Bretagne Manutention provides customised chain hoist solution for cheese dairy plant25 May 2023
When a cheese dairy plant in Mayenne, north-west France, was having maintenance problems with the chain hoists used in its cheese brining process, Bretagne Manutention, a manufacturer of material handling equipment, provided them with a customised solution.
The cheese plant produces several varieties of cheese. In the brining room, the cheeses are soaked in a brine bath to absorb the salt. The room has seven dipping tanks, each equipped with a hoist that handles trays filled with cheese. The trays are soaked in the brine baths in multiple stages and then sent to the maturing cellar.
The cheese plant previously used chain hoists from a different manufacturer but experienced problems with corrosion on the lifting chains, despite regular lubrication. This oxidation led to numerous production stoppages.
Dominique Denou, a sales manager at Bretagne Manutention, recommended replacing the existing hoists with Verlinde Eurolift BH electric belt hoists, which are designed to meet the highest hygiene standards in the food industry. They feature a high-strength, rot-proof lifting belt and a dirt-free guide system, ensuring cleanliness in all types of environments, says Verlinde. “The hoists are equipped with a mechanically variable two-speed lift motor, a two-speed steering motor, and a perfectly sealed gearbox, allowing precise and silent movement of loads ranging from 500kg to 5,000kg,” adds the company.
The cheese plant requested a complete study from Bretagne Manutention to optimise the lifting solution and increase the load capacities of the hoists from 1,000kg to 1,200kg. Verlinde assisted Bretagne Manutention with these requirements. Besides improving the lifting part, the project also involved specific structural constraints. Typically, a Eurolift BH hoist operates on an IPN (European standard beam) rail, but the configuration of the brine room didn't allow sufficient travel for the hoist with this type of rail. The existing structure needed to be changed and the loads of the suspended structure recalculated, which would have been costly. Alternatively, the hoists had to be adapted. Verlinde proposed relocating the hoist motor to a different location to increase height and reuse the existing galvanised hollow-section rails.
The first Eurolift BH hoist was installed and the test proved successful within three months: maintenance and lubrication operations were reduced and corrosion problems were eliminated. Subsequently, the remaining six hoists were replaced, reducing breakdowns and production downtime. Bretagne Manutention is responsible for the maintenance of the installation, with regular monitoring and visits every six months.
Denou said: "Since the installation of the first Eurolift BH hoist, our customer has expressed satisfaction with the improved hygiene and reduced downtime due to corrosion. We have continued to assist them, especially with belt adjustments and various settings based on the constraints.”
He adds: "Verlinde was present throughout the project, even when it came to choosing the most suitable belt and making adjustments. That makes all the difference with a supplier like Verlinde, which offers premium solutions and is able to provide assistance right till the end. This way, everybody works in confidence."
Bretagne Manutention is a partner of Verlinde and has been a supplier of handling equipment to the cheese dairy plant for 30 years.