As part of Milk Link’s continuing investment in its cheese processing operations, two of its production facilities, the Oswestry cheese cutting and packing plant and Llandyrnog Creamery, are to be further upgraded with £2.4m of new equipment.
The final phase of Project Vision – Milk Link’s four year programme to transform its Oswestry production facility into one of the UK’s foremost cheese cutting and packing plants – has commenced.
The last stage of the project, a further £2m investment, has seen the installation of an additional advanced high speed, fully automated, cutting and flow wrapping line.
The line uses the latest laser scanning technology to minimise offcuts and giveaway and is delivering significantly improved packing rates. This will be complemented by the installation in the early summer of a further high speed, intelligent cutting line. This more compact unit has been developed to maximise the performance from smaller run lengths.
In addition, work will also shortly commence on the automatic palletisation of all of Oswestry’s cheese portions and slices product lines. The new robotic equipment will be installed and commissioned by the end of April, delivering further efficiencies and faster run rates.
Meanwhile, a £400,000, advanced, whey de-salination plant is to be installed at Milk Link’s Llandyrnog Creamery. The creamery will be the first of Milk Link’s sites to use this technology to filter salted whey which will help improve profitability at the site.
Currently, whey which comes off the curds after salting cannot be processed due to its high salt content and ends up as land-spread. With the installation of the new equipment, which incorporates an advanced Ultra Osmosis process, as much as 95% of the salt will be removed from the whey solids, which means that they can now be processed into a range of whey based ingredients.
Carl Ravenhall, MD of Milk Link’s cheese business unit, said: “In response to growing customer demand for our cheese, our investments at Oswestry and Llandyrnog will further increase our capacity and capabilities. The investments are fully in line with our strategy of implementing fast returning capital projects which enable us to add value efficiently to our processing operations. This latest equipment will deliver a range of benefits including consistent quality and service for our customers, improved yields and reduced wastage.”
Source: Milk Link
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