With sterling volatility affecting SME pharmaceutical and food manufacturer costs around raw materials and ingredients, a prominent processing equipment supplier is highlighting the importance of flexibility in production lines.
The current weakness of the pound, combined with the rising cost of energy has put pressure on stakeholders in both sectors to optimise processes. In response to this demand, Alfa Laval has launched the MultiSystem, the latest development in its lab and plant equipment range.
A new cross-flow skid-mounted membrane filtration system that can be seamlessly connected to both up and downstream operations, it increases flexibility across a range of process applications. This includes the purification of proteins, sugar and starch, concentration of peptides and amino acid streams and recovery of water from condensates, as Ian Forrester, Business Unit Manager for Separation Systems at Alfa Laval, explains.
He said: “Until recently, membrane filtration systems would be designed bespoke to the needs of each operation, which can prove not only costly, but time-consuming and difficult to integrate into the wider process. At a time when bills are rising and raw materials and ingredients from abroad are rising with the falling pound, these inefficiencies can place SMEs under significant strain.
“For this reason, we have developed our new MultiSystem as a standardised offering for food, beverage and pharmaceutical applications. The launch of the MultiSystem marks the completion of our lab and plant equipment range, meaning businesses of all shapes and sizes are now able to benefit from membrane filtration technology.”
As the largest of the lab and plant equipment range, the MultiSystem has a test processing capacity from 100l/h to 6m³/h, and testing volume ranging from 500l/h up to several m³.
Crucially, the MultiSystem can test all filtration processes, including microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis in batch, semi-batch and continuous modes. Diafiltration mode is also available as standard.
The module is also compatible with Alfa Laval’s entire range of 8.0” spiral membranes, which can be quickly and easily interchanged, and features a PLC-based control system also enables automatic control of production sequences. This includes flow, VCF (volumetric concentration factor), temperature, tank level, pressure and diafiltration volume or ratio control.
Ian concluded: “The development process for the MultiSystem was undertaken with small and medium sized production lines in mind. The plant is capable of performing all of the key functions demanded of a filtration system, and can easily transition between these thanks its interchangeable membranes.”
“Adopting a more flexible, standardised approach to the design of process equipment will allow manufacturers to diversify their offerings and increase efficiency without the need to invest in multiple pieces of technology, facilitating not only cost saving, but an improved workflow.”
For more information on the Alfa Laval MultiSystem, visit: https://www.alfalaval.co.uk/products/separation/membranes/membrane-filtration-systems/multisystem/