Atlas Copco Vacuum pumps and their purpose in Outines Potato factory
‘Outinens Potatis’, is the family company that supplies Swedish restaurants and private individuals with different types of high quality potato products. The manufacturing process takes place in northern Haparanda. With the help of vacuum technology from Atlas Copco, the company can guarantee long durability of its products without the addition of preservatives and other types of e-agents.
The Outinen family has worked with cultivation and processing of potato products since the 1950s. Initially, the focus was on growing potatoes, but due to a change in market demand, interest in processing grew. At the start of the millennium, the company’s part in growing potatoes was sold off. Instead, the focus was on buying, washing, peeling and packing dry potatoes in vacuum packs. There were also other types of potato products on the market, including a ready-made potato gratin launched by a Dutch company a few years earlier. Karl-Johan Outinen, who now owns and operates Outinens Potatoes, looked at the list of ingredients and realized that he could make a similar product with fewer and better products obtained from local growers.
Today, potato gratin accounts for most of the sales and Outinen sells its products both under its own brand and to customers who work with their own brands. The range also includes packaged potatoes sold to consumers and peeled potatoes sold to restaurants.
New machines, new compressors and new vacuum pumps in a new factory
The existing factory in the village of Niskanpää was not adapted for the production of potato gratin and a new investment had to be made. The local government of Haparanda in Norrbotten had a discussion and made a formal decision. The municipality was very positive based on commuting distance for the staff being acceptable. The plot of choice was expensive, but with the opportunity to retain existing staff - and thus knowledge and company culture - the choice was easy. The new plant was completed in 2008 and at that period the first machines, compressors and vacuum pumps were installed in the new premises. In order to keep up with market demands and expectations, additional investments were made a few years later and in 2018 production could be started up with 120% more capacity than originally planned.
Local service and support are crucial when choosing a vacuum system
Through Atlas Copco's partner ITSAB, Outinen has invested in compressors and other products from Atlas Copco since the 1990s. Vacuum pumps of the Atlas Copco brand were launched in 2012 and when the new investments were to be made in 2018, ITSAB could offer a vacuum solution from Atlas Copco. Outinen compared several different tenders from different suppliers, but it was ITSAB and Atlas Copco who were allowed to deliver the new solution - a central vacuum system from Atlas Copco with the GHS VSD + vacuum pump. The local service and support that Atlas Copco could offer through its ITSAB partner was crucial :
Atlas copco distributor ITSAB is very professional and always delivers 110%. We have a long relationship and we experience them as a very reliable and committed partner
A central vacuum system improved the working environment and lowered service costs
Before Outinen chose to invest in a central vacuum system from Atlas Copco, the vacuum pumps had to be connected directly to the machines in the production room. This was disadvantageous to both the product and the employees because the vacuum pumps they had generated produced both heat and sound and also gave off a light scent of oil. Heat and oil in a food application where cooling and purity are crucial to the quality entails a risk that the quality of the final product will deteriorate. In addition to this, heat and loud noises near or directly adjacent to the workplace pose a risk of an impaired work environment for employees.
Now that Outinen have the central vacuum system from Atlas Copco they have the benefit highlighted by Outin's technical manager Joakim Taavo that service costs have gone down. With previous vacuum pumps, they had a major renovation every 4th month, which cost a lot of time and money. The service was done locally by our own staff and the lead times for spare parts were often long.
ITSAB takes care of both the compressors and the vacuum pumps and we need not worry. The air is just there - or it is not there, if we talk vacuum
Atlas Copco GHS VSD+
GHS VSD + is a new series of quiet and clean vacuum pumps developed based on Atlas Copco's well-proven and successful compressor technology. A pump in the GHS VSD + series provides an average of 50% energy savings compared to traditional vacuum solutions. In addition, it is very easy to install and service.