Expertise for the food industry provided by KLINGER The Netherlands
Plant expansion at FrieslandCampina: Food industry relies on know-how from KLINGER The Netherlands for fluid control and clean room solutions
KLINGER can rightfully claim to be a sealing technology and plant safety specialist. Applying their knowledge to new fields, some of the Group’s companies are able to take their vast knowledge even further to service other demanding industry segments. KLINGER The Netherlands has made a name for itself as a Food & Beverage expert, amongst others with its clean production area projects. When FrieslandCampina contacted them for a challenging plant expansion, the colleagues were more than happy to comply.
FrieslandCampina produces and sells consumer products such as dairy-based beverages, infant nutrition, cheese and desserts in many European countries, in Asia and in Africa via its own subsidiaries. The closure of a plant in the Netherlands, how-ever, meant that another in Gerkesklooster had to be expanded. “We were committed to absorbing their capacity,” explains Henk Jonkman, FrieslandCampina’s project manager for technology projects, “as a cooperative, we have to process the milk we are offered. And this means we had to ramp up our cheese production.”
“As a result of the need to maximize production, the time window for the plant expansion was very small,” remembers Geert Meijer, the project’s process engineering service provider, and adds: “In other words, there was no room for even a single mistake or unexpected delay.” Work on the plant was carried out on a step-by-step basis, and KLINGER’s fluid control expertise soon proved invaluable. “The old pipes were fitted with T-pieces and butterfly valves. They were shut off whenever we were ready to install the next section of the new pipe system,” says Marc Westerhuis, Sales Engineer at KLINGER. Working in the F&B production zones also meant compliance with strict food hygiene regulations. “Depending on the area they were assigned to, the colleagues had to exchange their standard clothes for hygiene suits. This of course cost time, time we didn’t really have anyway,” reveals Henk, “nevertheless, everybody did so without even having to be reminded. I was very impressed with the level of professionalism displayed by the workers and engineers.”
"Using high-temperature steam helps heat up the water used to bring the milk to the desired temperature. Using this approach led to a significant increase in the plant’s overall energy efficiency."
Marc Westerhuis, Sales Engineer, KLINGER The Netherlands
Making use of their specialist knowledge, KLINGER was also able to bring a higher degree of efficiency to the plant by means of their proposed steam injectors. “Using high-temperature steam helps heat up the water used to bring the milk to the desired temperature,” explains Marc, “this approach led to a significant increase in the plant’s overall energy efficiency.” KLINGER also provided the corresponding set of control valves to ensure continuous, long-term operation of the process.
Behind the wheel
Managing a large-scale project that involved six installers, 15 contractors and up to 300 construction workers required a high degree of flexibility. Samira of KLINGER’s sales office was tasked with keeping things under control. “My job was to ensure that the right equipment made it to the right place at the right time,” she recalls, and adds: “I worked closely together with both Henk and Geert. Due to the time constraints, we in some cases had very short lead times and components had to be delivered literally the next day.” To guarantee that everything reached its actual destination, the trio devised a simple, but ingenious system. “We tagged all the components listed in the engineering plan with numbers and did the same with our warehouse stock,” reveals Samira. According to Henk and Geert, the KLINGER warehouse was instrumental in completing the project in time: “Every shipment arrived as scheduled, there were absolutely no delays. This also includes last-minute orders.” Looking back, they both agree: “It was crazy, one moment we were standing in the mud, the next Jorrit Krijgsman, KLINGER’s Sales Team Leader, was on the phone with our headquarters, and then in a discussion over the proposed control valves. But we pulled it off – thanks in no small part to KLINGER.”