Haverfordwest Creamery supplies the retail foodservice and milk markets with a wide range of dairy products and ingredients in the UK and internationally. Farmer's co-operative, First Milk, owns the creamery.
The Creamery is a 24-hour operation employing 70 people and generates around £70 million a year in West Wales. It processes more than 260 million litres of local milk and turns it into 28,000 tonnes of cheese. The equipment upgrade had to be completed in just ten days during the creamery's annual maintenance shutdown in January.
First Milk chose refrigeration specialists J & E Hall to mastermind the upgrade of the equipment in the room, measuring 1500 cubic metres.
The carefully-co-ordinated project was led by J & E Hall's Cardiff service centre manager Tim Dalton.
"It was a retrofit," explained Tim. "We replaced the existing coolers with much more efficient and environmentally compliant modern units."
Four CM018 compressors, two belt-driven and two direct-driven, were removed and replaced with four air-cooled sets, supplied by Beacon Design and Engineering of Havant, Hampshire.
Two old Baltimore VXC46 and VXC58 condensers were removed from the roof of the building with a crane and then a six-fan KFVC1.4-234 unit, supplied by Coolers and Condensers of Fareham, was hoisted into place.
Port Engineering, of Milford Haven, carried out the lift and shift of the old compressor sets and arranged the cranage for the removal of the old condenser and the installation of the new one.
Barcool Refrigeration, of Swansea, assisted in the installation of refrigeration pipework. JBB electrical contractors, based in Loughborough, carried out the panelling, mains wiring to the compressor sets and revamp of the controls.
"It was a really smooth operation," said Tim. "We planned it almost to the hour. Ten days was the window we had to get the job done and we were actually ready to hand over a day early. The new equipment is more efficient, requires less maintenance and is much quieter than the old units."
“Our biggest challenge was in making sure the work was completed on time. We have a duty to process all of the milk which is delivered in from our dairy farming members. We receive approximately 800,000 litres of milk per day and process it into 80 tonnes of cheese.
"There was no scope to move or extend the 10-day shutdown. We had to work on getting the whole plant changed over within that time constraint. The way it was managed was impeccable. J & E Hall worked very closely with First Milk. In fact, everyone worked extremely well as one cohesive team."