Over the past 35 years and counting, Inter Cool Engineering has established itself as the leading milking equipment supplier in the North East and Northern Ireland, offering dairy farmers unbeatable sales, service and parts solutions for milk cooling systems. Irish Tractor & Agri touched base with founder / proprietor Gene Ormiston to get an update on this exceptional industry-leading operation.
Established in Mullagh, County Cavan in 1984, Inter Cool Engineering is one of Ireland’s premier suppliers of high-quality milk cooling equipment and parts, complementing a wide range of cost-effective products with service levels that cannot be beaten.
Catering for discerning dairy farmers both north and south of the border, the company is the main agent in Ireland for Mueller milk cooling systems and is also synonymous with market-leading condensing units, falling film chillers, LS chillers, pre-heaters and plate coolers, bulk milk tanks, cold rooms and air conditioning systems.
During the three-and-a-half decades since Inter Cool’s inception from humble beginnings, on the back of delivering a wholly customer-focussed service, the County Cavan headquartered enterprise has developed into one of the main players in the northern half of the island for milk cooling systems and a whole lot more besides.
As main agent for Mueller milk cooling systems, who offer dairy farmers a service contract facility on most milk cooling systems, Inter Cool stock a full range of Mueller spare parts as well as spare parts for all other makes. In addition to spare parts, they also stock milk tank cleaning agents and electric water heaters.
Having initially manufactured his own products, Gene gradually realised that he could provide a better service if he focussed exclusively on sales and service. He secured the partnership with Mueller – an American-owned company renowned internationally for producing high-performance, ultra-efficient products – and has never looked back.
Inter Cool pride themselves on offering their products and services to everybody, from the smallest dairy farmer to the largest, their in-depth knowledge of the industry enabling them to provide expertise on sales, planning, drawings, installation and aftercare service 365 days of the year.
As he fits and services all the equipment he sells, Gene has added crane-mounted trucks to his fleet and is constantly reinvesting in the business in order to guarantee customers the best service possible from the first point of contact through to aftersales.
“We have six service vans on the road at the moment plus two trucks – an artic with a 45-tonne crane and a rigid with a nine-tonne crane,” he notes. “You have to keep the fleet fresh to make sure you are able to meet customer needs. We purchased two new 182-reg vans last year, with sat nav and all the creature comforts … you are always looking at ways to keep the service as efficient and prompt as possible.”
At the heart of the business is a twelve-strong team of experienced, reliable and highly-skilled personnel, each of them fully-qualified, -trained and constantly upskilled in their area of expertise. “You are only as good as your staff and I’d be lost without them,” Gene admits. “They are all excellent people.”
Providing a nationwide service, Inter Cool doesn’t focus solely on new products. To the contrary, Gene sources and installs quite a few pre-owned milk cooling systems. “We sell new and used tanks. We import some second-hand Mueller tanks from the US and Holland, offering farmers very high-quality products at a low price. A lot of the tanks that were being used in Holland are of a very large size, which is a good option for customers if they want bigger tanks.”
A Mueller bulk milk cooling tank combined with the world patented Mueller HiPerForm E-Star refrigeration unit – specifically designed for cooling milk – offers dairy farmers an unrivalled milk cooling system. The Mueller HiPerForm E-Star is designed to handle the large temperature changes required to cool milk by flooding the entire milk cooler’s evaporator with liquid refrigerant which will result in maximum refrigeration efficiency.
The HiPerForm also enables the compressor to operate at cooler temperatures which again will result in longer compressor life, less maintenance and lower energy consumption. Tests show that the E-Star provides energy savings of up to 27% compared to standard refrigeration units.
Mueller E-Star refrigeration units are specifically designed to handle the large temperature changes required to cool milk. They have a true refrigeration compressor rather than an air conditioning compressor adapted for dairy use. A variety of upgraded features including a Copeland scroll compressor, variable-speed fan, rifled tubing and a sub-cooling coil combine to make Mueller refrigeration units (which have been designed to facilitate convenient servicing) the most energy-efficient and cost-effective refrigeration system available to the dairy industry.
Mueller refrigeration units outperform all other milk cooling units in terms of reliability, efficiency, and value.
Mueller milk coolers set the world quality standard. Dependable and durable, they give years of trouble-free performance, the lowest operating costs, precise temperature control and a wide range of standard features and options.
They are made of polished stainless steel for durability and ease of cleaning, feature double-wall construction to maintain temperatures and utilise Mueller’s exclusive Temp-Plate heat transfer surface for maximum cooling power and low energy costs.
Available in 13 sizes from 600 to 8,000 gallons to suit the needs of large and small operations, Mueller milk coolers also come standard with heavy-duty agitators and automatic, rapid washing systems. They can be adapted to each farmer’s specific operational needs.
“The HiPerForm system is unique, exclusive and extremely efficient,” says Gene. “The rapid-wash system is extremely popular because of the speed of the wash and the economy of water use. You can control both the cooling and the washing in them … everything is moving with the times.
“Mueller also make specific, robot-ready equipment which is sold throughout Europe and keeps the farmer informed on everything that’s happening on the parlour.”
The automatic, electronically-controlled washing system cleans and sanitises all milk contact surfaces. Various control system options are available and all Mueller washing systems utilise spray dish technology rather than spray ball devices, which eventually clog during operation.
Meanwhile, the agitation system ensures proper blending and even temperature distribution of milk prior to and during milking, as well as for samples. The agitator assembly consists of a heavy-duty gear drive and a paddle with a milk sweep design. Two agitator assemblies come standard 3,000-gallon model coolers and larger.
Farmers can drastically reduce their costs of heating water with the addition of a Mueller Fre-Heater to their milk cooling system. The Mueller Fre-Heater recovers wasted heat from the milk cooler’s condensing unit and uses it to heat water which can be used for calf feeding or cleaning.
As more and more dairy farmers expand, Mueller Bulk Milk Silos are becoming increasingly popular. Designed to provide large-capacity milk storage and cooling, particularly where space is at a premium, the Mueller Silo tank contains th patented Temp-Plate evaporators (cooling plates), which are carefully spot welded to the inner milk vessel. The unit also has an optional side evaporator making it possible to connect 3 E-Star condensing units.
Founder Gene Ormiston is pleased to report that demand for all of Inter Cool’s products and services is strong and he intends to consolidate his place at the forefront of the milk refrigeration equipment market by continuing to provide customers with industry-leading, cost-efficient solutions backed up by unrivalled service levels.
Inter Cool Engineering,
Tel: 046 924 2194
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 8 No 1, February/March 2020