Brazil is one of the world’s top five consumer markets for milk and dairy products, and Selita is one of its leading dairy companies. “Healthy, tasty, and reliable” is how it describes its many products, which include butter, cheese, and yogurt, as well as fresh, UHT, and powdered milk. The health benefits of milk and dairy are well known: they typically provide almost a third of our recommended calcium intake, as well as a wide range of nutrients. For vegetarians, dairy is the main dietary source of vitamin B12.
Founded in Brazil’s southeastern state of Espírito Santo as a cooperative in 1938, Selita has weathered various storms over the years: from the end of government pricing and multinationals’ entry into the domestic market to the introduction of long-life milk, which threatened Selita’s own packaged milk product. In recent times, the company has grown and modernized, while maintaining its cooperative ideals, and has established itself as a firm consumer favorite.
In 2017, Selita began the construction of a huge new $25 million industrial park in Safra, not far from the Espírito Santo municipality of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim. The aim of the new facility was to allow the company to double its production capacity to 225,000 gallons per day while also reducing the amount of water and energy used compared to its previous plant. In financial terms, the target was to cut expenditures by $200,000 a month, but sustainability was also at the heart of the project. In addition to water and energy savings, other environmentally friendly initiatives included paving the access road to the plant with a by-product of the steel processing industry. The factory also uses state-of-the-art technology, including an automated production line.
Selita originally approached Güntner in Brazil with the intention of simply purchasing Güntner Air Coolers for the new plant, but Güntner responded with a proposal to supply the entire cooling system, including stratification and thermal accumulation tanks.
“The plan was basically to supply everything needed for an entire refrigeration system,” says Adriano Gonçalves da Silva, Technical Sales at Güntner in Brazil. “In addition to three stainless steel Güntner ECOSS 2.0 Condensers with built-in smart control systems, this included screw compressors, chillers, an oil cooling system, and an automated monitoring system.”
“Because the refrigeration system operates automatically and intelligently, monthly and annual energy consumption is reduced,” adds Gonçalves. “That goes from the loading of thermal energy in the tanks to optimizing the flow of the hydroalcoholic solution, to controlling RPM in the screw processors depending on demand.”
“BY OFFERING A COMPLETE SOLUTION FOCUSED ON OPTIMIZATION AND COST REDUCTION, WE CONVINCED SELITA THAT IN ADDITION TO HIRING A MARKET-LEADING COMPANY, IT WAS ALSO GETTING THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN VALUE FOR MONEY.”
ADRIANO GONÇALVES DA SILVA
TECHNICAL SALES, GÜNTNER
The new industrial park opened in October 2021, and was hailed by the company’s then president, Leonardo Monteiro, as a milestone in the cooperative’s history.
“THIS NEW PARK WILL ALLOW A SIGNIFICANT COST REDUCTION COMPARED TO OUR PREVIOUS FACTORY. IN ADDITION, WITH THE NEW EQUIPMENT AND MODERN STRUCTURE, IT WILL GENERATE MORE EFFICIENCY IN ALL PROCESSES.”
In addition to established products, the refrigeration plant will allow the manufacture of new ones, such as ricotta cheese. “The factory is sustainable in all its processes, and also increases productivity. We can produce an expanded range of products to meet the wishes of our consumers, while also bringing better remuneration for the members of our cooperative and significantly improving the cooling capacity of milk received from the cooperative members,” Moreira said.