Valdresmeieriet automates while preserving artisanship.

12-01-2024

In the middle of Norway lies the artisan cheese factory Valdresmeieriet, where we recently delivered a semi-automatic cheese coating machine. This machine eases Valdresmeieriet's work, while maintaining the artisanship and quality of the cheeses.

Set up over 10 years ago by a Dutchman, Valdresmeieriet produces Norwegian cheeses reminiscent of Dutch Gouda cheese. And not without results, as Valdresmeieriet's cheeses have won several awards since then.

Artisanal cheese 
"We exclusively use støl milk from mountain cows for our cheese production", says Tonny Ackerman, cheesemaker at Valdresmeieriet. "This milk with a high fat percentage, combined with natural ripening according to Dutch recipe, creates a unique taste. The whey is drained twice and the whole milk is not heated beyond 36°C, giving the cheese a full cream taste."

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Tonny Ackerman, cheesemaker at Valdresmeieriet, with the ELTEN/PCM*500 cheese coating machine.

Tonny originally also comes from the Netherlands, but moved to Norway in 2010 to work at a local bakery. A year later, he took a job at an industrial cheese factory, where he gained a lot of experience making cheese. After 11 years, however, Tonny felt the urge to develop himself in the field of artisan cheese. So when Valdresmeieret was looking for a new cheesemaker, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands and here Tonny has now been making artisanal cheese for over a year.

Automation 
As demand for Valdresmeieriet's cheese increased significantly last year, Tonny started looking for ways to work more efficiently. "I come from an industrial cheese maker myself, so I know the extent to which automation is possible", Tonny explains. "However, it is now important that the product remains artisanal. In this, we make considered choices for work relief without compromising on quality." 

In his search, Tonny soon came across DERO GROEP. Which resulted in the supply of a semi-automatic machine for coating cheeses last summer. Tonny: "DERO GROEP has always thought along very well about the automation I needed. The ELTEN/PCM*500 is the perfect example of making work easier and preserving artisanship. Before we purchased this machine, the cheeses were coated by 3 people. Now 1 person can coat an entire batch. Because the standalone machine is loaded and emptied manually, the employee has an eye on the quality of the cheese and the coating result."

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The artisanal cheeses of Valdresmeieriet.

Plug & play 
Valdresmeieriet thus deliberately chose a semiautomatic machine to be able to maintain this control. In addition, the convenience of the machine and the quality of the coating also played into the choice of the ELTEN/PCM*500. "The machine delivers a consistent coating result without being dependent on the 'coating skills' of the operator," explains Tonny. "I compare DERO GROEP to Apple vs Windows; the ELTEN/PCM*500 is a very simple machine that anyone can handle. It really is plug and play."

Click here for more information about Valdresmeieriet.

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