The 500 cow, 180 hectare Lewis Dairy Company farm in Levin was experiencing a familiar problem – its milk wasn’t chilling down to the level required by MPI for pick up so farm owner Cam Lewis decided it was time to call in some refrigeration expertise from DTS.
Cam contacted DTS Lower North Island Area Sales Manager, Aaron Evans, for his advice. Aaron’s recommendation was to install a DTS ProCool Ice bank which builds a mass of ice between milkings for precooling.
Then, during milking, water is circulated through the ice reducing the water temperature to near zero degrees. The chilled water is passed through a double bank plate cooler to cool milk to approximately 4°C before it reaches the vat. Problem solved. Well nearly, says farm manager, Kyle Blenkhorn!
“Aaron had the ice bank installed himself between milkings which was really efficient – and came back and checked on it the next day,” Kyle says. As a refrigeration engineer with more than 20 years’ experience, Aaron tested the farm’s water and found it was too high in iron.
“So he recommended we put purified water in the ice bank and that improved the efficiency and quality of the ice,” Kyle says.
Problem number one solved – but there was still one more to go!
“What we didn’t realise was that we didn’t have sufficient capacity in our power supply when we added the ice bank,” Kyle says. “We would blow the fuse when the milking shed, refrigeration, effluent pump and ice bank were all working simultaneously. When the power supply was installed way back when it wasn’t designed to cope with all the new units.”
Aaron was promptly back on the farm, worked out the issue, and solved it by putting in a relay so the ice bank and effluent pump didn’t operate at the same time.
“What we have experienced in the past with sales people is that they are keen to make the sale, put the unit in, but they don’t provide the backup service as thoroughly as Aaron has,” says Kyle.
“Aaron is consistently following up with any issues. We were impressed with his ongoing communication to ensure it was doing what it should.”