Increased Productivity Thanks to Vacuum
Milchwerk Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl eG
Quality Since 1927
The Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl dairy plant was founded back in 1927. During the peak season from April to August, the cooperative's 232 employees work in three-shift operation. The rest of the year, they work in two shifts. Each year, they process 158 million litres of cow’s milk from 335 farms in the region into 21,300 tonnes of cheese. In different fat and cream levels, in brine, diced in oil, with herbs, chilli or olives, as semi-soft cheese, natural or smoked. They have been awarded nine gold and two silver prizes by the German Agricultural Society (DDLG).
The Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl dairy produces Balkan cheese, kashkaval cheese and grilling cheese from milk from regional farms. Photo: Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl dairy.
Five packaging lines, one vacuum system
The five packaging lines are supplied with vacuum from a separate machine room. There, a pressure-controlled vacuum system from Busch, consisting of three R5 rotary vane vacuum pumps, three PANDA vacuum boosters, control cabinet and vacuum vessel, generates the required vacuum level – precisely adjusted to the moisture content of each type of cheese. This is used not only in thermoforming the various types of packaging, pump-down and sealing, but also to assemble the large shipping boxes and insert the packaged cheese.
The challenge in packaging cheese lies in the products' high humidity. This is why the Busch experts paid particular attention to sufficiently large filters and incorporated a moisture separator for the whey. The turnkey solution was installed on a weekend in 2021. On Monday, production continued immediately with the new system. Since then, the system has been running smoothly.
A vacuum system from Busch Vacuum Solutions supplies the packaging lines with the required vacuum. Photo: Busch Vacuum Solutions.
"In the past, we used Venturi nozzles for vacuum generation. Air consumption was extremely high. It was a total waste of energy. With the new vacuum system from Busch, we save 38,000 kWh per year," says Josef Vögele, Managing Director of Milchwerk Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl enthusiastically, adding: "We have received 40% of the investment amount for the vacuum system back from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA). Busch compiled all the documents required for the funding application for us."
The old vacuum supply was not only less energy efficient, but it also had insufficient pumping speed for the desired increase in the number of cycles. Vögele is pleased: "With the new vacuum system from Busch, we can now run up to twelve cycles per minute instead of nine. The vacuum is applied much more quickly and leads to a significant increase in productivity – while at the same time reducing energy consumption."
Vacuum is also used to assemble the cartons and carefully insert the packaged cheese. Photo: Busch Vacuum Solutions.