HBK Serves One of the Pays De Savoie’s Most Emblematic Cheeses – the Reblochon!

Bold cheesemaker, Camille Chabert founded his cheese company in 1936, with the primary aim of promoting local know-how and production skills. His son Gérard, who had a Master Cheesemaker’s diploma, joined him in 1965 at the Annecy-le-Vieux fruit farm.

Today, more than ever, this family, deeply rooted in the heart of its terroir, is committed to keeping the tradition alive while meeting today’s requirements.

To achieve this and meet the demands of international markets, Fruitières Chabert are constantly innovating and looking for new technologies to optimize each stage of Reblochon cheese production – including sorting and weighing – before leaving it in their cellar to mature. The aim is to strictly comply with the specifications of this PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese that is distinguished by a number of quality labels.

Problem

Fruitières Chabert wants to optimize the production lines for their famous Reblochon cheese, keeping existing quality standards while also remaining in compliance with the requirements of the food industry standards.

Solution

The dairy uses a solution developed by Fine-Spect: An easily cleanable checkweigher, based on the digital FIT7A load cell, efficiently controlling the packaging line, separating non-conforming weight products immediately. 

Results

The FIT7A load cell enables high packaging speeds while measuring accurately and reliably. Hermetic sealing and corrosion resistance guarantee longevity under extreme conditions and allow for fast cleaning processes in conformity with food industry standards. The load cell is also compatible with standard communication protocols, simplifying commissioning as well as repairs or servicing.

Chabert and Fine-Spect: a partnership as close as the nearest gram!

Anxious to optimize its production and packaging lines, without compromising on quality, while remaining in compliance with the requirements of food industry standards, Fruitières Chabert has called on various companies recognized for their expertise and know-how. The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (French controlled designation of origin) imposes rigorous requirements, so any company selected must be able to authenticate all the certification necessary for national and international export of its products, while preserving local know-how, respectful of Savoyard traditions.

PDO Reblochon de Savoie: 13 cm in diameter and a weighing almost 500 g

As far as weighing and sorting operations are concerned, the cheese, and in particular the famous Reblochon made by the Chabert family, require a high degree of precision and reliability. It was therefore necessary to call upon a partner capable of meeting all the requirements linked to food production in terms of metrological performance, reliability, and robustness.

The Chabert company, therefore, turned to Fine-Spect, a company that not only specializes in dynamic sorting, calibration and weighing, but also manufactures machines for the agri-food industry. It is recognized for the quality of its designs, and is a long-standing partner of HBM.

FIT7A load cells: up to the challenge

At the heart of the checkweigher, developed for the Chabert establishment, is the digital FIT7A load cell from HBM. This load cell is based on the strain gauge principle and offers unrivalled performance in the field of dynamic weighing for the food industry.

Jean Marc Dumont, founder of Fine-Spect explains, “We had to find a load cell capable of meeting the new market expectations and specifications.” These included:

  • Performing on a purely metrological level
  • Ultra-fast to adapt to increasingly high packaging speeds
  • Long term robustness and reliability
  • Perfectly sealed and corrosion resistant to meet the high-pressure washing requirements of the dairy industry
  • Connectable to official bodies
  • Compatible with standard communication protocols used in this industry

Jean Marc Dumont of Fine-Spect continues,

Fine-Spect relied on Hottinger Brüel & Kjær and its flagship product in the field of dynamic weighing, the HBM FIT7A digital load cell.

Fine-Spect, Fruitières Chabert and HBK: a lesson doubtless cheap at a cheese*

In order to have a reliable and long-lasting packaging line for the sorting of Reblochon, before it goes into the cellar for maturing, Mr Favre, Industrial Director of the Chabert cheese dairy, underlines the importance of Fine-Spect’s expertise, “This installation will sometimes be subject to extreme conditions of use, for example, dismantling and daily cleaning using high pressure steam according to food industry standards. It is therefore essential that the equipment is robust and, at the same time, of the highest standard so that our technicians have no problem solving problems quickly. The work carried out by Fine-Spect using HBM’s FIT7A transducers is a source of efficiency and success.”

For Fruitières Chabert, the individual weight of the products is decisive. In this way, the sorting machine separates non-conforming weight products and gives the cheesemaker an exact overview of the day's production. A precise knowledge of the post production cheese weight is also an indicator of the draining process and allows control of the yields. Hottinger Brüel & Kjær offers innovative sensor solutions for each of these issues for each of these operations.

The HBM brand has 70 years of experience and know-how in the field of packaging line instrumentation and weighing and offers a globally recognized level of expertise and unique leadership in any industry. Fruitières Chabert is yet another example of a successful collaboration.

*Reference to the popular fable "Le corbeau et le renard" by Jean de la Fontaine. Click here for the original text and an English translation.

Fruitières Chabert

The Fruitières Chabert dairy is a family business that has been making cheeses and other specialities for three generations with deep respect for tradition, heritage, and the terroir of Savoie, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. Starting in 1936 with just Emmental cheese, the dairy has gradually diversified and expanded its production covering various cheeses in cut and self-service variants sold at creameries, supermarkets, specialty, and convenience stores. The company has also grown from a local to a global business, specializing in the export of raw and pasteurized milk cheeses.

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