In Hilter in the Teutoburg Forest region, the 300 employees of apetito convenience produce several hundred types of convenience products every day.
The company is specialised in consumer-friendly frozen food products for food retailers, restaurant chains and home-delivered meal programmes.
"We produce high-quality products at an attractive price, which makes us one of the leading suppliers on this market," says Felix Deibert, project manager at apetito convenience. "To strengthen our position and to further improve the quality of our products, we continuously invest in our production systems."
"This includes new products as well as changes to the existing recipes based on research performed by our product development team in order to provide our customers with products that they really want to consume," explains Deibert. At the same time, the food producer strongly focuses on its responsibility for the community and the protection of the environment by continuously optimising its products in view of their sustainability. With this in mind, the oiling system for the pancake line recently underwent a technical upgrade by technotrans..
"The old nozzles of the compressed-air system used to contaminate the surrounding area with vegetable oil during the dispensing process," explains Deibert. This oil mist had to be removed continuously by way of an extraction system and the exhaust air had to be cleaned before releasing it to the outside air through the roof. "The extracted oil was no longer available for the process, which costs money," says Deibert. Due to the atomisation, the company lost valuable release agent and the exhaust air filters of the extraction system were negatively affected. In addition, the machine was permanently installed, which made maintenance and cleaning rather time-consuming.
the specialist for thermal management and fluid solutions, which used its spray.xact series to develop a customised system in line with the special requirements of apetito convenience.
"One of the advantages of technotrans compared to its competitors is its portfolio of solutions that are specifically adapted to the food segment. We need to ensure compliance with the specific requirements of the food sector and no standard systems from the automotive or metalworking industry," stresses Deibert.
technotrans welcomed a delegation of the food processor to Sassenberg to showcase the airless spray lubrication system at the on-site laboratory. After a first series of trials with the rapeseed oil mixture and baking pans used by apetito, the company from Sassenberg was awarded the order.
Reinhard Skricek, Sales Manager
Tel: +49 2583 301-1805
The temperature control system of the smart valves ensures the optimum viscosity of the applied release agent. The resulting fine oil layer, which is applied with a considerably higher level of precision compared to the old solution, also has a positive effect on the required release agent quantity: Approximately 0.53 g of release agent are applied to every pan, thereby resulting in a total quantity of approximately 5 kg per shift. "The technotrans solution leads to release agent savings of approximately 15% compared to our previous machine. Over one year, this results in considerable cost savings," explains Deibert.
The trolley with the nozzle rail can be removed quickly from the machine in just a few simple steps and then pushed back under the baking line after it has been cleaned. Special stops and locks ensure that it is always located in the exact same position. "The display has a stainless-steel housing to protect it against water from pressure washers, and all of the components are easily accessible for maintenance," says Skricek.
By contrast, the old system, which was permanently installed and needed compressed air to fulfil its purpose, had a traversing mechanism to be able to move to and fro between two rows of baking pans while applying the release agent. Food-compliant cleaning and regular maintenance were, therefore, much more difficult. Deibert underlines the importance of these advantages: "Easy maintenance during a running process was very important for us – and technotrans delivered just that. For example, we can replace a nozzle without having to shut down the oven."
The ovens are located alongside a transport area making it so that there is only very little space for a spray lubrication system. Reinhard Skricek, Sales Manager at technotrans and the one responsible for the project, describes how the company handled this challenge: "While the slim spray bar with the nozzle rail is located above the baking pans, the entire peripheral equipment, including a special low-set stainless-steel tank, is mounted on a trolley that is moved under the base of the machine. The only items that are visible on the machine panel are the operating display and the control cabinet with the electrical equipment." The tank with an integrated level monitoring system can be filled from the side via a funnel without having to relocate the trolley. "The design of our solution is as space-saving as possible," says Skricek.
As Hilter is close to the technotrans headquarters, the communication as well as the support provided by technotrans has been in-depth and uncomplicated: "We always felt in good hands. Everything went absolutely smoothly – from our enquiry up to the commissioning of the new system. We had competent people at our side at all times. technotrans carried out even minimal rework quickly and responded promptly to all our questions and requests."