Electric belt hoists for the brining process
A cheese dairy plant in Mayenne, France, was experiencing various maintenance problems with its chain hoists for a cheese brining process. Bretagne Manutention, a partner of Verlinde, and a 30-year supplier of handling equipment to this manufacturer, was able to offer it a tailor-made solution.
Bretagne Manutention, part of the Fenwick Group, specialises in the sale and maintenance of handling equipment such as forklift trucks, electric pallet trucks and aerial platforms. Its head office in Rennes, France and the eight branches spread across Brittany and Mayenne, comprise 200 people. Some branches employ lifting equipment specialists, from the time when Fenwick offered hoists, and work in partnership with Verlinde. This is the case of the Laval branch, which has been working for 30 years in a cheese dairy plant for the maintenance and equipment of handling products, which has around 50 items.
The Mayennaise cheese plant, which produces several varieties of cheese, is equipped with a brining room. This process consists of soaking the cheeses in a brine bath so that they absorb the salt. The room has seven dipping tanks, each equipped with a hoist that handles the cheese-filled trays. These are soaked in the brine baths in several stages, then sent to the maturing cellar.
The cheese plant used chain hoists from a rival manufacturer but had problems of corrosion on the lifting chains despite regular lubrication. This oxidation was causing numerous production stoppages. During a customer visit, Dominique Denou, sales manager at Bretagne Manutention Laval, recommended Verlinde Eurolift BH electric belt hoists to replace those using traditional chain hoist technology.
Verlinde Eurolift BH electric belt hoists meet the strictest hygiene standards in the food industry. The special feature of these hoists is that they are equipped with a high-strength, rot-proof lifting belt and a dirt-free guide system for use in all kinds of environments. The mechanically variable two-speed lift motor and the two-speed steering motor, together with a sealed gearbox, provide the movement of loads from 500 to 5,000kg.
The cheese maker asked Bretagne Manutention for a complete study, as it wanted to optimise the entire lifting solution to increase the load capacities of the hoists from 1,000 kg to 1,200 kg. Verlinde assisted Bretagne Manutention with these offers.
In addition to optimising the lifting part, the project also involved specific structural constraints: as a general rule, a Eurolift BH hoist moves on an IPN rail, but the configuration of the brine room did not allow the hoist enough travel with this type of rail. The existing structure had to be changed and the loads of the suspended structure recalculated, which was expensive, or the hoists had to be adapted. Verlinde proposed to move the hoist motor to a different location in order to gain height and thus reuse the existing galvanised hollow section rails.
The first Eurolift BH hoist was installed in 2020. Within three months, the test proved successful: maintenance and lubrication operations were reduced and corrosion problems were eliminated. The other six hoists were then replaced, reducing breakdowns and production downtime. The installation is maintained by Bretagne Manutention Maintenance. Monitoring is regular, with a visit every six months.
For more information, visit: www.verlinde.com