VIDA Project in Full Swing

Earlier this year, Wafilin Systems and its partners Westra RVS, Idee Techniek and Hellebrekers won a grant to develop a demo system for the concentration of milk on the farm. This grant is provided as part of the Horizon 2020 VIDA programme. The demonstration unit was scheduled to be set up at the Dairy Campus in Leeuwarden in October, but the project was delayed due to Covid-19 measures. Wafilin Systems remains positive, however, and expects that the container and skid can be set up this year so that we can start running demonstrations next year. This article describes the project’s progress and what it could mean for your business.

Project recap
Comprising an in-parlour system that reduces the milk by 50% in volume by the end of the milking process, this project combines our themes of water, dairy and energy with innovation. This innovation offers farmers and dairy producers many advantages, including a 50% reduction in transport from the farm to the producer. This effectively reduces both transport and energy costs. Another advantage of concentrating the milk at the farm is that it actively reduces C02 emissions, as the required storage and cooling capacity are also halved. As Wafilin Systems wants to contribute to a better world for future generations, this development is very important to us.

Delays
The demonstration project will be set up at the Dairy Campus in Leeuwarden. This research farm is linked to Wageningen University, but also has a milk delivery arrangement with Friesland Campina. We normally get a chance to show off our impressive technologies to the Dairy Campus’s various visitors. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible right now. Jos van Dalfsen, R&D Manager at Wafilin Systems: “The restrictions of pandemic makes it harder to organize live demonstrations at the Dairy Campus, which forms a great part of the dissemination activities of this project. We don`t expect to receive visitors at the moment, neither domestic nor international, nor do we expect that to change in the upcoming months, unfortunately. We therefore found other ways to conduct our demonstrations. Instead of arranging to demonstrate the system to visitors in person, we will do so virtually, through a live stream or video connection. We will still test and run the system live at the Dairy Campus, of course. Only the means of demonstration will be different. These plans are currently being developed in more detail.”

Demonstration phase
The demonstration phase at the Dairy Campus will show the viability of incorporating the Wafilin Systems milk concentration system into a farm’s production cycle in the milking parlour. Wafilin Systems is also eager to prove that the concentration process does not affect the quality of the milk. In essence, this patented process is a scaled-up version of a previous system to concentrate milk from a milking robot. The equipment we will be linking to the rotary milking parlour processes the milk of over 500 dairy cows. Concentration occurs immediately during the milking process, filtering out the water while retaining all the valuable components of the milk. These can then be used to produce various dairy products, such as yogurt or cheese.

Wafilin Systems wants to demonstrate the unique features of in-parlour milk concentration, a process not previously conducted at this scale in the Netherlands. What is really special is that this process takes place in parallel to milk production. Rapid concentration enables the milk to cool down and be ready for transport within the required time. This is unusual, as normally the milk isn’t concentrated until it arrives at the factory.

Future ambitions
The next step is to develop a more compact system that will fit in a shipping container, for transport and marketing within the Netherlands or across Europe. Wafilin’s demonstrations aim to reach a broader audience and introduce them to this unique concept. Jos van Dalfsen: “We hope the project will help us attract new potential clients and show them how the technology is incorporated into the milking parlour. We want to address their concerns and remove any doubts by demonstrating how well the system operates.”

Are you curious about the demonstration project or interested in receiving a live or live stream demonstration of the process? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jos van Dalfsen, Manager R&D, at: j.vandalfsen@wafilinsystems.nl.

This project was awarded by the VIDA project and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement nº 777795.

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