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Gennari, the Parmesan manufacturer swears by Swiss conveyor technology

02 October 2015

For the Gennari cheese factory, ancient manufacturing methods and modern production technology are not mutually exclusive.

So when it comes to the flow of materials and packaging, this traditional family business, with cheese products that are extremely popular throughout Europe, Japan and the USA, puts its trust in highly efficient conveyor systems from Swiss company Denipro.

Mauro Lori, Gennari’s production manager emphasises “our materials flow is now very energy-efficient, employing the very latest technology. Imagine, our new easychain gets by with only two electrical drives for the whole line.”

Over 240 winding and twisting metres, the plate chain conveyor, developed by Denipro three years ago for diverse transport roles and christened easychain, connects the cheese factory’s five production lines with first and second packaging. On their way to the palletizing stations in the shipping department, the Parmesan packages negotiate height differences of more than three metres via a spiral that forms part of the easychain system. Thanks to the overhead placement of the conveyor technology, there is sufficient free space for Gennari employees to move unimpeded across the floor. At the same time, additional space for storage and transport has also been created without a large outlay. A second spiral then returns the packages to a height of 78 centimetres, which is ergonomically convenient for employees in the packaging area. At the end of the transport line, each unit is weighed and ejected in four directions according to its destination. Every hour, the installation transports up to 1500 food containers.

When it comes to plate chain conveyor technology, Denipro has reshuffled the cards with a number of innovations. “We have opted universally for rolling instead of sliding,” explains CEO Jens Kirchhoff. “As a result, we are not only reducing friction and wear, but also lowering energy consumption.” At Gennari, two 0.75 kW motors are therefore all that’s needed to get cheese boxes weighing up to ten kilograms moving at 0.45 metres a second. If materials flow at Gennari required a higher speed, even three times that speed would be possible.

When fitting the installation into the existing Gennari building architecture, the layout planners and engineers were able to make use of an advantage shared by all Denipro conveyor systems: namely, their exceptionally high level of modularity. Thanks to the modular design principle, an easychain conveyor gets by with only a few basic elements that are quick and easy to install on site. At the same time, the layout options are very flexible. Should Gennari increase capacity or add new transport lines, the installation can be converted or readily extended at no great effort.

“The investment costs have certainly been worthwhile. The installation runs for 12 hours every working day ? and does so totally dependably. We have never had a stoppage in the two years since it was commissioned.” And there’s another point that the production manager is very proud of: “During all that time, not once have we had to service the line.”

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