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SPX FLOW - Rannie: 125 Years


Who would have thought a brand that started in a small machine shop in 1892 would, 125 years later, still be a leading brand name in modern industry? Founded as Maskinfabriken RANNJE in Copenhagen, today the RANNIE name is still associated with quality, innovation and vast expertise in homogenisation, says manufacturer SPX FLOW.  

The RANNIE firm started out making equipment such as lactoscopes and pumps for a new and rapidly growing dairy industry. Employing a specialist in this new market area, one Mr J. A. Larson, the brand quickly became internationally renowned for its expertise.  By 1911, the company’s success meant it desperately needed the larger premises it then moved to. In 1918, the proficiency RANNIE had in manufacturing pumps led to it first transforming high pressure pumps into the homogeniser - the product that it is so well known for today.

With several changes in ownership over the years, the RANNIE brand continued to bring new innovations to the market. In 1987 it became part of APV and now sits alongside another giant in homogenisation, GAULIN, as part of the SPX FLOW business. How then does SPX FLOW perceive the homogeniser market today?

Con O'Driscoll, SPX FLOW Global Product Manager for Dispersion Products, said, “The fundamental mechanics of how a homogeniser works has not changed. The success of both the RANNIE and GAULIN brands has come from the expertise in understanding how to apply the technology through changing market needs. The design and material used to manufacture the homogeniser valve at the heart of the machine are crucial to getting the efficiency and fluid characteristics desired from the process. And that’s where the span of our experience and knowledge makes us a market leader.”

RANNIE and GAULIN homogeniser ranges sit side by side as part of the SPX FLOW solutions portfolio. They are used in a wide and growing range of applications in both food and non-food applications. 

Con continued, “One of the great strengths offered by SPX FLOW is our Innovation Centres. These facilities enable us to work closely with customers, helping them to define and refine processes to give them a competitive edge. New uses for homogenisers are being developed all of the time and the centres allow us to test processing parameters and quickly analyse results. The aim is to get the desired product to market as quickly as possible while optimising both efficiency and end product quality.”

Homogenisers can help manufacturers get more out of the materials they use or develop more appealing properties within a product line. Their use has made historical by-products into valuable revenue streams. Whey is the most obvious example of this but other new areas are being explored, including the processing of cellulose in areas such as left over wood from paper manufacturing processes. Other growth areas for homogenisation include the creation of new functional foods or chemicals and adding additional health benefits to food lines. 

Homogenisation can be used to help increase the shelf life of milk, reduce the use of stabilisers and other emulsifiers in low fat products such as low fat mayonnaise and give structure to products such as yogurt. As new areas continue to be discovered, what does the future look like for the homogeniser?

Con concluded, “We are seeing a trend towards higher pressure applications and energy optimisation. Pressure is one of the key variables in a homogenisation application and we are working closely with customers looking for higher pressures and how their process can achieve this. Homogenisers may still operate on the same principle as 100 years ago, but industry changes and so do we as we continue to innovate and research. Our combination of experience, technology and, with the Innovation Centres, ability to test processes means we are heavily involved in the latest industry developments, continually helping our customers discover new and exciting products.”