The Nestle chilled liquid foods processing plant at Cuddington in Cheshire was purchased from Northern Foods along with the well known Ski yoghurt and Munch Bunch brands, for Â£145m in February 2002.
The deal also involved the transfer of around 300 staff, although some of these were made redundant during restructuring in October 2002. The facility, which was constructed in 1991, and produces over 50,000t per annum of Ski, Munch Bunch and Sveltesse yoghurts.
In January 2007 Nestle contracted CPS (Carlisle Process Systems) for major expansion at the Cuddington plant. Nestle UK needed to upgrade the plant in two ways.
The first problem was to provide a stabiliser mix plant consisting of two big-bag powder dischargers, emptying into a powder weighing vessel, a high shear vacuum for incorporating the powders with liquid additions as well as for transfer to the yoghurt mix process.
The weighing and mixing sequences were to be sized to provide a hold-time for hydration before transfer to the yoghurt process. The whole package was designed to be system controlled from an Allen Bradley PLC with a local operator screen and an interface with the existing Accos plant control.
In addition, Nestle needed to modify an existing Erca filling line from four pot filling to six pot filling; this included an additional fruit-dosing station, coupled with process modifications at the filling machine to feed yoghurt and fruit to the new filling head â€“ including clean-in-place (CIP) systems.
In 2007 it was announced the production of Ski and Munch Bunch yoghurts will shift to Continental Europe.
In all honesty, the Nestle factory was not high on my to do list, but I was at a loose end and Andy has been keen to pay a visit to the site for some time so i decided to tag along. The site has been raped and pillaged to within an inch of its life, but all in all, it was a good way to pass a couple of hours and there are still some interesting things to be found if you looked hard enough.
Visited with TCCI, georgie (well sort of, he had been before, so decided to sleep in the car whilst we had a mooch) and Andy.
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