A number of factors determine which homogenizer is the right one for your application. Here are six things you need to think about before you place your order.
- Ask yourself why you need a homogenizer. The benefits of homogenizing are many: longer shelf life, improved viscosity, reduced sedimentation in juice and better ice cream melting properties to name just four. But if it is primarily mixing rather than homogenization that you are after, then a mixer might be the better choice.
- Do you need a homogenizer, a pump – or both? If the outlet pressure is to be over 60 bar, then Tetra Pak will automatically define your homogenizer as a pump and you will receive a Line Pressure Relief Valve (LPRV). You can decide whether the pump should have one, two or no homogenizing stages. If you select no homogenizing stages, then the machine will work purely as a pump, for example to pump a product to the spray dryer.
- In most cases where the homogenizer is to work only as a homogenizer, a second stage is recommended for three reasons: to reduce vibrations, stabilize counter pressure and break up cluster formations.
- Will the homogenizer be placed upstream or downstream? If the homogenizer is to be placed downstream you will need the aseptic version.
- Is the product abrasive? If you are only processing milk, you don’t need to worry about wear-resistant materials. Tetra Pak’s standard homogenizer has stainless steel pistons and homogenizing device HD 100 in cobalt carbide. But if the product is abrasive you will need to consider which material to select for the pistons, valves and homogenizing device.The standard HD 100 is designed to offer you the best possible homogenizing effect at the lowest possible pressure. If you have large particles in the product it might be wise to select a HD 100 with wide gap for a longer lifetime.
- What kind of automation do you need? If you are going to run several products that require different pressures, then the option called recipe control (remote continuous setting) is a good choice that will eliminate the risk of human error when changing between recipes. Instead of manual pressure regulators on the machine, you simply set the pressure remotely from the control room. Another option is the automatic cooling water flow regulation with thermostat valve. With this option you minimize the cooling water consumption since the cooling water does not start to flush until the temperature is above a certain limit.
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