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Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd.
CFD Application for Dairy Products:
Scientific Exploration for Great Tastes

Morinaga Milk Industry develops and manufactures dairy and non-dairy food products. Their broad product range includes milk, cheese, dairy beverages, yogurt, ice cream, infant formula, and much more. They also produce functional ingredients such as Lactoferrin and Bidobacterium longum. The corporate motto is to serve as “your partner for great taste.” To fulfill their commitment, Morinaga Milk has pursued technological advancement to help them produce high-quality, healthy, and reliable products.

Figure 2: Comparison of rotational directions for Impeller 1 (Plot: Experimental result, Line: CFD result, Normal rotation: N.R., Reverse rotation: R.R.). Click to enlarge.

Figure 3: Velocity vector distributions of r-θ
plane and r-z plane (Impeller 1 Normal rotation). Click to enlarge. ​

Figure 4: Temperature distributions of r-z planes (Impeller 1, θ = 0º, t = 600s). Click to enlarge.

Figure 5: Heat flux distributions of the wall surfaces and temperature distributions of r-θ
planes (Impeller 1, z = 0.14m, t = 600s). Click to enlarge.

Figure 6: Shear stress distributions of the wall surfaces and r-θ planes (Impeller 2 and Impeller 3). Click to enlarge.

The analysis variables consisted of three different types of impellers: Impeller 1 consisted of the upper blade that rotated in the direction of the scraping force acting towards the wall. The lower blade rotated in the direction of the scraping force acting towards the bottom surface. Impeller 2 uses the lower blade with the attachment angle reversed. Impeller 3 offsets the phases of the upper and lower blades by 90º. Considering the effects of both normal and reverse rotations, Morinaga Milk calculated six patterns and compared them.

As shown in Figure 2, the experimental and simulation results for Impeller 1 agree well. Morinaga Milk engineers determined that the heat flux was magnified by the flow towards the wall generated at the upper blade with the reverse rotation. They also found that the homogeneity of the fluid was improved by the downward flow generated around the lower part of the upper blade and by the upward flow from the edge of the lower blade. Something else they learned was that they could minimize shear stress and shaft power by deliberately creating a phase difference between the upper and lower blades (Figures 3-6). Morinaga Milk applied this theory to a larger operating tank and successfully enhanced tank performance, production efficiency and product quality.

The Usefulness of Result Visualization

Upon completing the analyses, Morinaga Milk found that the laminar flow simulation results matched the experimental results more closely than anticipated. Visualizing the results helped explain the phenomena. For example, the scraping effect of a larger-sized impeller was smaller than predicted, and the flow fluctuated significantly. Visualization also helped the engineers explain their findings to the larger team.

Finding a Solution for Efficient Mixing and Sterilization

Now Morinaga Milk uses CFD to analyze other tanks. One of these evaluations focuses on operational speed and energy efficiency, in which they are looking at the characteristics of the mixed substance and mixing efficiency.

They are also using CFD analyses to simulate the airflow around food as it is being transferred to packages. This includes looking at the flow of hot air used to sterilize the inside surfaces of packages. The hot air, above 200ºC, was thought to immediately increase the temperature of the packaging. However, the analysis results show that the packaging temperature actually decreases, as the hot air ingests cold air from the surroundings. Visualizing the analysis results helps the Morinaga Milk engineers improve their understanding of the physical phenomena and innovate improvements.

Effective Post-processor Visualization

When SC/Tetra was first introduced, Morinaga Milk engineers struggled more with using 3D CAD to create the analysis models than they did actually using the analysis tool. Working in 3D was completely different compared to the 2D machine layouts they were used to working with.

Morinaga Milk engineers are eager to continue learning about additional capabilities in SC/Tetra that they can use for new analyses. They are happy with the technical support being provided. They are also amazed at the post-processor visualization capabilities in SC/Tetra, which has improved with every version upgrade. “I like the streaming arrows and other post-processor functions in SC/Tetra. They are visually clear and nicely illustrated,” says Mr. Miyamoto.

Challenge for More Complicated Analyses

Morinaga Milk is eager to tackle new challenges using CFD. They consider analyzing yogurt mixed with fruits, and ice cream mixed with nuts and sauces. Dispersion of air bubbles and crystal growth occur simultaneously during the manufacturing processes for these products. Although this is a highly complicated phenomenon to analyze, Morinaga Milk engineers believe that CFD will enable them to mathematically explore how manufacturing processes can be modified to improve taste and quality of these dairy products. “The analyses we are trying to undertake will be complicated. These will involve three-phase multiphase flow. But we are counting on SC/Tetra capability for generating accurate results,” says Mr. Miyamoto.

These CFD applications at Morinaga Milk demonstrate their analytical pursuit of greater taste. SC/Tetra has played a significant role, and it is expected to continue to advance product development at Morinaga Milk.

​​*All product and service names mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
*Contents and specifications of products are as of November 31, 2014 and subject to change without notice. We shall not be held liable for any errors in figures and pictures, or any typographical errors in this brochure.

Company Details


Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd.
Founded 1917 (as Nippon Rennyu Co., Ltd.)
Reorganized 1949 (as Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd.)
Businesses Production and sales of milk and other dairy and non-dairy food products
Representatives Akira Ohno, Chairman
Michio Miyahara, President
Location Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
(Head Office)
Capital Approx. 21 billion JPY
(as of March 31, 2014)



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