Arla Falkenberg, the Swedish cheese producer, has awarded Invensys APV a contract valued at €4.5 million to design and install a new cheese production line.
The project is part of Arla Foods strategy of centralising and increasing its annual cheese production from the Falkenberg dairy, which is the biggest cheese producer in Sweden, from approximately 20,000 tonnes per year to 35,000 tonnes per year.
The project includes modifications to the process water system, starter culture system, CIP plant, OPD pre press, and mould-filling unit, Sanipress final pressing system including a high pressure mould washing system, mould emptying unit, filling unit to fill the cheese blocks into salting racks as well as emptying unit for emptying of salting racks. The control system that runs the process uses Invensys WonderWare's InTouch which communicates through an InSQL database.
Consistency of finished product size is becoming increasingly important to large food retailers and consumers. Size predictability simplifies and reduces packaging costs while resulting in product pricing conformity. The OPD pre press produces a cheese block measuring 11.5 metres long by 1.7 metres wide. A unique laser scanning system has been developed to ensure that a consistent height of 170mm is achieved before cutting into blocks. The cheese blocks are passed by conveyer to the Sanipress mould, where a rubber membrane applies an even pressure to the surface of the cheese for a period of 45mins.
The process results in compressed cheese blocks that are consistent both in size, weight and quality. The approximate weight accuracy results of the cheese produced is as follows:+/- 2.5 per cent for 92 per cent of the Gouda cheese types; +/- 3.5 per cent for 92 per cent of the Tilsitter cheese types and +/- 7.0 per cent for 99 per cent of the Gouda and Tilsitter cheese types.
In today's flexible manufacturing environment, the capability to change quickly from the production of one end product to another is a prerequisite for any company operating in the food industry. At the Arla Falkenburg plant, the recently commissioned APV line can, according to Invensys, easily switch from the production of Gouda to Tilsitter cheese. Wash down and mould change, giving finished product sizes of 360 x 240mm or 760 x 380mm, have also been engineered to minimise downtime.
When asked why Arla Falkenburg awarded the contract to Invensys APV, Allan Nilsson, the plant production manager said: "We were impressed by the innovation demonstrated in the Invensys APV engineering solution. It is very important to produce end products of a consistent quality, size and weight. Equally the new line had to fit the same footprint as the old machinery. Invensys APV exceeded all the project criteria."
The expertise of Invensys APV in cheese production has resulted in improvements in the cheese industry by helping manufacturers increase capacity, drive down costs and increase return on investment.
Invensys is a global leader in production technology. The group aims to improve productivity, performance and profitability using innovative services and technologies. It operates in more than 60 countries, with its headquarters in London.