At Drobimex in Goleniow, the meat from the freshly slaughtered chickens is processed into various sausage types after it is deboned. Sliced and portioned sausage specialities packaged in trays in a protective atmosphere make up a large part of production. The sausage products are packaged on a total of three packaging lines (fig. 1). These are located in a production building that was newly built in 2015.
One reason for this decision was the recommendation from colleagues from Wiesenhof, a German poultry producer in Rietberg, Germany, which also belongs to the PHW Group. They were already operating a central vacuum system with Busch vacuum pumps and had positive experience in the areas of energy savings and reliability. As a result, Maintenance Manager Andrzej Ka?mirski directly contacted Busch's Polish sales company, which ultimately designed and implemented a customized central vacuum system for Drobimex together with the Systems department of Busch Germany.
The challenge during this process was to design the system in such a way that it would fit into a narrow space outside the production and packaging rooms. For Andrzej Ka?mirski, it was extremely important that the vacuum supply be set up outside the cooled production spaces, because waste heat from the vacuum pumps would require increased cooling power for the rooms, which would inevitably lead to higher energy consumption. A further advantage of installing the vacuum supply outside of the production rooms is that maintenance personnel do not need to enter the hygienically sensitive areas and maintenance can be performed during normal working hours.
A thermoforming vacuum pump station supplies the vacuum of 180 millibars to the thermoforming machine moulding station. This vacuum forms the base foil of the packaging and thus forms the packaging tray.
An additional increase in efficiency is provided by a demand-based control system that ensures that the only vacuum pumps in operation are the ones that are actually needed. In practice, this usually means that all vacuum pumps are never simultaneously in operation and thus do not constantly consume electricity. With an average operating time of approximately ten hours per work day in a five- to six-day week, this benefit should not be underestimated.
Maintenance of the central vacuum system is performed by experienced Busch service technicians and regulated with a maintenance contract with Busch. Maintenance includes a half-yearly inspection of the entire system, including controls, as well as oil and filter changes for all vacuum pumps. After one year of operation, Andrzej Ka?mirski is highly satisfied with his central vacuum supply. During this time there have not been any malfunctions whatsoever, let alone a failure of individual vacuum pumps.