Efficient shelf washing with robots at CONO Kaasmakers.

05-05-2023

It is important that cheese shelves are cleaned thoroughly, but at CONO Kaasmakers they also want to do this as efficiently and sustainable as possible. To this end, we supplied a robot shelf washing installation with vertical shelf washers.

CONO Kaasmakers is a cooperative of dairy farmers based in the Beemster (Netherlands). From the milk supplied by their dairy farmers, CONO makes cheese in a sustainable and artisanal way. In fact, they make the tastiest cheese in the Netherlands, according to the Gouda Cheese Awards 2022. In 2014, we delivered 2 complete treatment lines and a delivery line for CONO Kaasmakers' new cheese factory.

So a lot was already automated, but the shelves of the transport racks were still washed with an old model standalone shelf washer. That is, by hand. In order to wash more shelves in the same time and save FTEs, we were now asked to supply a robot shelf washing installation for the automatic cleaning of these shelves. In 8 months, we managed to realise a completely new line, from design to delivery.

Vertical shelf washer
The shelves are parallel washed by 2 vertical shelf washers. Our updated version of this shelf washer is a lot more hygienic than the old model. With these vertical shelf washers, the shelves are cleaned on both sides simultaneously. This is more effective than a horizontal shelf washer, which only cleans the shelves on one side so that the cheese can be placed on the dry side of the shelf. In this case, the shelves go back into the box without the cheese, so both sides can be washed and rinsed at the same time. Much more efficient!

Robots 
The handling of the shelves is done with 2 robots. One robot takes the shelves from the transport rack and places them in the infeed of the shelf washer. On the output side of the shelf washer, the other robot picks up the shelf and places it back in a rack.

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Sustainability 
CONO Kaasmakers cares about people, animals and the environment and in their climate-neutral cheese factory 'De Tijd', the most modern sustainable techniques are used to produce as energy-efficiently as possible. Washing, rinsing and drying the cheese shelves requires a lot of hot water, detergent and hot air. By cleaning the shelves as efficiently as possible with our shelf washer - i.e. at a lower temperature and using less detergent - energy consumption can be minimised here as well. In addition, thanks to many years of experience and continuous development, our systems have a very long service life. Operating systems lasting more than 20 years are no exception. Now that's sustainable!

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// P. Mulder - Synergy Food  //

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