Renovation production Vegafit
At the beginning of 2020, Bobeldijk Food Group (the producer of all Vegafit products) switched completely to the production of plant-based products. The “meat factory” was cleared out and converted into a “plant-based factory”. The goal: increase capacity as well as sustainability.
In order to keep up with the enormous growth of the market and the growth of our customer base and our sales, we cannot ignore it: the capacity must be increased.
The third frying line is to be built in the old meat section, a huge addition in terms of capacity. Hans Kakkenberg (production manager) about the new machines: “The new machines can be set accurately, so that we can optimise products in a targeted way and achieve higher efficiency.”
Sustainability of frying lines
In the new situation, sustainability is taken into account in all aspects. The current frying lines are also included in this sustainability initiative.
The heat released on the frying lines during the production of the products normally evaporates outwards. We recover this heat and use it to heat the water for cleaning the factory. This solution means we are less reliant on fossil fuels (natural gas).
Our products are cooled using an environmentally friendly, natural refrigerant. Chemical refrigerants are still used at the moment, but we are making the switch to natural gases. They are less harmful to the environment.
Less oil waste
An oil management system is installed to prevent oil loss. The supply and removal of oil then goes through a closed system: a tanker supplies oil, fills the tank and gets fed to the machines through with pipework. This way you get a cleaner system and this leads to less oil waste.
Reducing water consumption
For cleaning our machines, a CIP (Clean-In-Place) system is installed that pumps the water around. You can compare this with the operation of a dishwasher: less water is used than if you were to wash the dishes by hand.
In addition to the new frying line – which is similar to the current frying lines, but newer, more modern, and larger – new possibilities are also being created.
A new OptiDipper (batter machine) allows products with a batter with high viscosity. Think, for example, of our plant-based fried fish.
Spiral freezers will ensure that the products are frozen at -18°C. This way, the products are frozen faster and less ice crystallisation occurs on the products. The products then maintain the best possible quality.
The goal is to have the entire renovation completed before the summer holidays of 2021. The first phase (the new fryer line) will go live at the end of April. The second phase (renovating existing fryer line) will be ready at the end of June.