2017 is a special year for ALPMA – and not just because of interpack: The cheese production, processing and packaging specialist celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding. Established in 1947 by Gottfried Hain senior, ALPMA has grown to become market and technology leader in its business segment in the past seven decades – with customers around the globe and a product portfolio that covers the entire cheese production process chain. “What we are particularly proud of,” says Gisbert Strohn, Managing Director of ALPMA, “is that we have kept the pioneering spirit of the company's founding years alive to the present day. And our mission has basically remained the same: to bring greater flexibility and efficiency to all aspects of cheese production – from manufacturing to cutting and portioning and right down to packaging. More than ever before, our plants offer a high degree of reliability, precision, ease of handling and dependability in production. This is what customers expect of ALPMA – and at the same time the secret of our success.“
Precise portioning to the gram for minimal “give-away“
ALPMA's interpack presence was all about new solutions for “shaping cheese“: One clear focus were fully automated plants for cutting and portioning widely varying cheeses – one of the most critical steps in the production of cheese: “More than any other, this step determines how profitably a cheese production line operates,“ says Strohn. The more precise the individual pieces are cut and the greater the adherence to a fixed weight, the lower the quantity of give-away. It may only be a matter of a few grams per piece of cheese – but the total amount of give-away can mean considerable losses for the cheese-making factory.“
CUT 32: precise cuts even when the task is challenging
To minimise give-away, the CUT 32 portion cutting machine presented in Düsseldorf combines the latest in measuring technology with precise and hygienic mechanical engineering. The result: the CUT 32 cuts extremely precise and produces fixed-weight portions with an accuracy right down to the last gram – when cutting pieces of equal weight and even when performing difficult tasks, for example producing fixed-weight portions of Swiss-type cheeses such as Emmental.
This is possible thanks to the integratable DS 32 density scanner prior to portioning: it scans the cheese bar in extremely small increments. The CUT 32 then automatically calculates the correct portion density and divides the cheese bar optimally into the preselected portions. In this way, yield can be increased by almost 20 per cent to 100 per cent and give-away virtually eliminated.
FORMATIC: established technology for semi-hard cheese production
The FORMATIC semi-hard cheese portioning machine promises cheese in optimal shape: It comes into play during the production stage, allowing the filling of semi-hard cheese curd in whey directly and continuously into the mould. As a high-performance portioning machine, the FORMATIC scores points with premium product and format flexibility, space-saving design and evenly-weighted portions, with minimisation of edge eyes and extremely easy cleaning. Another benefit, in addition to the fully automated processing, is its flexibility. The filling plates can be replaced flexibly, which means that not only Euroblock and round formats can be produced on the FORMATIC, but also large-block cheeses and long bars of cheese. And ALPMA can also supply the matching micro-perforated moulds in top quality.
ALPMA MultiSE: the boxing machine of the future
Once the cheese has been given its shape, ALPMA's automated packaging plants ensure that this sensitive product is still fresh and aromatic when it reaches the consumer. ALPMA presented its new boxing machine, the MultiSE, for the first time at the interpack: compared to its predecessor, the MultiSE has been redeveloped from the ground up by the ALPMA experts. In the future, its state-of-the-art servo control system will allow cheese-making factories to switch quickly and easily between different cheese formats. The MultiSE packs round, oval and rectangular cheeses reliably into boxes made of wood, cardboard and plastic. At the same time, the machine ensures more efficient processes and reduces the time required for changing format and cleaning parts to a minimum.