Interview of Tobias Nagel, Manager.
Two employees place the one-kilo blocks manually into the pack cavities, which are produced from flexible film. The pack is then sealed with a printed upper web. In addition to this, the manufacturing date, the use-by date and the machine number are printed on the upper web by means of a direct web printer.
This process takes place in the low-risk "grey room".
The cheese blocks then go through a metal detector and are transported to a handling module, which picks up five cheese blocks at a time from the conveyor, positions them and then deposits them into an outer carton. The cartons are each filled with three layers. The cartons then go through a closing and sealing station, where they are also printed with the customer's required text and then transported via conveyor system direct to the dispatch area, where they are palletized prior to dispatch Which products are manufactured in your area, that is K1 department ?
In my department we only produce mozzarella blocks with a weight of one kilogram. We work seven days a week in triple shift operation. In total we produce 48 tons of cheese per day, which equates to some 19 tons per shift. We supply mozzarella blocks to large-volume consumers throughout the whole of Europe, something which also places high demands on our logistics concept.
You invested in a MULTIVAC R 245 ther-moforming packaging machine. What role does the R 245 play in the production process?
The R 245 is our bottleneck; the entire cheese production runs over the thermo-forming packaging machine. We produce twelve to sixteen tons per production batch, all of which has to be packed immediately. This stage is critical. The cheese, which is taken out of the brine and fed to the packaging operation, can not be buffer stored, otherwise the cheese mass will dry out. This means that we are dependent on a reliable process.
The thermoforming packaging machine has the groundbreaking MULTIVAC Hygiene Design(tm). The R 245 is also equipped with an automatic Clean-in-Place (CIP) system for the transport chain. Why did you decide on this investment?
The cleaning effort in the manufacture and packaging of mozzarella is extremely high. The mozzarella cheese is transported from the brine bath directly to the loading area of the packaging machine, where it is placed into the ther-moformed pack cavities. The liquid content of the cheese is very high, which means that the loading area of the packaging machine is contaminated with brine.
The transport chain is also affected by the contamination, since the chain lies in the direct splash area of the packaging procedure, it is heavily attacked by the salt deposits and therefore has an increased level of wear. In order to avoid this, it is necessary that the transport chain is regularly cleared of the brine. If there were to be an unscheduled stop-page of the packaging machine between the beginning and the end of production, this would have a very negative effect on upstream and downstream processes.
How frequently do you use the CIP?
We usually start up our production at 02.00 in the morning and we finish it around 19.00 in the evening. After production is finished, the manufacturing and packaging areas are thoroughly cleaned. We use the automatic CIP cleaning program for the daily cleaning of the transport chain. During this, we carry out three stages: the transport chain is blown free of any product remnants, then it is cleaned and finally lubricated.
How satisfied are you overall with the packaging solution from MULTIVAC?
Very satisfied. The installation time for the machine was significantly below the expected time. The machine was ready for production in just three days and it has produced faultlessly since then. The learning period for our team was short, because the packaging line is very simple to handle.
The HMI 2.0 user interface contributes to this, since it is very easy to understand and operate, even by less skilled personnel. Even the film change for the upper web can be performed in less than ten minutes and without any errors. For this we have, however, equipped our personnel with a film transportation trolley and a small crane, so that the handling of the web rolls is made easier.
Are you satisfied with the results of the CIP cleaning?
It was absolutely the right kind of investment for us, since the service life of the transport chain has been significantly extended. Since the R 245 was commissioned at the end of 2010, the chain has not yet needed to be replaced. This has a positive effect on the maintenance costs and the running time of the machine. In addition to the extension of the service life of the transport chain, the CIP cleaning has also had a positive effect on the hygiene of our packaging procedure and therefore also on the food safety of our products.
How satisfied are you with the personal care shown by the MULTIVAC staff?
We are really very satisfied. We are in continual contact with both the service technician, Martin Dattler, as well as the sales representative, Derik Schoffel. The colleagues from MULTIVAC also support us in the resolution of problems which were not originally associated with the packaging machine, such as the solution to various queries in relation to packaging materials. This is where the comprehensive expertise of MULTIVAC becomes clear -and it contributes greatly to the satisfaction of our team.
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|Publication:||Pakistan Food Journal|
|Date:||Dec 31, 2012|
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