To satisfy requirements from a strategically important customer, ASM Foods modified its processing installation. Prevas was responsible for all aspects of the project and delivered a turnkey installation – designed based on the customer’s needs, tested and commissioned.
ASM Foods produces ingredients for the grocery industry, primarily jam and chocolate fillings for ice cream, bakery goods and confectioneries. The company has about 150 employees at two plants in Mjölby – one plant for water-based products and one for fat-based. The company began during the 1930s and has been owned since 2013 by Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest producer of chocolate.
There are customers all over the world and they place stringent demands on the company’s products – they must always maintain the same color, consistency and taste. Delivery precision is also highly prioritized, as well as flexibility and short lead times.
“Our operations are fully tailored to customer orders,” says Bengt Nehrman, production developer at ASM Foods. “Customers receive ten-day delivery service and we seldom know what production will be like two weeks into the future. This is also our niche, as a fast and flexible supplier.”
Adaptation for new product
ASM Foods operates in a branch where demand can quickly shift, although it is unusual that a situation arises in which an individual product can motivate major investments in the processing installation. But a few years ago, there was a case in which strategic considerations and an unequivocal directive from the owner had to be complied with. The project started in 2016 and Prevas was responsible for the entire delivery, in other words, for the new processing equipment.
“ASM Foods contacted us because they wanted to add an additional filling line,” says Henric Persson, business unit manager at Prevas. “They also wanted to modify certain parts of their process so they could more flexibly utilize their capacity.”
The actual modification consisted of a new buffer tank with higher capacity and a new keg filler that could comply with the new customer’s requirements for packaging in 5-kilo and 25-kilo kegs. The existing processing equipment was complemented with new, automated valve matrices that increase flexibility in the installation.
Prevas broadening its range of solutions for the processing industries
When Prevas takes comprehensive responsibility in a project, they coordinate all activities and are responsible for all external suppliers, enabling the customer to focus on ordinary operations. Prevas’ delivery consists of turnkey installations – designed based on customers’ requirements, tested and commissioned.
“We work to effectively minimize disturbances to customers’ production environments and we take full responsibility for all activities in the projects,” says Henric Persson. “Because we can deliver comprehensive solutions, we become involved in projects earlier, which gives us better understanding of customers’ operations and needs.”
Operators as the starting point
The modifications were completed in the autumn of 2016 and ASM Foods is now working with the new customer’s requirements for special packaging. The process is fully automated, and monitored and controlled in real-time by the company’s operators.
“A basic requirement is that all component parts in our process are comprehensible and user friendly for our operators,” says Bengt Nehrman. “From what I’ve seen, they’re satisfied, and they are continuing to submit suggestions for improvements as well as participating in optimization of the process.”
From Prevas’ side, several different skills have been involved in the project, with participation by project managers, process engineers, process designers, procurement managers, electrical engineers and automation engineers. With ASM having signed support agreements with Prevas to ensure reliable operation in their plants, collaboration is continuing.
“Prevas has demonstrated both their expertise and trustworthiness in the project,” says Bengt Nehrman. “They’ve also contributed with experience and improvement suggestions based on what they have done previously on several similar projects. We’re very happy with what they’ve accomplished, both when it comes to work with the software and the design of our process.”
Do you want to know more about this project or find out what Prevas can do for you, please contact us.
Patrick Buschow, Region Manger Prevas AB, e-mail