Yogurt firm has ‘risen from the ashes’ and doubled production after fire

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Greek yogurt firm doubles production after fire
Greek yogurt manufacturer Kri-Kri has ‘risen from the ashes’ after a Christmas Eve fire two years’ ago and doubled production capacity, rebuilding a factory and installing an Ishida IX-GA-65100 X-ray inspection system for quality control checks.

The fire, at its manufacturing plant in Serres​, northern Greece on December 24, 2013, caused €18.75m ($25.5m) of “serious damage to the production lines and the warehouses of finished products and raw materials,” at the time. 

Facility reconstructed within seven months

ish2015.126 KriKri pack being fed into xray inspection system PB040013 (LR)

Kri-Kri’s portfolio includes 140 plain and fruit yogurts, traditional varieties and a children’s range, packed in 150g to 500g pots. They are filled then packed into cases before inspection checks.          

Petros Kissas, production manager, Kri-Kri, told DairyReporter, a production and packing line was borne out of an initial catastrophe when a fire caused severe damage to its dairy production plant.

However, within seven months, a facility was created with double the production capacity. 

It is vital Kri Kri remains vigilant against potential foreign bodies such as metal, glass or other foreign materials that could contaminate the yogurt if there was a problem with any of the equipment on the line​,” he said.

To accommodate complete cases, the company opted for the Ishida IX-GA-65100, which is specially designed for larger products​. 

The machine can distinguish between fruit pieces in the fruit yogurts, unwanted contaminants, and can mask small chocolate pieces used as a topping for children’s yogurts, which are packed in a separate plastic dome in the lid of a pot​.”

The factory is currently processing around 80-90 tonnes of yogurt per day, with the Ishida X-ray system monitoring approximately 12,000 to 14,000 cups per hour. 

Growing global demand for traditional Greek yogurt 

Dimitris Barboutis, technical manager, Kri-Kri, added, the company has to demonstrate its high quality control standards to enter other export markets, meeting a growing global demand for traditional Greek yogurt. 

Its products are now sold in 20 countries across Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East.

ish2015.126 KriKri back of xray showing compact cooling unit IMG_6032 (LR)

With its different product types and pack sizes, there can be up to four changeovers in each eight hour shift. The IX-GA-6100’s touchscreen has specifications for each product including Genetic Algorithm (GA) technology, for image data analysis.

Kri-Kri employs more than 249 staff with central production facilities and warehouse (chilled for yogurts and desserts / frozen for ice cream) in Serres, with a distribution center in Thessaloniki and Athens.

There is also a production unit and distribution center in Macedonia (FYROM) and via two affiliated companies in Bulgaria and Iraq.

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