the standard sprung-back pressure valve when used with products containing particulates.

Sterilisation is achieved by applying steam onto the outside of the cooling tubes instead of cold water. This sterilises the cooling tubes and gives the power to sterilise a downstream homogeniser. The FT94LT-45 option provides the switching valves necessary to perform this.

This option is required when it is necessary to achieve an accurate preheat temperature (eg when it is important to homogenise at a particular temperature) or when using the preheat facility by itself for pasteurising at lower temperatures.

It replaces the standard manual preheat control valve with an automatically controlled electro-pneumatic valve. A PID loop is used to control the temperature to the operator's desired set point by actuation of the valve. The option also includes an electronic pressure sensor to measure the steam pressure. This pressure and its equivalent temperature (determined in the PLC) are displayed on the control panel.

The FT94LT-51 Feed Vessel option, is a 50-litre stainless steel vessel with lid, fitted with a product outlet valve and a drain (or recirculation) valve. The assembly is mounted on castors for ease of movement.

FT94LT-60 15s @ 50 l/hr 
FT94LT-61 30s @ 50 l/hr 
FT94LT-62 2s @ 50 l/hr

Holding tubes can also be provided to suit your holding time and flow rate requirements. Please contact us with your specific requirements.

Key Features & Benefits

Key Features

  • Indirect heating, tube-in-tube UHT heat exchanger system
  • Throughputs from 30 to >100 l/hr (dependent on conditions)
  • Process temperatures up to 150°C
  • Touchscreen control for ease of use
  • Continuous operation
  • Capable of aseptic operation
  • Fully instrumented
  • Preheating by vacuum steam
  • Main heating by steam
  • Tubular heat exchanger
  • Controlled product preheat option
  • Automatic product divert with temperature option
  • Hygienic connections
  • Built-in clean-in-place (CIP)
  • Sterilisation in place (SIP) option
  • Simple linkage to sterile filling bench
  • USB data logging option
  • Electronic flow meter option

Benefits

  • Cost-effective laboratory system
  • Compact design and easy installation
  • Low product hold-up (can operate with as little as 15l process batches)
  • Suitable for producing large batches of material for extensive product testing
  • Rapid startup
  • Designed for easy integration into a process line
  • Links directly to sterile filling bench
  • Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology
  • Chemical
  • Cosmetics & Personal Care
  • Education & Academics
  • Food & Beverage
  • Oil & Gas
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Powders & Pigments / Coating
ArmfieldThe Armfield Industrial Division designs and manufactures research & development systems, primarily for the food, beverage, dairy, edible oil and pharmaceutical industries. Used by many of the world's leading corporations, Armfield systems enable researchers and product developers to replicate full-scale industrial manufacturing processes on a miniature-scale in the laboratory.
[Armfield, Miniature, Scale, Research, Development, R&D, Technology, FT94LT, HTST, UHT, Mini, Pilot, System]