Meet the innovators: OMVE Netherlands

Published: 12-11-2015

New technologies are enabling soft drink, juice and dairy producers to more efficiently and safely test product innovations at pilot scale. OMVE Netherlands develops those pilot-scale processing lines. Michael Coopman, CEO at OMVE: “We are continuously working on new, tailor made solutions for the beverage industry.”

OMVE is specialized in small-scale processing equipment for R&D and pilot projects in the food industry. The company mainly develops equipment for liquid food testing at lab scale (10 to 50 liters per hour) and pilot scale (50 to 200 liters per hour). The equipment is used by large Local companies and multinationals.

“No innovative food company can do without a pilot plant these days,” said Michael Coopman. “Over the past two decades most beverage manufacturers have invested in such facilities. OMVE has kept pace with these developments and has specialized in the necessary test equipment for pumpable products. We collaborate closely with our clients and develop customized solutions for them. After all, no two processes are exactly the same.”

There are clear advantages to using a pilot plant. Coopman listed them: “It enables companies to build up expertise; a pilot plant makes testing more flexible; you can run several tests per day; it’s easier to try out small adjustments to the process; you waste less product; production lines can keep running without any downtime; and cleaning and maintenance don’t affect production either.”

Also, time-to-market for new products is expected to get shorter and shorter. Which is why even pilot plants have to run more efficiently. But there’s more. Modeling of processes can be improved too. Food companies are optimizing their pilot plants in terms of both set-up and computerization.

“We’re getting ever better at simulating the real situation on a small scale,” Coopman continued. “As a consequence, the processes in the pilot plant more closely resemble industrial-size processes. Our innovations may not revolutionize the industry, but we are pushing boundaries by making effective adjustments and improvements to existing lab-scale equipment and software. We’re working on new filtration and evaporation equipment too. We’re optimizing those processes at lab scale. Every time, we see it as a challenge to create a perfect small-scale version of the large-scale process,” Coopman ended proudly.

Meet Michael Coopman in this video: