BelGioioso® Cheese began forty years ago when Errico Auricchio began making Sharp Provolone in Wisconsin using a family recipe passed on through generations.
Today, BelGioioso cheese is a beloved favorite across the U.S. In 1979, Errico traveled to the U.S. with a deeply rooted history of Italian cheesemaking and started BelGioioso Cheese in a rented plant in Northeast Wisconsin. Today, BelGioioso Cheese produces over 27 cheese varieties and has grown from a small Wisconsin cheese company to an award-winning industry leader of artisan cheeses. BelGioioso Cheese knows that quality matters, which is why they use the highest grade of milk and a refined cheesemaking process in their state-of-the-art facilities. Their newest evaporator facility in Sherwood, Wisconsin is no exception.
New Evaporator Facility in Sherwood, WI
The BelGioioso Cheese Sherwood Plant is a vital part of the company’s cheese production since it handles all the whey coming from different
locations. With an older building and evaporator, the company knew that expanding the plant and installing a larger evaporator in the facility was
necessary for growth. BelGioioso Cheese looked to RELCO in the spring of 2017 to start the engineering plans for the new evaporator facility. Ron
Wagner, Sales Engineer at RELCO remembers, “After onsite visits and meetings, we were able to work together to design the equipment and
system that was ideal for their needs. We likewise wanted to incorporate all the BelGioioso equipment specifications in the design.” The team at
BelGioioso Cheese recognized that an evaporator with a larger capacity would allow them to efficiently process more product.
Engineering BelGioioso’s Custom Evaporator
RELCO custom-designed a whey permeate evaporator to meet BelGioioso’s volume and space needs. Ross Henjum, Project Manager at RELCO, worked closely with the BelGioioso team to ensure that needs, expectations, and timelines were met. Ross pointed out, “The new evaporator has almost twice the capacity of their previous evaporator, giving BelGioioso more opportunity to expand what they already do so well.” The new medium-sized evaporator now processes 60,000 lbs. of whey permeate per hour. Other features that were designed into the evaporator include a PILLER turbofan with variable frequency drive, inlet/outlet routing using mixproof valves, MVR product pass pumps, finished product pumps, vacuum pumps with partial recovery system, chemical reclaim tanks, and an access platform.
Turn-Key Installation & Automation
From start to finish, BelGioioso Cheese liked that RELCO offered a turn-key operation. “RELCO provided the engineering knowledge and resources needed to make the progression of this project efficient from start to finish,” says Gianni Toffolon, Master Cheesemaker, BelGioioso Cheese, Inc. “Their team provided detailed schedules and drawings and are always professional, courteous and reliably available for discussion when needed.” The evaporator at BelGioioso Cheese is fully automated and very simple to run. In fact, with just two clicks of a mouse, an employee can have the
evaporator fully running in production. The equipment also features automatic density control during production and a fully automated CIP.
Building More Than Cheese Equipment
RELCO is honored to be a small part of the BelGioioso Cheese commitment to quality cheesemaking over the past thirteen years. From installing various cheesemaking equipment like cheese vats and a lactose dryer, to designing processed piping, and custom-designing and installing the evaporator in their new whey facility, working with the team at BelGioioso Cheese has been a rewarding win-win relationship. Ron Wagner, Sales Engineer, pointed out, “RELCO works hard to build relationships with customers. We know that when working with companies like BelGioioso Cheese, they are loyal to their vendors… by doing a good job, we will be invited to work on more projects.”
BelGioioso Cheese has grown from a small Wisconsin cheese company to a worldwide leader of quality artisan cheeses. For more information about BelGioioso Cheese, please visit their website at www.belgioioso.com.