Case Study: Wine Filtration

Project Background

Our customer is a leader in producing high quality wines with small winery methods. A fundamental process for wine production is filtration. Filtration of wine can enhance its appearance, shorten aging time, lighten color, make the wine more stable, and reduce the chance of re-fermentation while in the bottle. Adding “polish” to a wine’s appearance is a choice many wine producers make. 

Our customer needed a repeatable and automatic filtration system for the finish and stabilization of wine transferring to two different filler systems with maximum automation.

Project Hurdles

When it comes to designing and installing any type of filtration system, a clean system and repeatable processes are of the upmost importance. A filtration skid will provide optimization and reduce the chance of wine oxidation. Continuous filter integrity testing through pressure differential monitoring is required for repeatable filtration. The proper application of steam disinfection can promote longevity of process filters and reduce operating costs. 

It is important for the design to consider safety, efficiency, and drainability within the design of the system assembly. The assistance of inert gas at the end of the CIP and/or sterilization cycle must be considered to promote evacuation of remaining water or condensate within the system prior to the start of the wine bottling production process.

Wine Filtration Case Study

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Solution

Our customer selected Placer Process Systems as the strategic partner to design and install a filtration system that would increase the repeatability of their filtration process prior to sending the wine to the fillers. The core of the system included two sets of sanitary pre and final filter housings with different styles of filter elements. Each filter housing included isolation valves, vents and sight glasses. The skid included a small steam generator that allowed system disinfection under pressure and sanitary drain traps to keep condensate from pooling and cold spots developing during sanitation. Following steam disinfection, the system rinsed with water for cooling then purged with nitrogen to help remove all residual water and protect against contamination before wine transfer.

Finally, the system with automatic valves would receive a start signal from one of two fillers and through the automation system allow the transfer of wine from storage to filling. As transfer occurred, the system monitored the differential pressure of all filters using six onboard transmitters that provided indication when the pre and post filters had collected enough solids that an element change was required.

Results

The customer was able to receive and operate a reliable and clean filtration system where each set of filters could rinse, steam, drain and dry independent of each other. This allowed the transfer to each of the two fillers to stop and start independent of each other. The system controls, sensors, and valves allowed the operating program to safely operate and drain the system with minimal operator input. This addition of the filtration system has