Waldner Greek Yogurt Article

March 01, 2021


WALDNER delivers almost twice the production volume coupled with lower losses “Down Under” with its DOSOMATS for yogurt filling – now not just with large handle tubs, but also with plastic cups of various sizes.

Creamy and healthy, natural yogurt is not just a trendy food in Europe and the USA, it is also extremely popular in Australia. It was not entirely unknown down there, since it arrived many years ago with European immigrants to Australia. The McLaren family took over the small Melbourne-based dairy farm over 35 years ago producing a natural, probiotic yogurt based on a traditional Greek recipe without additives. The company, now known as Jalna Dairy Foods, has achieved major success with its product on the Australian market. This natural yogurt continues maturing in the container after filling, since it is filled in liquid form, and the right specialized packaging machinery is required to do this.

The Waldner name first came into play in 2014 when Jalna Dairy Foods was looking for high-output machinery with a precise filling volume. The problem that Jalna was experiencing was that too much yogurt was filling into their containers, which equates to involuntary “product give-away” and the losses built up. WALDNER carried out initial filling tests with its DOSOMATS and the original product. The first Jalna Dairy Foods product tested was a 2 kg handle tub. The clear goal was to be faster and more precise than the previous machine. Waldner designed an ultra-precise piston filler that achieved significantly higher metering precision, which resulted in happy, yet amazed faces among the Jalna project team at the factory acceptance tests in Wangen.

Michael Finkenzeller, Sales at WALDNER GmbH & Co. KG, who managed the project, explains: “The servo technology coupled with the Waldner design allows for a smooth draw of the yogurt, allowing it to effortlessly move through a special valve resulting in very precise fill volume.”

Waldner Greek Yogurt

Positive feedback leads to new orders

This is also guaranteed in day-to-day production with the supplied DOSOMAT using downstream belt control scales. The filling volume is automatically adjusted, even with minimal deviations in the filling weight, so that no product is unnecessarily “given away” and lost by over-filling. “The product loss is almost zero,” explains Michael Finkenzeller with pride. The machine was not just much more accurate than Jalna Dairy Food’s previous machine – it was also 3 times faster. “Following commissioning of this initial 3-lane machine, the feedback was so positive that we received orders for two more additional major lines over the next few years, for plastic tubs containing 1 kg, 200 g and 500 g.”

More complex yet fast and accurate

For the new project, the machines required were significantly larger, 6-lane and 8-lane machines as well as more complex. The plastic containers would also feature a plastic film seal before the lidding is applied. In addition, unlike the handle tubs, the plastic pots and their lids cannot be stacked. “This means that the containers and lids are supplied as loose bulk products and therefore as a first step, need to be turned in the correct orientation for the infeed,” explains Michael Finkenzeller. “We solved this infeed task using appropriate sorting centrifuges. A camera control of the infeed to the DOSOMAT also helps to reject any deformed empty pots.”

Immediate weighing Inline

There were some additional challenges: “The output was also required to increase by a factor of 2 to 3 compared to Jalna Dairy Food’s existing machines. Waldner also achieved this goal. It was immediately clear to us that this did not just mean a higher speed, but that so-called track-based inline weighing would be necessary directly in the DOSOMAT. Only by doing so would the automatic filling weight control be capable of reacting as quickly as possible.” reports Michael Finkenzeller. “Naturally, we retained the proven filling principle using ultra-accurate servo-piston fillers with this machine.”

“The first DOSOMAT we purchased saved 40 g of giveaway on a 2 kg bucket which gave us a number of extra pallets per batch of saleable product. This enticed us to go on and purchase a 2nd and 3rd machine from WALDNER. We now produce more buckets using 8 less operators over the two shifts. All machines have seen production come back into 1-1.5 shifts from 2-2.5. They all have saved at least 5 operators per day."

Andrew Warton – Production Manager – Jalna Dairy Australia

Continuation only after inspection

WALDNER also integrated a custom film sealing station with sealing support of the plastic pot in the system itself. Michael Finkenzeller explains: “This guarantees even sealing pressure around the edge of the seal, with this being controlled in a “squeezing station” directly following sealing. When the pots are squeezed, the foil seal curves if the pack is air-tight. In the event that no curve is produced, this is detected by the relevant sensors and the pack is rejected. Following inline weighing and the addition of the resealable lid, the finished packs are transferred to the customer’s downstream machines for labelling and final packaging. These are some of the critical features that separate Waldner from rival equipment manufacturers.

Excellent reputation of DOSOMATS

“Jalna Dairy Foods emphasized several additional factors that were important considerations in their decision process,” explains Michael Finkenzeller, “Waldner is well known for their world class German engineering and is highly respected as a manufacturer of high performance, robust machinery that is easy to operate, easy to maintain and built to tolerate multiple shift work. Waldner’s reputation for machinery that offers a very high level of hygienic design that is so crucial for packaging dairy products is second to none. All these points were critical factors in the decision process.”

WALDNER’s services are also highly appreciated. “Waldner’s service teams carried out all commissioning work on site in collaboration with our local representative ESKO Australia. We also have the edge in terms of reaction times for small or very urgent service work, thanks to our representative located in the immediate vicinity of Jalna Dairy Foods. After all, our responsibility to our customer does not end with the delivery of the machine. We plan routine service or software updates from our head office in Wangen and perform them via direct VPN connections to the machines,” states Michael Finkenzeller, adding: “All three of the lines supplied are successfully working in production. Both Waldner as well as Jalna Dairy Foods look forward to the ongoing planned expansion of this cooperation over the coming years.”

Waldner Greek Yogurt

  • Machines operate at very high (95%) OEE
  • Ultra-precise filling accuracy with almost zero product loss, minimizing "product give-away”
  • State of the art drive systems, variety of dosing & closing systems
  • Excellent sales, service & parts support
  • More than 3,000 DOSOMATS delivered worldwide

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