April 2024

A future-proof cheese factory

Embarking on a journey to create a future-proof cheese factory has been a rewarding experience for Josef Vögele, Managing Director of Milchwerk Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. With a rich history in the cheese-making industry spanning over 50 years, Josef and his team have been dedicated to transforming their plant into a modern, sustainable, and efficient facility.

Josef Vögele first learned to make cheese back in 1974

Valuable player

Josef Vögele first learned to make cheese back in 1974 and he’s been fascinated by the process ever since. Fast-forward about ten years and he was heading up the technical department at a dairy plant with 70 production staff. And in 2012, he took on the role of Managing Director at Milchwerk Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl.

Today, the company annually processes around 150,000 tons of raw milk from cooperative suppliers, producing some 21,000 tons of cheese: Balkan cheese, pasta filata cheese (kashkaval), and grill cheese.

Future proof cheese factory

"My team and I had a goal: to prove that we had what it takes to be a valuable player in the dairy market. So, we worked hard on growing our milk intake capacity and increasing our cheese production capacity.” 

Josef Vögele
Managing Director
Milchwerk Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl

In GEA, we found a partner who understood our goals and has delivered what we need to ensure that our company will thrive for many years to come, and in a sustainable way.

Josef Vögele

Managing Director, Milchwerk Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl

Ready for the future

Having faced the need for a substantial upgrade in 2019, with most of the equipment dating back to the 1980s and 1990s, Milchwerk Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl invested around 5 million euros to modernize the plant. The focus was on three key aspects: hygiene, automation, and energy efficiency. In this transformative journey, GEA emerged as the perfect partner, sharing a deep understanding of their goals and delivering solutions to ensure long-term success.

Hygiene, sustainability, and digitalization

Josef emphasizes the importance of automation in optimizing hygiene practices and preventing errors in the cheese production process. GEA's Codex® Plant Playback, a monitoring solution, became a valuable tool for the team, allowing them to observe and learn from the plant's behavior in real-time. The collaboration with GEA extended beyond mere answers to questions; it evolved into a genuine partnership where both parties challenged each other to make the right decisions for the plant's advancement.

Bernhard Tasser, Regional Sales Manager at GEA, highlights specific improvements, such as enhancing the pasteurizer's capacity to 45,000 liters of milk per hour and optimizing the raw milk valve cluster to treat the product more gently. The introduction of two water circuits in the cream pasteurizer further illustrates GEA's commitment to enhancing product quality and sustainability.

Sparring partners

Reflecting on the journey, Josef expresses confidence in the decisions made and the ongoing reliance on GEA's expertise. The relationship with GEA transcends a mere supplier-customer dynamic; it's a collaborative partnership that ensures Milchwerk Crailsheim-Dinkelsbühl's position as a valuable player in the dairy market for years to come.


Increase capacity

Discover how we can increase plant capacity without compromising quality.


Increase hygiene

Elevate hygiene standards with efficient solutions.


Save Water

Conserve water in dairy processing with simple yet effective solutions.


Plant Monitoring

Stay ahead of production challenges with GEA Codex® Plant Playback.


Save Energy

Save energy and simultaneously increase product quality.

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