Record project in the Cape15.08.2007 When everything meshes together perfectly, it may very well be that a project can be handled “in no time at all.” This is exactly what happened with the new short-goods pasta line supplied to the Sasko Pasta company in South Africa, where project engineering, installation, and start-up were completed within the record time of eight months. On March 13, 2006, the South African pastamaker Sasko Pasta ordered a new C–line from Buhler. On November 14, 2006 – eight months later – the representatives from the Buhler Pasta & Extruded Products business unit handed over the fully operational line with a capacity of 1800 kilograms per hour to the satisfied customer.
Cape Town’s granary
The Sasko Pasta factory is located in Malmesbury at the entrance to the Swartland region some 50 kilometers north of Cape Town. Swartland – the “Black Land” – has its name from the bushes growing there, which turn black when it rains. The region is the Cape’s granary, making Malmesbury the ideal site for building a pasta factory.
When the Pioneer Foods Group acquired a pasta factory in 1996 to enter the pasta business and set up the Sasko Pasta Company, the production halls were equipped all but exclusively with Buhler systems. In 2001, a stateoftheart shortgoods line (1250 kg/h) from Buhler was added.
Satisfied with Buhler’s performance
When at the start of the year 2006 the rapid growth of Sasko Pasta called for an additional capacity increase, Sasko Pasta quite logically ordered it again from Buhler. “But Sasko Pasta wanted the plant to be in service by the end of 2006,” remembers Robin Hutter, sales manager from the Pasta & Extruded Products business unit.
The team headed by project manager Roman Baumgärtner accepted the challenge. “We set up an ambitious schedule that provided for handover of the fully operational line by December 14.” The fact that the plant was up and running in as little as eight months after signing of the contract is a “small miracle” for Baumgärtner. “For once, everything simply meshed together perfectly,” he says in retrospect. “Manufacturing in our factory went off without a hitch, the equipment was shipped by sea without any delays, and the shipment simply breezed through customs without the usual waiting times.”
Everything ready in Malmesbury
The people at Sasko Pasta had in the meantime also done their own homework. Baumgärtner: “When chief installation supervisor Oliver Brägger arrived with the equipment in Malmesbury, everything was ready. This enabled him to start installation work right away. Moreover, he could rely on an experienced team of assistants who were already familiar with Buhler production systems.” Startup also went off smoothly, allowing the plant to be officially commissioned on November 14, 2006, one month earlier than scheduled. Needless to say that this accomplishment profoundly satisfied the customer Sasko Pasta as well as project manager Roman Baumgärtner, who with his team once again demonstrated the skills and competence of Buhler.