Cracking the Industrial Cheesemaking Code with Stäubli Robotics at CheeseExpo 2024

Discover how Stäubli’s specialized food robots help cheesemakers maintain optimal food safety while boosting productivity

Duncan, South Carolina, March 28, 2024 — CheeseExpo, the world's biggest cheese and whey processing expo, is coming to the Baird Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 16-18. Over 4,000 cheese industry leaders and suppliers are expected. Seeing the latest dairy technology on the exhibit floor is among the highlights, and at Booth 1415, Stäubli Robotics will demonstrate how its food robots handle cheese processing tasks with high precision and hygienic standards.

Stäubli Robotics works closely with industry partners to gain insights and develop targeted automation solutions. In the food industry, safety is paramount, and strict hygienic requirements related to handling and cleaning apply. Stäubli's HE (humid environment) robots are designed specifically to help cheese manufacturers stay in compliance and maintain consistent quality. They are used worldwide in the production of hard, soft, and fresh cheeses.

At CheeseExpo, Booth 1415, a Stäubli TX2-90 HE robot will perform ultrasonic cutting, and washdown applications without the need for a robot cover, demonstrating its ability to portion and position products with precision, and stand up to rigorous cleaning. HE robots automate many applications in cheese and other dairy production, such as unwrapped food handling, waterjet cutting, slicing, molding and demolding, de-rinding, coating, turning, spraying, loading/unloading, packaging, and palletizing.

Problem solved: The robotization of cheese production

Hygiene requirements are higher in food than in nearly every other industry, second only to life science. In the cheese industry, they are generally even higher than in the food industry overall, because cheese production involves direct contact with unwrapped food and the deliberate use of bacteria. Moreover, as a ready-to-eat food, cheese does not undergo cooking processes, which help control microorganisms.

All of these risks are heightened in industrial cheese production. Operating at a larger scale means there is more to control in terms of equipment, raw ingredients, personnel, processing steps, and other risk factors. Additionally, the industry is now contending with labor shortages, changing consumer tastes, and sustainability pressures. These challenges require flexible production, waste reduction, and resource optimization.

Industry-specific challenges serve as catalysts for innovation at Stäubli Robotics. The company's HE robots are set apart by their unique hygienic design, proven to minimize the risk of contamination. Along with ensuring food safety, they have been shown to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce waste. All HE robots are designed for wet/humid environments and full wash-down applications, featuring:

• Fully enclosed and pressurized structure to prevent microorganism penetration and avoid condensation - no need for robotic cover
• Hygienic design with smooth, rounded, and tilted surfaces to eliminate liquid retention
• Fully compatible with NSF H1 food-grade lubricant without loss of performance
• Protected against pressure jets of water (IP65) and immersion (IP67)
• Crucial components in stainless steel with special coating to withstand extreme conditions
• No external cables - all connections routed through the arm and base
• Unique, cylindrical envelope and small footprint
• Patented Stäubli proprietary JCS gearbox for accuracy, repeatability and durability

Stäubli is a leader in food industry solutions with a wide range of robots for pick and place, cutting, deboning, portioning, handling of boxes or frozen foods, and unwrapped foods. The HE series, including four- and six-axis ranges, ranges in size and payload from 1kg to 150kg. All have the flexibility of multiple mounting options, allowing easy integration into production lines.

About Stäubli North America
Stäubli North America has more than 200 employees supporting Connectors, Robotics and Textiles customers. The company's North American headquarters is in Duncan, South Carolina. Stäubli provides customer support through its locations in Duncan, Queretaro, Mexico, and the newest Stäubli North American facility, which opened in 2018 in Novi, Michigan. In addition to 24/7 customer support, each of these facilities offers training and has dedicated on-site technical experts who can be deployed whenever needed. Stäubli's North American sales force is located strategically on the West and East coasts, and also serves Canada and Puerto Rico.

Worldwide, Stäubli is a leading manufacturer of quick release couplings, robotics systems and textile machinery. With a workforce of more than 5,500 employees, Stäubli is present in 29 countries supported by a comprehensive distribution network in 50 countries worldwide.

About Stäubli Robotics
Stäubli Robotics is a leading player in robotics around the world, consistently delivering engineering as effective and reliable as our service and support. Stäubli offers a complete range of 4-axis and 6-axis robotic systems, collaborative and mobile robotics as well as software to meet the most exacting demands of the market internationally. Stäubli robots combine speed, performance and safety.

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