The Altenburger Land cheese company in Germany has been producing quality cheese since 1897, and today it employs 82 people on 11,000 m2. The cheeses are packed in food packaging, which comes in large foil reels. The reels previously had a weight of 10-15 kg, which was manually transported from the warehouse to the production, where the employees also changed the reels on the machine manually.

When the production was reorganized in 2019 to run with only one type of cheese on the production line per day, there was no longer a need for different food packaging - it made better sense to have larger reels of foil in the machine with fewer shifts and less downtime. However, the large foil reels weigh up to 30 kg, and this presented challenges.


"We went in search of a solution that allowed us to use larger foil reels without compromising the health of employees or overloading their backs," says Hendrik Kotzan, Head of the Purchasing Department at the cheese company Altenburger Land. "At the FachPack trade fair, I saw the mobile industrial lifter from Hovmand and immediately agreed to a 14-day test in our production," he continues.

The mobile lifter that Hendrik Kotzan got to test was an INOX 90 S with reel lifting equipment able to rotate 90 degrees. Before the employees had to work in pairs and position the reels in the packaging machine by hand, but they could now use the lifter to lift the packaging reels from the pallet, turn them and place them directly in the packaging machine. At the same time, the lifter made it easy to transport several reels to the packing lines once a day, so they did not have to be picked up several times from the warehouse.


For a production like Altenburger Land, the bottom line show that the work is optimized. The large foil reels do not need to be changed as frequently as before, and the packaging machine can run for a longer period of time without interruption. At the same time, employees can quickly change reels without straining their backs.

"Everyone who has tried it has immediately been thrilled. It is easy to handle and the foil reels can easily and effortlessly be replaced. The employees quickly felt a great relief” expresses Hendrik Kotzan a few weeks after they got the lifter in the packing house.

On the purchasing side, the larger foil reels also make a positive impression, and the same applies to the optimised pallet utilization in the warehouse.


"The lifter from Hovmand fit our needs perfectly and at the same time delivered high quality for the price," says Hendrik Kotzan and explains that the decision to buy from Hovmand also relied on the fact that the lifter was in stainless steel, which is a must in food production.

For Altenburger Land, the lifter has helped to make the work processes of handling reels easier, faster and more ergonomic. The fact that the optimisations can be seen throughout the value chain is an extra plus for the large cheese dairy, which processes approx. 23 mio. kg. cow's milk and approx. 6 mio. kg. goat milk per year, and which is the company behind Germany's most popular soft goat cheese Der Grüne Altenburger.

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