Mayfield packages ice cream cream in 56-ounce bricks (shown) and 48-ounce scrounds. Ice cream because that foodservice account is packaged in 3-gallon tubs that are built in the plant.
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Technicians in the on-site quality regulate lab check fresh and frozen finished products. Samples room pulled indigenous the production line transparent the work to guarantee consistency.
The Mayfield Dairy farms plant spans Madison avenue in Athens, Tenn. A blowmolding procedure is on one side and the milk and also ice cream processing operations room on the other. The site additionally includes a visitors’ center.
The signature yellow gallons are blowmolded on-site. The plant additionally makes jugs for sister tree in Birmingham, Ala., and also Braselton, Ga.
The casual visitor to Athens, Tenn., would have no idea the dairy assets produced below are transport throughout joined States. Even residents the this little town, located in the southeast edge of the state, most likely do not know that Mayfield Dairy farms makes ice cream for various other companies to offer in groceries stores throughout the country.
Mayfield’s dairy plant, located just north the downtown Athens, is a sprawling complex. Chauffeurs of milk tankers inspect in in ~ one building prior to unloading at the plant. Top top one next of Madison Avenue, raw milk is processed right into white milk, coco milk, buttermilk and other liquid products. In an additional section the the plant, few of the 200-plus employees also manufacture a wide variety of ice cream cream products, varying from 14-ounce containers to 3-gallon foodservice tubs.
Across Madison Avenue, a blow-molding procedure is constantly production Mayfield’s above bright, opaque yellow jugs that maintain the milk’s freshness by blocking out the UV light the breaks under nutrients and affects milk’s taste.
Mayfield Dairy farms is among the operating systems of Dean foods items Co. The Dallas-based company is the second-largest processor on the dairy products 100, this magazine’s yearly ranking that dairies doing business in phibìc America. Corporate earnings in 2014 totaled $9.5 billion. Yet measured through plants, Dean foods items is the largest. It has actually 67 framework manufacturing liquid milk, ice cream cream and cultured products.
The Mayfield department serves nine Southeastern states. It also operates a milk tree in Braselton, Ga., and also an ice cream cream plant in Birmingham, Ala. Mar Williams is basic manager of the Mayfield division. Scott Watson is the tree manager of the Athens operation.
They and the 205 production employees in Athens have their work reduced out for them. That’s since Mayfield recently landed ice cream company in Florida and also Louisiana because no Dean department was serving those states with ice cream. That new business keeps the freezers churning, together does the co-manufacturing covenant with Boardwalk Frozen Treats to create Baskin-Robbins’ 14-ounce containers offered at grocery stores throughout the united States. (The Birmingham tree manufactures Baskin-Robbins foodservice tubs for scoop shops in 43 countries.)
On the fluid side, Mayfield bottles Dean’s DairyPure white milk and also TruMoo cacao milk products. These room co-branded with Mayfield’s name.Blow-molding plastic milk jugs
Mayfield produces its very own half-gallon and also gallon jugs. It has six punch molders of varying capacities, from four-head to eight-head machines. Mayfield bottles its milk in bright yellow jugs, i beg your pardon protects milk from degradation by ultraviolet light. The equipment additionally makes jugs in “natural” plastic for personal label customers. Besides creating bottles because that this plant, Mayfield is do plastic containers for sister plants in Braselton and Birmingham.
Because the fillers have the right to fill bottles much faster than the blow molding equipment can do them, Mayfield requirements to save a stable supply ~ above hand. Bags of 48 gallon jugs and also 108 half-gallon jugs space staged in this room. Fully automated baggers plunder the bottles in plastic. Likewise, completely automated de-baggers remove the plastic and also place the bottles back on the conveyor system that offers the fillers.
The dairy additionally bottles milk in plastic pints and half-pint bottles. (A huge customer is McDonald’s restaurants, which buys white and also chocolate milk in the half-pint size.) Bottles come from suppliers and also are fed into a hopper and also then top top conveyors. The party go through a labeling maker and a shrink tunnel. An unscrambler place the bottles in single file order and also they then relocate to an build-up table and paper up one elevator to the filling room. A performance innovation team looked at means to boost this procedure and tweaked the equipment to make the party flow more smoothly with the system. Another innovation eliminated jams top top the elevator.Receiving milk, orange juice, sugar
Mayfield receive 25 to 28 milk tankers a day, every work of the week, from 7:30 to 3:30. Tankers from nearby farms pull right into a building across the street indigenous the plant prior to they off-load the milk. Tankers are weighed top top a truck scale and Mayfield paint, etc samples. If the milk passes organoleptic and also antibiotic tests, the trucks proceed to the four-bay receiving area at the plant. After unloading, the trucks are washed and sent back on the road. Mayfield also takes in orange juice concentration at this receiving area; another component of the plant accepts deliveries of fluid sugars.
