First Milk

Maxsys churns out 7.5% fuel consumption savings at leading UK cheese producer

First Milk is the UK’s largest dairy farming co-operative. The £500 million turnover business has three operating divisions: Milk, Cheese and Ingredients. The First Milk Cheese Company’s Haverfordwest creamery has fitted the Maxsys Fuel Systems energy saving devices to its three oil fired steam-raising boilers resulting in an impressive 7.5% fuel consumption saving and a return-on-investment in less than one year.

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The challenge

The Haverfordwest creamery has been operational since 1930 and began cheese production in the 1960s. Currently, the site manufactures over 20,000 tonnes of cheese for a number of major retail customers in addition to 35,000 tonnes of whey products.

The First Milk ethos is to combine the integrity of traditional British dairy farming with the commercial vision and strength necessary to compete in an industry with changing consumer demands, increased international competition and a competitive retail market.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of our operations,” explains general Manager Paul Rowe. “With ever increasing energy costs to satisfy the demand for process steam we looked at installing fuel saving technology at the site.”

The solution

Following a site survey by Maxsys and subsequent receipt of a proposal, the company looked at the advantages of fitting the Fuel Systems to its three heavy fuel oil fired steam-raising boilers at Haverfordwest.

“We looked at the proposal from Maxsys in further detail, and following visits to a number of existing Maxsys users it became apparent that other companies were seeing major benefits.”

The Haverfordwest creamery houses one Ruston Thermax boilers (rated at 25,000lb/hr) and two fully packaged Byworth YSZ11250 boilers (rated at 25,000lb/hr). All three are fired on heavy fuel oil. The plant operates 24/7 with all of the boilers on-line to cover periods of high demand. Maxsys supplied and fitted three bespoke Fuel Systems to the boilers. Fuel metering was already in place but water meters required installing prior to the project commencing.

The outcome

Meter readings were gathered three times a day by First Milk for the duration of the project, with fuel, water and fumes data being collected. The results identified that average oil consumption was 7.5% lower than predicted when the Maxsys Fuel Systems were installed.

“The project was put together on the basis that it would provide a significant return on the capital invested and in fact the project paid back in just under a year,” says Paul Rowe. “Maxsys were confident that First Milk would save a minimum of 5% on our fuel spend, so naturally we are delighted with the actual result of 7.5% and it fully justifies the decision we made to ask Maxsys to work with us. The dairy industry is extremely competitive and it’s crucial that we invest in the latest technology to maintain our leading position. First Milk is also clearly leading the way with investments to reduce energy and CO2 emissions. We have our own environmental targets to meet and this project has provided a significant boost.”

The impact of energy prices means the food and drink sector knows that it needs to continue to be proactive about energy management. Working with the team at Haverfordwest was a real pleasure for Maxsys as it was clear they were very committed to improving energy efficiency and reducing their CO2 emissions.

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