A cheese dairy plant in Mayenne 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 them a tailor-made solution.
Bretagne Manutention, part of the Fenwick Group, specializes in the sale and maintenance of handling equipment such as forklift trucks, electric pallet trucks and aerial platforms. Their head office, located in Rennes, and the 8 branches spread across Brittany and Mayenne, comprise 200 people. Some branches employ lifting equipment specialists, a know-how preserved 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 fifty 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 7 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, with his long experience in the food industry, recommended Verlinde EUROLIFT BH electric belt hoists to replace those using traditional chain hoist technology.
Hoists for the food industry environment offering perfect cleanliness of operations to meet the most stringent hygiene requirements
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 2-speed lift motor and the 2-speed steering motor, together with the perfectly sealed gearbox, provide the precise and silent movement of loads from 500 to 5000 kg.
A customised adaptation
The industrialist asked Bretagne Manutention for a complete study, as he wanted to optimise the entire lifting solution to increase the load capacities of his hoists from 1000 kg to 1200 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.
Increased production capacity and hygiene
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.
Dominique Denou says: «Since the installation of the first EUROLIFT BH hoist, our customer has expressed satisfaction with the improvement in hygiene and the reduction in downtime due to corrosion. We have continued to assist them, particularly in the adjustment of the belt and the various settings according to the constraints. Providing solutions is the strength of the installer.”
He adds: «Verlinde was present throughout the project, even when it came to choosing the most suitable belt and its adjustments. That makes all the difference with a supplier like Verlinde who offers premium solutions and is able to provide assistance right till the end. This way, everybody works in confidence.”