At another receiving area that the plant, north milk situations return native customers. 2 lines that conveyors feeding the situations into an ultrasonic case washer. The ultrasonic activity knocks the dirt turn off the cases, which are then washed, sanitized and also stacked. Later, this clean cases will it is in filled v product and also staged in the cooler. In the cooler, there space two palletizers staging the instances for delivery.
The tree in Athens has capacity to keep 275,000 gallons of raw milk. That has four 10,000-gallon pasteurized tanks and also two 15,000-gallon tanks. In addition, the tree stores cream in four 5,000-gallon tanks. Due to the fact that Mayfield likewise makes ice cream here, that occasionally has to buy extr cream. One resource is Knoxville milk processor Weigel’s (which was featured in the April 2012 issue).
The handling rooms have actually three high temperature/short time pasteurizers because that milk and also one for ice cream cream. It has three separators, which variety in volume from 4,000 come 9,500 gallons every hour. Buttermilk is a well-known beverage in the Southeast, and also Mayfield is up to the job of offering its customers v the cultured drink. Over there are sufficient vats come make almost 15,000 gallons the buttermilk per day. The tangy dairy products beverage is likewise used to roasted buttermilk biscuits. The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain is a customer, buying buttermilk in half-gallons to be offered in the biscuit recipes.
The pour it until it is full room was abuzz throughout Dairy Foods’ visit. Mayfield has actually nine fillers, consisting of a 24-valve unit for plastic half-gallons, a 30-valve unit for plastic gallons and a 36-valve unit because that plastic 8-ounce and pints bottles. There are three half-pint filler that can additionally accommodate 4-ounce document containers. Mayfield puts brand on the front and also side of its branded gallons. Gallons made for other customers receive just a front label.
Record rates of production, through machine, are provided on plaques installed around the plant. The boards note the machine, the throughput accomplished and the team members operation the filler and also its support equipment at the time.Mayfield makes ice cream, too
As detailed above, not countless fluid milk plants also make ice cream. As well as making a full range of ice cream cream commodities (from premium to irradiate to no sugar added), Mayfield likewise makes frozen yogurt and a frozen dairy products dessert dubbed Snow Cream.
Ice cream production starts at 6:30 a.m. One operator in the manage room dials in the mix. Dry ingredients and packaging come native a 30,000-square-foot off-site warehouse.
Milk, cream, condensed milk, sugars and also powders are combined in any of the 3 2,000-gallon batch tanks. After the powders are fully hydrated, the mix is pumped come the pasteurizer and also then to the smell vats, where colors and also flavors room added. Specific flavors flow from large pressurized totes. Mayfield supplied to pour spices by hand from gallon jugs yet the totes enables for much more precise dosing. Mayfield provides a liquid chocolate that “explodes” into chips as soon as it hits the cold ice cream cream mix, said Scottie Mayfield, a nephew of the founder and also the company’s chairman emeritus.
On the job of our visit, operators were pour it until it is full 48-ounce scrounds (which get an inner seal), 56-ounce bricks and also 3-gallon tubs. The plant likewise fills 14-ounce document containers for Baskin-Robbins. Novelties are developed in the Alabama plant.
Mayfield renders the 3-gallon document tubs used by foodservice accounts. It supplied to use a metal ring to host the top and also bottom the the can in place. For safety factors (cut fingers), the dairy changed to metal-less cans. Rather of a metal ring, the cans are hosted together by a plastic pickled in salt on the top and also a food-grade glue on the bottom.
Once filled, the packages have actually codes published on the container. Lock pass with a vision mechanism to assure that the lid and also the cup match. Then they pass through metal detectors and also checkweighers.
