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Dairy company, First Milk partners with Byworth to increase plant efficiency

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First Milk chose Byworth Boilers Ltd to complete a delivery programme to ensure they received the benefits of two new fuel efficient boilers and associated plant to replace their old boiler plant which they deemed no longer economical to operate.

Byworth’s  scope of work included:

  • Design & manufacture
  • Delivery, installation and commissioning
  • After sales services

Each project is bespoke, however,  Byworth’s goal is always to to complete the project in accordance with the customer’s programme/project milestones.

The delivery programme was extremely important to  First Milk who set a strict completion deadline to facilitate the business gains associated with utilising LPG as the “primary” operating fuel for the boilers.

Byworth successfully completed the following key project activities:

  • Design, supply and install a new portal frame cladded building to form the boiler house
  • Delivery, offload & positioning the boilers, hotwell, blowdown vessel and associated apparatus
  • Erect the boiler mounted chimneys
  • Connection of mains water to softener, hotwell tank, boiler sample cooler & blowdown vessel cooling kit
  • Connection of blowdown lines from the boilers to blowdown vessel
  • Connection of condensate lines from the boilers to hotwell tank
  • Connection of existing condensate lines from the Dairy to the hotwell
  • Fuel  pipework (LPG and Diesel) to both boilers
  • Steam lines from the boilers to steam header
  • Completed process steam mains from the dedicated steam header within the boiler house to existing process “tie in” points within the Dairy
  • Commission the complete boiler plant

steam boiler installation

The customer’s point of view…

Tell us about yourself and what your role is at First Milk?

“My name is Tony Carter, I am the Group Project Engineer for First Milk, my role involves me managing all the larger projects at our sites.

“We’ve got creameries at Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, Aspatria in the Lake District and in Scotland on the Mull of Kintrye at Campbeltown, as well as on the Isle of Arran.”

What type of dairy products do First Milk produce?

“First Milk is farmer owned and our members supply us with approximately 1 billion litres of milk per year.

“Our core business is the manufacture of high quality British cheeses. The by-product of cheese is whey, and that is concentrated onsite here at Campbeltown and then shipped to our other creamery in Cumbria where it’s then made into whey powder and sold into the food ingredient market.

“At the Campbeltown creamery we produce 3000 tons of cheese a year. The two other main creameries produce around 25000 tons of cheese per annum each.

dairy process
Mull of Kintyre cheddar – made at Campbeltown with the help of a Byworth boiler

What is the boiler’s purpose?

“The boiler’s purpose is to produce steam that is used across our cheese making process:

  • for cheese & whey manufacture
  • for a suite of heat exchangers that are required to heat up water
  • to clean all the process equipment at the end of each production run

We also use it to pasteurise the milk.”

“Efficient and reliable  boilers are crucial to our business.”

“The boilers are a key piece of kit that are required to produce the steam and keep the plant going.”

You’ve chosen to go with Byworth as your preferred manufacturer, but also supplier.  What was the reason behind that?

“We put out a tender for the boiler package to a number of boiler manufacturers and gave them all the opportunity to put forward a tender and quote for our needs.
“In First Milk’s view, we felt that Byworth offered the best package.
“Also, Byworth boilers are installed at our two other main creameries and have performed well, supported by good services levels from Byworth.”

“A full turnkey package”

A proven track record then?

“The after service, the training provided – it all comes following the service that Byworth offered us.

Would you call it a full turnkey solution?

“This boiler package that we’ve got at Campbeltown here, we would consider to be a full turnkey package – that includes the boilers and all the ancillary equipment, but also the boiler house – the prefab building, so yes, it’s included almost everything that we required.”

steam boiler installation

Has that made it easier for you?

“Yeah absolutely, from managing the project and the site being in such a remote area, it’s helped us immensely, and having the site team here.”

How do you feel the installation has gone so far?

“We’re very pleased with how the installation has gone, we’re on target to get the project completed on time which is absolutely key for us because we are looking to gain the benefits of running LPG gas on our new boilers in the new fiscal.”

Why have you decided to install two boilers instead of one?

“We looked at various types of boilers for the site here including biomass.
“But what we required was the flexibility to meet the fluctuating demand that the site requires. We have many peaks and troughs on the steam demand so having two boilers enables us to meet that demand.”

How does it manage the added flexibility?

“It gives us the flexibility to primarily run on one boiler and then the second boiler is there to boost and meet the peak demand in the steam demand.”

Could you use one boiler as a backup?

“Yes we could run on one, however Byworth have offered us the facility to be able to connect a hire boiler in, as and when we need to.
“So in terms of carrying out annual statutory inspections on the boilers, we can actually hire in a boiler and take one out of commission and have a full inspection carried out on it.”

Hire boiler at dairy

Does that mean no lost productivity?

“No lost productivity in any way whatsoever, so what that means is there is no impact to production. We can’t switch the supply of milk on and off as we please – when milk comes to site we’ve got to use it!”

Will the two new boilers help you achieve that?

“Yes absolutely, the boilers will offer us the reliability as well as the efficiency and the cost benefits for running on fuel efficient boilers.”

“The more efficiently we can run our operation, the more returns we can pass back to our farmer owners.”

What do the cost benefits look like to you and your industry? What does that mean?

“In terms of the cost benefits, having the boilers installed does help us to reduce the site running costs. The pound per ton it costs to produce cheese is then reduced.

“The more efficiently we can run our operation, then more returns we can pass back to our farmer owners.”

Tell us about Unity and why you’ve chosen to have that installed with the new boiler?

“Unity is a very user-friendly system. It gives us the ability to be able to carry out fault finding in a very fast and efficient way.

“If we do have a breakdown or an issue or a fault with a boiler, it will actually tell you straight away where this is.

“Not only that, but you can dial in remotely, you can monitor the boilers from your home if you really wanted to. But more so really, you can have notifications by phone or email to tell you if there is a problem with the boiler; they can then be dealt with right away.

“It also gives us the ability for Byworth to dial in and assist us with any fault finding issues that we may come across.”

steam boiler control
Screenshot of Unity’s homepage


Is it like having 24/7 support?

“It can give us that 24/7 support if we need it yes, but what’s better is its sequencing function; so you can switch between your ‘lead’ and ‘lag’ boilers as they call it.

How does the sequencing feature work?

“You always have a lead and a lag boiler. Your lead boiler generates most steam most of the time and then when you’ve got your peak demand, your lag boiler kicks in remotely and just tops up the additional steam that’s required to meet the production demand.”

What have Byworth been like to work with so far?

“Very good, I’m very pleased with how the project’s been managed and they’ve met all our criteria with delivery being on time and costs.”

An ideal supplier in that respect?

“An ideal supplier, yes, we would say that. We look forward to working with them, in partnership, for a long time.”

Would you recommend Byworth?

Yes I would.

A note to First Milk:

Byworth would like to take this opportunity to say many thanks to Tony Carter and all the staff at First Milk in Campbeltown, who were very accommodating, made us feel very welcome and have been an absolute pleasure to work with. Additionally – Eddie and Craig, Byworth’s Installation Engineer and Foreman, commented that it was one of the best onsite workshops they’ve ever worked in! – And to put that into perspective, they’ve worked at over 400 sites.

We look forward to working in partnership with them for years to come.

Eddie in Campbeltown’s onsite workshop
Craig is very particular with the set up of his tools – He was onsite for 4 weeks after all!