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Date: 05/12/2018

It’s time the unsung hero of New Zealand Dairy Farms, the stainless-steel milk vat, had a makeover. Tru-Test Dairy Solutions is pleased to announce several practical and technical improvements to our range of farm milk holding tanks (vats). 

A lot of thinking has gone on behind New Zealand-made milk vats. Tru-Test Dairy Solutions is New Zealand’s largest manufacturer building around 90 percent of all farm vats sold throughout New Zealand.

The newest evolution of farm milk holding tanks (vats) are now being manufactured and rolled out of our specialist production plant in Normanby, South Taranaki.

Why are we doing this? Demands from international trading partners for raw New Zealand milk to be cooled faster on farm to preserve quality means the modern milk vat now needs an additional 30-40 percent more cooling capacity to comply with the new MPI regulations. (MPI milk cooling regulations require milk must be cooled to 6°C within two hours from the end of milking.) What’s more, the move toward greater operational efficiencies on farm and in the plant, such as larger herds, larger sheds and shorter milking times combine to mean much higher flow rates into the vat.

Surely we could give this steadfast guardian of milk a boost? The research and development team at Tru-Test Dairy Solutions began to look at ways
in which innovations to the standard vats might better meet the demand of increased flow as well as assisting with milk cooling in the face of tighter regulation.

Without a doubt, getting milk to a low temperature quickly is now more critical. Unfortunately, increasing refrigeration capacity alone is not the ideal solution. As milk approaches 4°C any extra cooling can cause ice to form. So, challenged with removing heat from milk inside the vat faster, we wanted to make sure all cooling surfaces work as efficiently as possible.

What’s new with milk vats?

Agitator paddles have been redesigned, including changes to the paddle diameter and shape of the leading edge have shown significant benefits ensuring the flow of milk is better directed across the cooling pad. A great deal of effort has gone into making sure hygiene is maintained and that the new design cleans just as well as the old design, it can also be retrofitted into older vats.

Cooling pads are bigger. We have increased the cooling pad size for the sidewall of 21,000L and 29,000L vats by 25 percent. This provides a greater amount of refrigerated surface or heat transfer area to cool milk on contact.

Suction line heat exchangers can be installed below the vat to improve the efficiency of the refrigeration process. (The suction line heat exchanger is an additional component in the refrigeration system which manages the flow of liquid gas and vapour around the system.)

Factory-fitted Polar Wraps can be secured snugly with a simple, ingenious stainless steel lip to hold the Polar Wrap in place and prevent moisture build up between the vat surface and the Polar Wrap on new 7,500L, 9400L & 16,000L vats.

All these changes tie up as a package to help farmers keep up with the ever-increasing cooling demands. As always, our vats are made from quality T304 stainless steel with laser-welded base using direct expansion refrigeration pad technology.

If you are wanting reliable on farm refrigeration, pre-cooling, new or quality second-hand vats, suited to your farm and your budget talk to Tru-Test Dairy Solutions on  0800 878 8378 or contact us now.