Weston's Cider

Screwpress replacement, a race against COVID and the apple harvest

Weston's Cider

The Customer
H Weston & Son

The Problem
Herefordshire-based H Weston & Son have produced award-winning cider for 140 years.

Large volumes of are involved in the washing and processing of apples in the production of cider, resulting in an effluent sludge make of approximately 50m3 per day at the H Weston & Son production facility.

The family-owned business uses traditional methods in its cider making process, including screw presses, one of which was proving problematic.

An old screw press, which was used for sludge dewatering, had become mechanically unreliable and passed a lot of solids back into the effluent plant as the fines in the filtrate often passed through the screen. The cake dry solids were only in the region of 15 – 16 %.

The ongoing use of the screw press, which was proving unreliable and expensive to maintain, could not be relied upon to process the next apple harvest…the race was on to deliver a solution.

The solution
The new dewatering solution needed to integrate the company’s existing onsite effluent treatment plant which involved physio chemical treatment, DAF and an advanced biological treatment process.

The dewatering solution had the added complication of having to be delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made to trial a Hiller DP31-422 Decapress Centrifuge on the H Weston & Son site in the form of a rental unit. The results spoke for themselves:

• Cake solids increased to the 25 – 29% dry solids range
• Centrate was less than 50 ppm
• From a highly variable feed solids of 1 – 6% ds
• Feed rate 2 – 5 m3/hr

Following the trial MSE Hiller installed a new DP31-422VABD with an FWA600 fully automatic liquid polymer make up unit which was completed in July 2020. This was all done in a COVID-19 secure environment and in time for the next apple harvest!

A delighted H Weston & Son’s plant manager at site reported that “the installation has worked exceptionally well just in time for the 2020 Apple harvest.”

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