Innovative wine industry company installs compressor package in record time.
Our client VAF Memstar is based in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. They offer innovative wine stabilisation and clarification solutions to the wine industry that filter out undesirable compounds in wines, improving their visual appearance, shelf stability, taste and quality. These filtration solutions focus on either removal or reduction of compounds and are offered for rent or purchase. They also have mobile micro scale units for trial assessments. As well as winemakers, their customers are also companies that make beer, cider, kombucha, and spirits.
VAF Memstar’s initial need came as part of their growth strategy. In their planned relocation to a bigger facility, they needed to purchase new equipment as part of the overall upgrade to their operations. Nishanth Raman, Design Engineer at VAF Memstar, collaborated with Sullair Oil-Free Specialist Jean-Philippe Leclercq over the equipment they required. “We didn’t have air compressor units at our facility before,” Nishanth said. “We moved into a new facility, and we had new requirements that demanded compressed air. Being involved in the wine industry it was essential for oil-free rather than the traditional oil-injected compressor.” They were also clear that they wanted an oil-free compressed air package that operated with low noise levels.
The VAF Memstar system offers its customers a unique membrane based solution that filters liquids down to the molecular level. This process removes macroscopic impurities (things you can see) as well as unwanted chemical components (things you can’t see) that can appear during production and affect the taste of the end product. Compressed air is key to the filtration process, as it’s used for filter membrane testing and drying and to operate the automation systems on their systems. Because air comes into direct contact with the wet components (filter membranes) in their systems, the compressed air must be oil-free and safe for use in food and beverage applications.
Nishanth explained the importance of this for their company. “When any foreign fluid, be it liquid or gas, comes into contact with a food product – in our case, wine – it has to meet certain quality specifications which are overseen by the AWRI. When you’re involved in the food and beverage industry you must meet those requirements for the consumer’s safety and peace of mind. Oil-free is the only guarantee – only then can you allow the air to be in contact with the wine.”
We supplied an SRL11 oil-free scroll compressor, a 500L air receiver, pre, post and activated carbon filters, and a CRDii050 refrigerated dryer. The solution was tailor made to their needs because they had specific time frames, and had to be built around their budget and relocation priorities.
Flawless delivery was crucial as the customer had understandably high expectations about the equipment arriving on time to their new bigger facility, with minimal disruptions to their workflow. We were able to fulfill this expectation and the customer was happy to have had their needs met swiftly and seamlessly. After the initial order was placed in late April, the entire process from delivery to operation took less than 6 weeks – which is exceptionally fast by industry standards! The equipment was delivered on site for the customer to then coordinate the install themselves, at their request.
“Sullair is one of the few OEMs who offer a solution in the compressed air oil-free domain”
Their requirement for oil-free compressed air made Sullair the obvious choice for the customer, given the known reliability and performance of our scroll compressors and the provision of certified Class Zero air from the supplied equipment. Because of the technical skill of our client’s team, they were able to install the equipment themselves, with Sullair on standby to offer full support as needed during that process.
“Sullair is one of the few OEMs who offer a solution in the compressed air oil-free domain,” says Nishanth. “We decided to go with them because of their products and pricing. So far, we’ve had no issues with the compressor.” VAF Memstar will also expand their set up to increase their capabilities moving forward. “We’ve decided to add another piece of equipment from Sullair, so will produce nitrogen which will be even more versatile for us.” Oil-free equipment is imperative for many food and beverage operators, and being able to evolve existing set ups makes for good business. Nishanth explains, “we’re always striving for ways to better handle products, so our customers can produce better quality wine.”