HST Maschinenbau GmbH, part of the Krones Group since 2014, is able to significantly reduce operational costs and improve environmental performance. It draws upon decades of experience in developing and manufacturing high-pressure homogenizers and piston pumps. These products complement Krones’ process technology portfolio with a key process step for producing milk, alternative dairy products, juices, and other foods at all the required throughput ranges. In 2019, HST successfully launched its most powerful high-pressure homogenizer, the 355-kW HL8, which can handle 55,000L/h at a homogenizing pressure of 200 bar.
The HLI series has been added to complement the proven HL range. These new 55 to 90-kW systems can process up to 13,000L/h at 200 bar. All three models are made available at its launch: HLI55, HLI75, and HLI90, in the same configuration as the HL series and includes an option that fulfils the European Union’s ATEX* (Equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres) Directives. Additional models for the lower output range up to 45 kW e.g. for 5,000L/h at 200 bar) are currently in development. The systems in the new series each consist of a three-piston high-pressure pump with a homogenizer valve at the outlet.
Lower energy and media consumption
The “I” in HLI stands for “integrated” and underscores design changes implemented in the new series. A compact design eliminates the need for additional units or coolants resulting in a substantial reduction of operational costs for media and electrical power during production. To elaborate, users of the HLI series are able to save as much as 4,500kWh in electrical power and up to 900m3 of cooling water per year (based on 6,000 operating hours per year). Meanwhile, a closed, space-optimised piston lubrication function further reduces the consumption of cooling water for the pistons by more than 30% compared with conventional piston lubrication.
In addition, by using the right seal system, outstanding service life can be achieved even under critical process conditions such as UHT (ultra-heat technology) or aseptic. The homogenizer valve has a crucial impact on both product quality and homogenizing pressure, especially required energy input. Shelf lives of up to one year may be achieved and two main areas of improvement are noted: an optimised flow condition allowing the same product to have a lower homogenizing pressure as well as a hygenic seal design that enables the new homogenizer valve to achieve top CIP cleaning outcomes with minimal cleaning solution. Certainly, all contact areas with the product are in accordance with latest hygiene standards.
The HLI series can be configured for either aseptic or non-aseptic processing. Homogenization under aseptic conditions isnecessary whenever heat treatment, e.g. UHT negatively impacts the product’s physical stability. The aseptic models of HST homogenizers use proven technology which entail a series of sterile barriers. High-grade temperature and flow-metering capabilities are available upon request. HST Maschinenbau GmbH also offers an option for generating sterile water for all homogenizers that reduces energy consumption by more than 90% compared with condensate generation.