A Northland summer and a DTS Ice Bank to the rescue!

Northland’s dry hot summers are a real challenge to keep milk chilled to MPI standards – particularly when the primary water source used for chilling is already at an ambient temperature of 25°C!

Milking 400 cows once a day, Fonterra Co-op farmer Mark Meyer thought he had future proofed himself when he bought a milk refrigeration unit in 2014. However, DTS milk vat temperature sensors picked up that his milk temperature after milking was borderline and a few warnings from Fonterra that his milk wasn’t under 6°C confirmed it.

Following weekend online research, Mark found three refrigeration companies including DTS that could provide a solution. He contacted all three on Monday morning and by that afternoon DTS Northland Area Sales Manager Arthur Harrison was onsite assessing Mark’s needs and providing a solution.

With a sale price agreed to, by the following week Arthur had arranged the installation of a DTS Ice Bank. The Ice Bank works by building a mass of ice between milkings. 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 6°C before it reaches the vat – the perfect solution for Mark.


“I was really impressed that within a week, Arthur and DTS had the Ice Bank installed,” says Mark.

“While there is an initial cost outlay, the DTS Ice Bank and back up service gives me peace of mind that we have future proofed our milk refrigeration system. It is really energy efficient as it automatically turns itself on and off as needed.”

From here, Mark has signed up to install the DTS Vat-Man - an approved solution for Fonterra’s fully subsidised Milk Vat Monitoring Systems rollout.

Vat-Man can be incorporated into any current vat and cooling system and is also flexible to farmers’ needs and budget with three vat management solutions available– Vat-Man Lite, Vat-Man Pro, and Vat-Man Auto. There is also the option of an in-shed screen to show key cooling data.

Regarding the two other refrigeration companies, Mark is still waiting to hear back from them!