Dairy Pipe Lines (DPL) has been supplying valves to the soft drinks and beverage market for the last 100 years and, as one of the oldest-established hygienic valve manufacturers in the UK, we pride ourselves on the relationships we enjoy with customers in this sector.

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It is the stringent demands of our customers which aid the manufacture of high quality Diamond valves and stainless steel tube and fittings to meet the needs of the market today. However, in the soft drinks market, as in all the sectors in which we compete, we are constantly developing new products to meet the needs of our customers tomorrow.

Lifestyle changes are continuing to fuel growth in the soft drinks marketplace. Consumer choice has seen some movement away from alcohol and hot drinks by an increasingly knowledgeable market which continues to expect variety and quality in everything it purchases.

While customer success can be attributed in part to improvements in the supply chain for your products, it is also due to cost reductions. We consider that our role in your quest for maximum performance and efficiency is vital and, by manufacturing products which are designed to keep your plant functioning, with a backup service facility available when you need it, DPL is ideally positioned as the leading source of hygienic valves and fittings.

Sensitive to the seasonality experienced by some of our customers, we aim to work closely with you to forecast your requirements and plan production schedules to meet your demand. Whilst hot weather represents a major influence on customer product sales, it cannot be easily forecast in the UK and, therefore, our market knowledge and manufacturing flexibility affords customers a tremendous degree of support.


It is likely that consumer demand for bottled water and energy drinks will continue to grow, not only in terms of volume, but also in its complexity. Consumers seek high energy drinks which will improve sporting performance, make them feel fitter and stimulate their body and mind. This desire for healthier drinks is witnessed by the demand for low calorie products too. Since the development of sweeteners has resulted in low calorie drinks with a taste which is acceptable to the market, we believe continued research will spur manufacture of a wider variety of health/energy drinks.

Consumption of fruit juice has also increased markedly during the last three years and is set to continue to grow. At DPL we understand the particular demands on customers operating in this sector, especially the expense of shipping fruit juice into the UK, which often involves the product arriving here in concentrated form and being reconstituted.

DPL customers expect Diamond valves to be reliable, as gentle as possible on their product and to perform as specified. As your needs change over time, you look to us for support and we have positioned ourselves to assist your growth with a real commitment to being the leading supplier of hygienic valves and fittings to the soft drinks sector.

By understanding customer requirements and market forces, by making available a wealth of technical data, offering advice and delivering an effective after sales and maintenance service, we have gained a reputation as a value-added partner renowned for working with customers to develop integrated soft drinks processing solutions.




A major manufacturer of data centre cooling units had received a request from one of its customers to supply its coolant distribution units (CDUs) with stainless steel pipework instead of the traditional brass or copper.


So began a four-year journey where SFL assisted its client in the design, manufacture and assembly of the world’s first stainless steel coolant distribution unit.
SFL’s initial input into the project was to help in the design of the stainless steel pipework that would be installed in the CDU. Working as an extension of its client’s engineering team, SFL helped create a series of 2D CAD drawings and 3D models.

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One of the challenges SFL faced was how to fit the new pipework into the existing space, given that stainless steel isn’t as malleable as brass or copper. Through its meticulous and methodical approach, the team successfully arrived at the first version of the CDU pipework that fitted perfectly into the same footprint.
SFL’s next task was to manufacture the set of pipework for the prototype unit, ensuring the kit was manufactured to the highest possible standard. SFL then assisted in the assembly and successful fitting of the pipework into the initial unit.

The unit was then shipped off to a major trade exhibition in the USA to demonstrate the first stainless steel CDU for high performance computing and enterprise data centres. Following the initial blueprint of the prototype design, SFL helped its client fix a number of bugs and resolve a few issues in order to create the optimum design. Once everyone was happy with the final result, the team was then in a position to embark on full-scale manufacture.


Switching from brass to stainless steel offers a marked increase in quality and purity that had never been available in this market before. For example, stainless steel pipework in CDUs means improved performance, as the coolant fluid flows more efficiently through stainless steel pipes, compared to brass or copper. Another advantage is lower maintenance costs as the coolant fluid doesn’t need to be filtered or changed as frequently. A further benefit is that stainless steel is resistant to both corrosion and leaks.


After the unit was unveiled at the exhibition, orders flowed in from around the world and SFL was asked to manufacture 50 kits, destined for end customers located in Australia, Japan and the United States.

Andrew Sharp, Manufacturing Manager at SFL and part of the team who worked on the CDU project, said: “As well as becoming part of our client’s design engineering team, working on the design concepts, we also helped with the ongoing manufacture and assembly of the pipework units. We even became part of their purchasing department, buying the various components we needed in order to build our stainless steel kits. This puts us in a strong position to help other manufacturers of large data centre cooling systems who are looking to benefit from the advantages of stainless steel pipework in their units.”


  • Design acumen: measured approach, coupled with in-depth experience, when helping with the design stage of the project.

  • Prototype skill: ensured the first pipework kit was manufactured to the highest possible standard for the exhibition and was also fit for purpose.

  • Problem solvers and trouble shooters: worked alongside the client to help with all the changes required to make the unit operate at optimum efficiency and work rate.

  • Full scale manufacturing ability: set up a bespoke manufacturing cell to ensure manufacture of two kits each month, to supply market demand.

  • Dedicated account manager: daily one-to-one contact with the client, working across time zones, to provide a high level of personal service, ensuring all project issues were overcome and all deadlines met.

  • Industry knowledge: extensive understanding of HVAC/data centre cooling requirements and deadlines, to supply the growing market in hygienic stainless steel HVAC/data centre cooling systems.