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This thesis is part of a research study by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), aiming energy savings by producing milk and whey concentrates instead of milk powders, whose production process is highly energy intensive.
Although the new proposal is more sustainable, higher logistic efforts are likely to be necessary. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the trade-off between quality level of the product and logistic costs throughout the whole supply chain, and for that purpose, a simulation study has been implemented using the software Plant Simulation.
The current process for powders has been compared to 4 alternative processes for concentrates; which combined with two parameters (delivery frequency and cooling temperature) generate 16 different scenarios.
In order to design the simulation model, a top-down approach is used, allowing to independently model each of the processes involved, as well as to easily modify the model for more advanced stages of the bio-processing research. The simulation model is highly focused on individual batch quality, by means of quality prediction models, and batch traceability, both intrinsic to the model and its dynamic behavior (programmed by methods).
Finally, the simulation outcomes for each scenario, i.e. average product quality and total costs, have been compared to the powders reference scenario.
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