Cas d’application

Patties is pie-eyed about Grundfos NOVAlobe

The Situation
Patties Foods, located at Bairnsdale in Victoria’s East Gippsland region is one of Australia’s biggest meat pie manufacturers producing in excess of 300 million pies a year.

It makes some of the nation’s best-known brands, including Patties Pies, Four’N Twenty, Herbert Adams, Snowy River and Nanna’s.

From humble beginnings in 1959, when Peter Rijs purchased a Lakes Entrance bakery and named his first pies after the wife of the original owner, Pattie Neat, the enterprise has grown into a publicly listed company. In 2006 Patties Foods was inducted into the Victoria Manufacturing Hall of Fame and the Gippsland Business Awards Hall of Fame, which came two years after the company had won Gippsland Business of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year awards.

But like all successful businesses, the demand for manufacturing equipment was onerous and some 12 months ago, Patties Foods had to replace the pumps that it used for the transfer of pie-filling from three massive stainless steel steamers to the pie casings.

The Grundfos Solution
After discussions with Grundfos and local Grundfos dealer, McCracken's Water Services, of East Gippsland, Patties Foods decided to use two Grundfos NOVAlobe 40 pumps. The decision was made because the NOVAlobe pumps provided a gentle operation, had a clean-in-place facility, and were very easy to service with minimal downtime.

The pumps were provided by McCracken’s Water Services, but installed by Patties Pies.

“The installation was easy,” says Patties Foods’ Engineering Manager Les Anderson.  “Because the NOVAlobe proved so efficient, we have only installed one, and have kept the second pump in reserve.”

“The pump carries pie-filling from the three 1,500 litres steam cookers about 15 metres to our depositing machine, which automatically fills eight pie casings at a time. The three filler tanks are in line, with the NOVAlobe situated under the central tank.

“When we are filling party pies, the operation works at 50,000 units per hour, and when we are making normal-sized pies it operates at 21,000 units per hour.

“The system operates 24/7, fifty-two weeks of the year apart from when we have to replace one filling with another, such as switching from meat pies to curry pies. But even then, the system takes only about 30 minutes to clean and refill.”

The Outcome
Mr Anderson says the system has been operating faultlessly for about 12 months.

“The Grundfos NOVAlobe operates up to 24 hours a day - apart from a four week shutdown over Christmas - and has worked fine since we installed it,” he says. “It pumps mincemeat, chunky beef up to 15 centimetres square, and chopped meat and vegetables - and so far the results have been excellent.

“We have been very pleased with the Grundfos NOVAlobe pump and it’s operation. It’s gentle on the fillings, doesn’t block or become clogged up, and does the job that we require.”