JOWA AG Pasta has been the largest manufacturer of pasta products in Switzerland since it was founded in 1931. It is important for the company that its production operations run smoothly and meet strict quality standards.
Original Article from www.rotronic.com
Precision temperature and humidity probes from Rotronic are used to measure the climates in the factory’s six production lines, which predominantly manufacture dried pasta for the retailers such as Migros (Switzerland’s largest retailer). As a testament to the quality of Rotronic probes some units are over 15 years old and are still performing as required having only undergone routine calibration and adjustment to ensure that they provide consistently accurate accurate data.
JOWA AG manufactures 18,000 tonnes of pasta per year and is thus the largest pasta producer in Switzerland!
The pasta market is highly competitive and food legislation strict. It is therefore all the more important that the pasta is produced in the finest quality without production stoppages and rejects. The drying process plays a key role in the production of dried pasta and is therefore accorded top priority at JOWA. In order to control the climates optimally, temperature and humidity probes from Rotronic are used in the production lines. To preserve the food for a long shelf life and prevent mould and negative microbiological processes, the pasta is dried to a very specific level. Over drying wastes time, energy and produces a poorer quality product, under drying reduces shelf life and risks spoilage. Humidity and temperatures therefore need to be monitored closely during production. Legislation in Switzerland states that pasta products may not contain more than 13 percent water.
High Demands on Probe Accuracy
JOWA has been manufacturing pasta at its site in Buchs AG since 1963. The requirements of food standards, law and customers are rising continuously.
Oliver Höfler, head of the JOWA AG sites Pasta Buchs & Mühle Wildegg, comments:
“Every single production step needs to be traceable in ever more detail, down to each single packet of spaghetti. The temperature and humidity of each production step must be recorded exactly.”
If unwanted temperature and humidity variations were to occur in the pasta, this could lead to quality defects such as crumbling. The pasta would then dry irregularly and break during cooking. For this reason a sample is taken of every product from the first three and last three pallets for quality assessment. The heads of the different departments evaluate the products daily according to various specified properties such as taste and appearance.
Oliver Höfler explains: “If we have to recall products from various stores, this means an enormous financial loss of several ten thousand francs and also a severe blow to the image of our products. A dissatisfied customer – that is something we cannot afford. For this reason it is essential that we are able to rely on the measuring accuracy of the Rotronic probes to 100 percent.”
In addition to this, samples need to be taken for analysis from ongoing production every four hours. “ We greatly appreciated the open and transparent collaboration with Rotronic.” Oliver Höfler, JOWA AG, Switzerland Migros dried pasta perfectly monitored. Rotronic I200 sensor, providing reliable service for more than 15 years.
Project Workflow: Good and Long-Term Planning
Planning calibration time is the key to success with humidity instruments. JOWA AG in Buchs stops production twice a year, two weeks in winter and two weeks in summer, in order to check all equipment and machinery and so maintain the high quality standards. Andreas Zülle, head of production, ensured that the 50 probes (both the I200 transmitters dating back to at least the year 2000 and the newer HygroFlex5 generation) were disconnected right at the start of the last inspection so that Marko Schulze, Rotronic’s qualification technician on site, could begin calibrating the measuring devices. All probes were also catalogued. Marko Schulze: “JOWA’s planning was ideal, I was able to check all probes and either get them back into shape or replace them, and then we still had enough time to test the newly adjusted probes.”
Product Focus – Rotronic HygroFlex5
The HygroFlex5 series of transmitters connect to our entire range of HygroClip probes and offers analogue and digital outputs for any application.
HC2-S probe provides superb precision and state-of-the-art functionality, taking humidity and temperature measurement to a whole new level of accuracy < 0.8 %rh and < 0.1 K at 23 °C.
Also available with ATEX / Intrinsically safe certification.
Smooth implementation of the inspection and calibration procedure was important to Andreas Zülle: “After the calibration, our process specialists were able to start up the production lines again without problem.” Oliver Höfler adds: “We greatly appreciated the open and transparent collaboration with Rotronic, found Marko Schulze to be an extremely competent partner and are sure we will be able to carry out calibration of our instruments even more efficiently next time. They have now been catalogued in detail. On top of that, we can also check the probes during operation with the Hygropalm from Rotronic.” Both sides benefit from good planning and a good working relationship.
Some Interesting Facts about Jowa
- JOWA Pasta has been producing dried pasta for more than 50 years
- The durum wheat semolina needed for production comes from a mill in Wildegg that also belongs to JOWA.
- A team of 46, working three shifts a day, ensure daily that high-quality raw materials are transformed into products at an optimum price-performance ratio .
- JOWA employs a workforce of around 3,200 people and, with more than 140 apprentices and trainees, is the biggest training company in the Swiss bakery industry.
- JOWA AG is the leading Swiss bakery and supplies its customers from the retail trade, convenience stores and food service sector daily with a wide range of products and individual service concepts.
- Jowa produce buns, cream slices to pasta, ham croissants and braided bread, some even gluten-free – the bakery assortment goes far beyond the classical bakery range.
- The service concepts are tailored specifically to the requirements of customers and extend from logistics and marketing to in-store production.
- The tasty JOWA breads and pastries are very popular.
- JOWA breads are served fresh on the table daily in every third Swiss household.