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Processing and packaging line with stainless steel gearboxes and motors

Looking into the refrigerator, most of us will find some sort of cheese, but have you ever considered the process the cheese goes through before we can pick it up in the supermarket? At FF Engineering, this process has been on their minds for the past two years, where they have developed and produced their largest complete processing and packaging line for a cheese producer. Now they can celebrate that the system is ready for shipment.


This new complete processing and packaging line is the largest line FF Engineering has built to date. The line is so large that FF Engineering had to rent a nearby hall where it could be set up and tested. They have previously built a similar model on a smaller scale for a Danish customer. The model created so much excitement that this new line was ordered and now is to be sent abroad.

The cheese’s path through the production line

The process starts with a robot picking up cheese blocks from a pallet and placing them on a conveyor belt. The placing of the cheese blocks has in itself been quite a challenge, as the cheese blocks are not uniform or equal in size, which means that the robot must be very precise in the handling of the individual cheese block so as not to damage the cheese or packaging. At the production line, the cheese blocks are transported via a washing machine, which disinfects the wrapping plastic around the product before the blocks enter the so-called “high risk” area.


At the next step, the cheese blocks must be unpacked, which is done using a de-foiling machine - FF Engineering's own invention. In this process, the cheese blocks are first measured on length, height, width and centered on the belt. Air is then blown into the packaging to ensure that the plastic is detached from the sticky cheese, and that a Fanuc Cleanroom Robot in the next step can remove the packaging without damaging the cheese. In the same process as the packaging is removed, it is sucked away and via a pipe system led directly to a waste system.



The cheese blocks are then transported on to a robot cell, where another Fanuc Cleanroom Robot automatically stacks the cheese blocks, after which the stacked blocks are sent to a dicing machine, which cuts the cheese blocks into smaller blocks. The smaller blocks are then sorted via a shaker system that has output to three grating lines, from which the blocks are grated, the grated cheese is weighed, packaged, marked, and packed in appropriate numbers.


A production line with large capacity

The production line must handle 576 blocks of cheese per hour. A block of cheese weighs 9.2 kg and thus the manufacturer can look forward to being able to disinfect, remove packaging from the product, dice, grate and pack 5.3 tons of cheese per hour when the new production line is installed.


High demands on gearboxes and motors


The cheese that this complete processing and packaging line must handle is soft and sticky, and therefore frequent cleaning is necessary. There have therefore been high demands on gearboxes and motors, as these are included directly in the de-foiling line, and therefore, they must be able to be cleaned with chemicals and to be sprayed with water from all sides. FF Engineering has chosen to use BJ-Gear's stainless worm gearboxes and motors. Fifteen series 42 high-end stainless worm gearboxes and two series 61 high-end stainless worm gearboxes with mounted stainless motors are installed at the plant.

In addition, several flange bearings have been installed at the plant, most of which are BJ-Gear's waterproof NG bearings. FF Engineering has used NG bearings on other machines and has learned that BJ-Gear's waterproof NG bearings are very robust in wet environments and have a longer service life than previously used bearing blocks. FF Engineering has therefore decided to use NG bearings on future projects.

Do you want to read more about FF engineering? Please visit their website