Fully automatic vacuum packing of hard cheese blocks
To fully automatically vacuum packing of “Euroblock” slicing cheese (15 kg) have the allfo Vakuumverpackungen GmbH, Waltenhofen, and the Saccardo Arturo Figli Srl, Thiene/Italy developed a machine. The original prototype of the equipment, with which 75-80 kg blocks can be processed, has been running since Autumn last year at Allgäuland-Käsereien GmbH in Bad Wörishofen. This hard cheese specialist has been involved since the start of the concept phase and gave input of its specific requirements in development of the machine specification. Meanwhile, approx. two blocks per minute and daily up to 60 tonnes of Emmental cheese are processed.
The ripening bags for the cheese industry consist of multilayer tubular film, which is used to obtain a precise degree of ripening of hard and slicing cheeses. The consistent structure of the film ensures here defined specific gas permeability at each point of the bag. This ensures that optimum ripening is reached, simultaneously with CO2 -extraction. A multilayer composite film was developed for the new concept, to enable optimum processing and for a fast production rate on the new machinery. The suitable packaging for the vacuum process has therefore been specifically tailored for this type of vacuum packaging line. In this case, the film has a high mechanical strength and good weldability.
Around one year passed from the beginning of the project to start-up of the pilot line. In its realisation, Saccardo applied simple machine design principles, both in terms of cheese handling and the vacuum packaging process. This was the only way to ensure that the line can perform its daily 24-hour operation with a low amount of maintenance.
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