Hygiene and automation for the cheese specialists Gebr. Woerle
For 130 years and over five generations, the company Gebr. Woerle from Henndorf in Austria has stood for expertise in the area of cheese. To optimize its production process, in 2019, the areas of production and packaging were upgraded. airinotec equipped the new building with a sophisticated hygienic air technology system. At the same time, the system had to meet different requirements for the individual production areas. These included, for example, maximum hygiene in the sensitive areas of production with open products.
Business success requires the expansion of production
The brand Woerle has stood for highest quality in the production of cheese for 130 years. The products of the company, which hails from the Salzburg region, enjoy considerable popularity far beyond the borders of Austria. The international success of Gebr. Woerle meant that in 2019, a new building became necessary: after the production and packaging had been located at two sites, the family business decided that it wanted to merge into one site and to expand. At the same time, it was also determined to optimize its production processes – with a saving of approximately 5,000 truck journeys per year.
Our system architecture at Gebr. Woerle shows that the highest standards of hygiene and energy efficiency can go hand in hand. In this way, a reduction in the energy costs for the company are also achieved.
A new high-bay warehouse was also built. In the future, the new building, which has a total air volume of 410,000 m3/h, will be home to the increased production of processed cheese. In addition, portioned semi-hard cheese will be packed and picked, and cheese will be grated and packed. High hygiene standards have to be taken into account for these processes. The indoor ventilation technology for this area was provided by airinotec, the systems provider for air conditioning and process air technology. The installed systems were developed for the various requirements in the different areas.
Sophisticated hygiene solutions in production and packaging
In the areas of production and packaging, the focus was on maintaining air quality, the maximum room humidity and the temperature. As with all systems in the food industry, in this context, the focus was on the hygiene factor: in sensitive production areas with open products, positive pressurization was implemented for the optimum hygiene; in the CIP room and other critical areas, negative pressurization was implemented. It goes without saying that the different requirements of the individual areas were taken into account throughout, with three-stage filtering for open products, for example. The design of the system also included gravity extraction systems with special filtering. Common to all areas was the requirement that the systems should be easy to clean and maintain.
Another consideration that went into the design of the system was its energy efficiency. Highly efficient heat recovery systems and individual room controls contribute to a better energy balance, with the same applying to the load-dependent volume flow control. With a storage height of 30 m and a spatial volume of 47,000 m3, the second major planning area consisted of the fully automated high-bay storage facility: The task here was to maintain the room temperature at a constant and uniform 4° C throughout the entire storage facility under positive pressurization. In this respect, with an energy-efficient system concept, airinotec created the conditions to ensure that the same exact temperature prevails at every pallet location. The new system at Gebr. Woerle was commissioned in Henndorf, Austria at the end of 2019.
Different requirements, one goal
Each industry has its own requirements when it comes to ventilation technology. The highest standards of hygiene are required in the area of food production. These attributes are the focus of all the projects implemented by airinotec. The development of the new plant concepts still has a second objective, however: to make the systems more efficient and sustainable. After all, cooling and ventilation often offer untapped potential for a more energy-efficient and therefore more environmentally friendly and cost-saving form of production. In the system for Gebr. Woerle, these potentials were put to optimum use.