Then the packages room conveyed to the hardening room. Mayfield has actually two approaches to obtain the ice cream cream to a rock-hard state. One is a blast freezer (the dairy has two units) and the various other a plate hardener. In the frozen warehouse, one-rim and also two-rim cranes pick pallets for shipment to customers. The customer base is growing. In the last year, Mayfield included supermarket client in Florida and Louisiana. Those were far-ranging acquisitions; no Dean division had to be serving those claims with ice cream cream.
In addition to making certain the devices runs properly, Watson keeps watch on food safety and employee safety. In the on-site quality control lab, the technicians are experimentation both fresh and also frozen perfect products. The laboratory tests samples throughout the day to assure consistency. The rap is additionally performing tests because that butterfat, solids and also brix. Climate there space tests for coliform, direct micro count (DMC) and psychrotrophic organisms. Watson likewise said there are hanging drop, phosphatase and also allergen verifications tests. Because that packaging, there are die check on half-pint cartons of institution milk and fill weights. Technicians reduced open ice cream packages come look for proper distribution the inclusions and variegates. There are likewise taste tests and other organoleptic examinations.
Depending top top the test, near infra-red lab equipment can administer the outcomes in seconds. But when they require to, laboratory technicians can conduct the slower Babcock tests that every food science major learned in college.Regular communications
Plant managers organize regularly booked daily and weekly meetings to identify issues and upcoming manufacturing needs. Heat employees go through monthly training on tree safety and food safety, and also are experiment with document or virtual tests come gauge their comprehension. Every department (such together receiving, processing or filling) tracks crucial performance indicators. The results are shown on white boards outside the administrate office. Those created in environment-friendly are results that accomplish or exceed targets. Those written in red indicate advancement is needed.
Four interaction stations, consists of flat-panel televisions, are collection up in employee rest rooms throughout the plant. Watson deserve to push out messages of interest to employees, as have the right to the corporate office.
Both the fluid side and also the ice cream cream side of the plant have actually earned Level 3 certification in the for sure Quality foods items initiative. In addition, the federal Food and Drug management inspects the plant, together does the Tennessee room of Agriculture. Dean foodstuffs has its own quality audits that its 60-some handling plants. This intramural compete keeps each plant manager striving come improve.
Mayfield’s Birmingham plant received the Dean foods items CEO quality Award for ice cream cream in 2013 and 2014. Criteria encompass SQF scores, training participation and also consumer complaint improvement. The judging committee additionally considers high quality innovations, ideal practices and firm culture. Eddie Allen is the plant manager in Birmingham.
In announcing the award in May, Dean CEO Gregg Tanner said, “Dean foods holds its tree to an extremely high standards, making for specifically stiff competition bordering this award. We space delighted with Mayfield’s excellence in protecting high quality from farm to table, and also we’re proud to hold them increase as an example for the 2nd year in a row.”
Mayfield has actually been making dairy product products because 1923. At the time, only inhabitants of McMinn County, Tennessee delighted in them. Today, consumers across the unified States and also throughout the people enjoy the dairy products foods and also beverages do in Athens, Birmingham and Braselton.At-A-Glance
Mayfield dairy products Farms, Athens, Tenn.Interstate Milk Shippers tree 47-131Raw milk score 90; enforcement score 97 (July 2015).
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Year built: 1950Products made: milk, buttermilk, orange juice, teas, lemonades, ice cream, frozen yogurtProduction employees: 205 in the milk and also ice cream plantsPasteurization: high-temperature/short timeMilk fillers and also formats: 9 fillers, consisting of two 24-valve units – one because that plastic half-gallons and also another one because that plastic quarts; a 30-valve unit and a 28-valve unit because that plastic gallons, 36-valve unit because that plastic 8-ounce and pints bottles. There room three half-pint filler that can also accommodate 4-ounce boxes and also a dispenser bag filler.Ice cream fillers and formats: 7 fillers, 14-ounce and also 16-ounce containers, 2 48-ounce scround fillers, 56-ounce bricks, 4 quart pails, 3-gallon foodservice tubs, quarts and fifty percent gallon ring plasticBlow molding: 6 blow molders v four, six and eight headsRaw milk warehouse capacity: 275,000 gallonsPasteurized milk storage capacity: 90,000 gallonsWarehouse: 30,000 square-foot offsite facility
Photos through Vito Palmisano