Everyone in the dough processing sector knows about Spiromatic, and knows that they offer unique solutions.
Virtu, producer of delicious ready-to-eat meals from Zawiercie in Poland and winner of the famous Business Gazelle Award in 2011, recently invested in a fully automatic Spiromatic supply line. Three fibreglass-reinforced composite outdoor silos, combined with several measuring units and weighing bunkers, ensure a problem-free supply of ingredients with a controllable, traceable and standardized end product as the result. This installation has not only enabled Virtu to double its productivity, but there is also enough profit left for extra growth.
Virtu specializes in the preparation of delicious ready-to-eat meals that are based on the rich Polish culinary tradition. The company started as a small family business in 1992 and had only a few employees during the first few years. With the increase in popularity of ready-to-eat meals at the end of the 90s, the number of employees, preparations and buyers also grew.
Chains like Geant, Carrefour, Real, Netto, Polomarket, Leclerc, Auchan and many others, became loyal customers. Today, Virtu is the market leader in Poland and they owe this success partially to the fact that all their products are delicious, healthy and easy to prepare.
Manual actions decrease
In order to stay on top of the increasing demand, Virtu moved to a larger and more up-to-date production facility, but according to business manager Marek Mikulski, that alone was not enough. “Preparing delicious meals on a small scale is one thing, but to do that on a large scale too is another challenge. The biggest challenge, however, is to do it consistently with the same quality, look and taste. As long are you’re working with people in the production process, errors are not out of the question and so we looked for an industrial solution that would help us to minimize the number of manual actions in the preparations of our meals to virtually zero.”
What’s more, Virtu had obtained permission in 2006 to distribute their products in the European Union. It therefore made sense to Marek Mikulski that the new installation should comply with European standards.
“I got in touch with Spiromatic through a contact in Poland,” Marek Mikulski says, “Belgium is not exactly nextdoor, but everyone in the dough processing sector knows about Spiromatic, and knows that they offer unique solutions. We could have bought the installation locally, but we opted for Spiromatic, because these installations not only comply with the European standards, they even exceed them. This is an important feature, which consequently gives us an advantage as a supplier of large food chains.”
No thermal bridges
Initially Virtue had thought they should use indoor silos to avoid condensation problems, which are typical for metal silos. However, a visit to the production factory in Belgium convinced them to go for Spiromatic’s unique fiberglass-reinforced composite outdoor silos.
Marek Mikulski: “The three fiberglassreinforced composite silos we have installed are each made of one piece. There are no thermal bridges, not even where the silos are attached, because that is where the problems with condensation usually occur. So far, we have not had any condensation problems, not even under the most extreme weather conditions."
"An additional advantage of the Spiromatic composite silos is that they also comply with the ATEX guideline, a guideline that applies to all places where there is any explosion hazard.
Another reason that Virtu decided to go into business with Spiromatic is the fact that they don’t just make the silos, they also manufacture all the other components, like weighing bunkers, transport systems, supply lines, etc. Marek Milulski explains: “The big difference, compared to other manufacturers, is that Spiromatic has a total solution that works. Everything is designed and manufactured by the same supplier, which ensures that all the different components are geared to each other and there is perfect communication between them."
"From the beginning, Spiromatic has helped us with our ideas and adapted the configuration to our needs and our production process. This is just wonderful, because many manufacturers only have standard components and this is where they really make a difference.” By now the production in Zawiercie is going ahead full throttle and Marek Mikuski looks back on the road they have just travelled with satisfaction.
“The difference with the old situation is immense. In the short period of time that we’ve been using the new installation, we have doubled our production. And we still have the same crew. In addition, we are noticing that the quality and stability of the preparations have greatly improved as well. The consistent accuracy with which the ingredients are being weighed out every time is phenomenal. I am already sure that the ROI will be equally phenomenal.”