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Armfield - Miniature-Scale Research & Development Technology - FT74XTS HTST/UHT System

A miniature-scale HTST/UHT processing system optimised for product-development use. The FT74XTS service unit will enable research and development teams to produce high-quality samples of new products using minimal ingredients.

Many features including Pasteurisation throughputs up to 50 l/hr (plate heat exchanger).

This system is highly flexible and has a wide range of options.

The FT74XTS service unit provides the services, controls and instrumentation to run the Armfield miniature-scale heat exchangers as described below.The heat exchangers fit on top of the service unit and can be interchanged easily in just a few minutes.

The service unit comprises a feed tank, a product pump, instrumentation for the heat exchangers and an electrically powered hot water boiler with a recirculation pump. It is controlled by an integral programmable logic controller (PLC) with a high-resolution full-colour touchscreen panel providing the operator interface.

A novel feature is the feed pump, which has two speed ranges. A low speed range for UHT processing and a higher range for clean-in-place (CIP) or for processing at higher throughputs and lower temperatures. The flow rate is fully variable in each range. The feed pump is a hygienic progressing cavity pump controlled by a state-of-the-art frequency inverter, which compensates for any slip in the pump drive motor. Thus the flow rate of the product can be determined to an accuracy sufficient for many purposes directly from the pump speed setting. This calculated flow rate is displayed on the screen.

An electromagnetic flow meter option is also available (FT74-40).

The standard FT74XTS permits the temperature history to be recorded onto a USB datastick for subsequent analysis. Also available is an advanced data logging system with software, enabling temperatures, product pressure, pump speed etc to be recorded directly onto a Windows PC (not provided). The accompanying software provides a range of sophisticated real-time graphical and tabular display facilities. See for more details.

Available models

The FT74-30-MkIII is the standard plate heat exchanger, comprising a regeneration section, a heating section and a cooling section. It is based on miniature 316 stainless steel plates specifically developed for this application. The chevron pattern mimics the turbulence and shear rate of industrial-scale systems. Holding tubes of 2s and 15s (@10l/hr) are provided as standard.

A number of options can be provided to enhance the performance of the standard plate heat exchanger. These options involve additional plate configurations and are easy to retrofit by the user.

The FT74-31 Homogeniser interconnecting plate can be fitted into the regeneration section and permits connections to an upstream (ie before heat treatment) homogeniser to be made. It includes a temperature sensor on the homogeniser return, which can be displayed on the FT74-44 data logger. The FT74-32 Homogeniser interconnecting plate enables the homogeniser to be connected after the heat treatment (downstream).

Note: only one interconnecting plate can be fitted at a time.

The FT74-33 Two-stage cooling option provides a complete additional cooling stage. The second cooling stage can be used in conjunction with a chilled water/glycol supply (eg Armfield FT63) for the best possible product cooling. Output temperatures below 5°C are possible, dependent on the product and the flow rate. An interconnecting link is provided to permit single-stage cooling.

The FT74-34 Additional heating option provides extra plates in both the heating and regeneration sections. This is useful for difficult products at high temperatures, or where higher throughputs are desired.

The FT74-20-MkIII is the standard tubular heat exchanger, and uses a series of concentric 316 stainless steel tubes to heat and cool the product. A gentle preheat can be achieved by adjusting the hot water flow to the first two tubes. Four further heating tubes are used and both 2s and 15s (@ 10 l/hr) holding tubes are provided as standard.

The four cooling tubes can be used either as a single cooling stage, or split into two stages of two tubes each for enhanced cooling when used in conjunction with a cooling water supply and a chilled water/glycol supply (eg Armfield FT63). The FT74-20-MkIII can be upgraded to the FT74-24-MkIII (below) at a later date.

The FT74-24-MkIII is an extended version of the FT74-20-MkIII, with a total of eight cooling tubes (4+4). When used with a chilled water/glycol supply on the second four tubes, and with the static mixer options, this heat exchanger can give product output temperatures below 10°C, dependent on product, flow rate and processing temperature.

The FT74-21 is a set of static mixers for two tubes, and can be used with either tubular heat exchanger to improve the heat transfer. This is particularly useful when trying to get maximum heating or cooling with viscous products. Multiple sets can be used to optimise both heating and cooling performance. Additional static mixers can be added at any time.

When working with particulate products and the tubular heat exchanger, the standard mechanical back pressure valve can be replaced by the FT74-22 to give much more stable flow and back pressure. (Requires a supply of compressed air).

The FT174-41 is used in place of the feed hopper. The suction feed assembly allows the system to be connected to a feed tank. The assembly includes an in-line level sensor to protect the feed pump from running dry.

The FT74-45 is an additional heat exchanger, which can be used with the FT74-20-MkIII or FT74-30-MkIII to sterilise the complete system including the cooling section. The heating power is derived from the hot water boiler used in the FT74XTS. It can also be used to link to and sterilise an aseptic filler such as the Armfield FT83.

Note: If using an in-line homogeniser, the additional cooling tubes of the FT74-24-MkIII, or holding times in excess of 45s, then additional measures will be required to completely sterilise the system. Please consult Armfield with your specific requirements.

The FT174-53 adds an automatic water feed to the suction feed assembly (FT174-41). Should a low feed-level situation occur then the unit can switch to a pressurised water feed automatically. This therefore means that the operation of the HTST system is not interrupted.

Comprising three different holding tube coils, packaged together in an insulated canister, the FT74-65 can be easily configured to provide seven different holding times between 30s and 120s (@10 l/hr). Intermediate holding times can be achieved by varying the feed flow rate. The variable holding tube can be used with all the plate and tubular heat exchangers described above. It is supplied with an additional temperature sensor to enable the product temperature from the holding tube to be displayed on the screen.

Key Features & Benefits

Key Features

  • Touchscreen full colour control panel (high-resolution widescreen (800 x 480px))
  • Graphical display of temperatures
  • 32 storage memories (presets) 
  • Temperature data can be saved to USB datastick (as standard)
  • Advanced data logging and display option for saving to PC
  • Calculated flow display (as standard) – Electromagnetic flow sensor option
  • Hold time displayed
  • f0 display
  • Progressing cavity pump
  • Compact, mobile, easy to install
  • UHT throughputs up to 20 l/hr for product and 120 l/hr for CIP
  • Pasteurisation throughputs up to 50 l/hr (plate heat exchanger)
  • Process temperatures up to 150°C
  • On-board pressurised hot water circulator
  • Variable holding tube option
  • Fully enclosed hoseable cabinet
  • Interchangeable pressed chevron plate heat exchanger and tubular heat exchanger
  • Regeneration stage (plate heat exchanger)
  • Fully instrumented
  • Rapid switch-over between heat exchangers
  • Feed-tank level sensor
  • Two-stage cooling options
  • Manual preheat temperature control


  • Requires little space and installs quickly
  • Low product hold-up
  • Carries out tests on a few litres of product
  • Many products can be tested with versatile plate or tubular system
  • Can form part of a complete processing line (aseptic and non-aseptic)
  • 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, FT74XTS, HTST, UHT, System]