On Friday 5 September 2013, Milcobel officially opened the brand-new mozzarella production line at its factory in Langemarck. Over the past two years, the company and its subcontractors have worked hard to install a second mozzarella production line in addition to the existing one, thereby doubling the factory’s capacity from 25,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes per year.
The Zundert-based company IAS Industrial Automation was responsible for the entire automation of this production line, and was therefore closely involved in the realisation of this major project.
Milcobel is a Belgian dairy cooperative with 3,300 shareholding milk suppliers. The Milcobel Group has 9 sites in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. As a dairy cooperative, Milcobel is the market leader in Belgium; every year, its fleet of 60 lorries collects 1.1 billion litres of milk from dairy farms. This milk is processed into a variety of products in several factories. At the Langemarck site, the milk is processed into mozzarella, butter and ice cream.
In August 2012, construction began on a second mozzarella production line in Langemarck. This line doubles the mozzarella factory’s capacity from 25,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes per year. The mozzarella is destined for pizza and lasagne makers in Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The total investment in the new production line amounts to 30 million euro.
IAS of Zundert was responsible for the entire automation of this production line. Over the past two years, an IAS project team of, on average, eight employees has worked on this major project. Among others, IAS worked with machine manufacturers Tetra Pak and Sulbana for this.
ABB’s System 800xA in combination with ProBase library was used for the automation. Micobel’s new mozzarella line in Langemark is the biggest 800xA/ProBase system created in the Benelux, consisting of 9 operator workplaces and 9,000 new I/O. The new system is integrated into the existing SattLine/Foocos environment. IAS developed special modules for this purpose, so that the SattLine/Foocos and 800xA/ProBase environments merge seamlessly.