Perfect pasta: More than just hot air
In addition to high-quality ingredients and processing, pasta needs a well-functioning ventilation system to ensure a wonderful taste and a perfect mouth-feel. Siemens installed one at JOWA.
The Swiss love their traditional “Ghacktes mit Hörnli” (ground meat and macaroni) and “Älplermakkaronen” (macaroni with potatoes and caramelized onions). Annually they consume over nine kilograms of pasta per person, placing them third in Europe behind Italy and Greece. JOWA Pasta in Buchs ensures Switzerland never runs out of pasta. The company has been making dried pasta products for the Migros for over 50 years. JOWA not only supplies the Migros bakery, but also its pasta factory – and stands for high-quality Swiss pasta products at fair prices.
Improvement through ventilation quality
Siemens and JOWA Pasta Buchs have been partners for many years. A number of different Siemens solutions have been in use to control the ventilation system in the production hall in Buchs. “After over 20 years in operation, the old ventilation system needed to be replaced. Siemens recommended the ideal modernization solution,” explains Thomas Lüscher, Head of Control Engineering at JOWA AG. Simatic S7 controls were the answer. “Modernizing the controls allowed us to make optimizations at the same time. The targeted adjustment of parameters enabled us to improve the ventilation quality even further,” continues Lüscher, “because ventilation is critical in pasta production.”
The amount of water added to the dough during the production process needs to be reduced during drying from about 32 percent to below 13 percent. To achieve this, the pasta is conveyed on multi-tiered belts through a gigantic drier with circulating hot air at temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Celsius. Every time pasta exits the drier, some of the moist air escapes into the production hall. “That is why precise, centralized ventilation control is so critical to keep condensed water from dripping off the ventilation pipes. Manually adjusting the old ventilation control was a challenge,” explains Andreas Zülle, Head of Production at JOWA AG.
Fully focused on production
Using the modernized controls, Thomas Lüscher is able to fine-tune the ventilation system: “The visualization on the control panel makes controlling the system easier. Trend recording helps us keep tabs on the values.” Another benefit of the new system: remote access lets Siemens step in for troubleshooting or optimization purposes. Andreas Zülle explains: “The new control technology lets me focus fully on production; there’s no need to manually adjust the ventilation. That means less maintenance and more efficient production.”
Picture credits: Siemens AG
Since its founding, JOWA Pasta in Buchs has been the largest manufacturer of pasta products in Switzerland. Today it manufactures approximately 18,000 tons of pasta per year, about 70 percent of which is egg pasta. The company makes 360 products in 45 different shapes. At 2.2 million units, the company’s “M Classic 3-Egg Macaroni” is its top seller.
Migros is the number one in the Swiss retail sector and stocks more than 200 own-brands in the food, near-food and non-food areas. Own-brand products have a long tradition at Migros and are well accepted by their customers - when it comes to own-brand products, Switzerland leads the way in Europe, with a proportion of more than 50%.
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