Scherping Cheese System

A joint venture between Scherping Systems, Inc and the Department of Food Science and Nutrition has resulted in the installation of a pilot scale 2,500 LB Horizontal Cheese Vat (HCV), Cheese Dewheying/Salting Conveyor and Control System at University of Minnesota. The facility is fully operational and complements the new twin screw extruder and aseptic processing system that were installed recently as part of a major departmental Pilot Plant upgrade.

The SCHERPING HCV is suitable for the manufacture of a wide range of products including Cheddar, Colby, Muenster, Brick, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Romano, Low Fat and No Fat Cheeses. The vat represents a very rugged design, with agitators capable of withstanding the stresses exerted during restart after both normal pre-draw and extended power failure. The vat shell, the heating jacket and the supporting structure are fabricated entirely in T304 stainless steel. The vat is steam-heated and able to provide a heating rate which will optimize the proper cook techniques for the specified varieties. The SCHERPING DE-WHEYING/SALTING CONVEYOR is suitable for the manufacture of stirred or matted curd cheese. It is equipped with an integral wedge wire pre-drain screen, wash wands, horizontal and vertical agitators, and two salt dispensing units. The conveyor is a 3’-0” wide polypropylene, flat top belt, is CIP cleanable, and is driven by a 1/3 HP gear motor. The internal finish is 2B with welds ground smooth and polished and the external finish is glass bead blast.

HCV-2,500 Horizontal Cheese Vat Specifications

Overall Dimensions: length 8'-1''; width 4'-10''; height 5'-10''

Capacity: 2,500 lbs

Agitator/Cutter: The agitator/cutter is a standard heavy duty model and is driven with a 1HP, 3 phase, severe duty, 460V, 60 Hz gear motor controlled by a frequency drive

Heating Jacket: Consists of the lower two thirds of the cylinder wall area and is complete with sparge pipes and condensate outlet. Heating is possible using steam or hot water

Pre-draw outlets: Three pre-draw outlets at 1,600, 1,400, and 1,200 lbs levels

CIP Assembly: The CIP system includes three spray balls, two bearing jet assemblies and two seal jet assemblies. The CIP manifold is complete with leak detect valves to control cleaning of seals and internal bearings.

Manway: The manway is mounted on top of the vat and has a safety grate with proximity switches which will not allow the vat agitators to operate if the grate is open.

Temperature Sensor: The vat is equipped with a temperature sensor enclosed in a stainless steel well

pH Sensor: The vat is equipped with an E&H on-line pH probe

Coagulation Sensor: The vat is equipped with a CoAguLite probe

Load Sensor: The vat is attached to four load sensors

De-Wheying Conveyor Belt

Dimensions: length 19'-8''(Usable); width 3'-0''

Pre-drain Screen: The conveyor is equipped with an integral wedge wire pre-drain screen, which removes virtually all of the free whey before the curd reaches the belt.

Agitators: Three vertical curd agitators complete with hollow shaft drives are present, one initially where the curd enters the machine, another approximately half way down the belt and a third after the salt application point. Two horizontal, fixed speed curd agitators, complete with 1.5 HP geared motors, are mounted part way along the draining belt. The horizontal agitators are variable speed by means of frequency drives. The vertical agitators can be removed and the horizontal agitators can be parked when producing a matted curd.

Wash Wands: The conveyor is equipped with three curd wash wands spaced at suitable intervals. Three additional wash port are available which allows flexibility in the location of the wash wands.

Salting System: The salting system includes two salt dispensing units, each consisting of the following: 20 pound capacity salt hopper including cover for manual filling, positive feed metering auger with precision variable speed D.C. drive and control unit to dispense salt based on volume and to interface with the main control panel via 4-20ma signals, and multi tube salt distributing manifolds for low pressure air salt distribution to the belt. Curd depth is sensed by means of ultrasonic sensors. These sensors emit ultrasonic pulses that reflect off the surface of the curd. These pulses are converted to a 4-20 milliamp signal, which feeds the control system for salt distribution.

CIP Assembly: The housing is supplied with CIP sprayballs connected by a CIP header, which is divided into two zones.

Manway: Three manways are located on the front, rear, and side of the conveyor and have safety grates with proximity switches which will not allow the conveyor agitators to operate if the grate is open.

Inspection Ports: Three 6'' inspection ports with stainless steel covers and proximity safety switches which will not allow the conveyor agitators to operate if the port is open.

Temperature Sensors: The conveyor is equipped with three temperature sensors located in the front, middle, and rear of the conveyor.

Control System Specification

The control system includes an Allen Bradley PLC processor and Allen Bradley remote I/O. The system is controlled via an RSView32 desktop control station.