Holmach Upgrades Soup Cooling Facility with NIKO Cooler

Installation of a raining water tunnel cooler for hot-filled product.

Holmach Ltd has installed a NIKO raining water tunnel cooler for hot-filled product in their customer's soup manufacturing facility. Holmach’s partner, NIKO of Germany has been a market leader in producing pasteurising and cooling tunnels for nearly 50 years. When this long-standing customer needed to promptly merge sites and rapidly increase production volume, Holmach and NIKO were the obvious choice.


Site space constraints were a particular challenge to this project. NIKO overcame this by designing the new 20-metre long tunnel to be slid on top of an existing NIKO machine to allow for a “double deck” operation. NIKO designed a leg support structure that was able to support the new deck whilst still allowing full access to the existing lower tunnel.


NIKO delivered the machine and effectively dealt with a number of challenging scenarios to ensure that the start-up of the line went smoothly. Featuring a patented pump design, the NIKO unit offers savings of 50% of the energy costs compared with off the shelf pump/motor combinations. Delivering double the flowrate means that good temperature distribution across each deck is guaranteed. Chilled water is used to rapidly lower the temperature after filling and the cooler features a double skin construction allowing insulation, again concentrating on energy optimisation.


Pasteurising and cooling tunnels can be constructed to any size and with multiple zones, specific temperatures can be set and held for any desired thermal process. The continuous flow generates great line efficiencies too!

Efficiency is one of the values that sets the leading brand NIKO apart, who also specialise in difficult to handle products. Most of the UK and Irish producers of pickles and condiments are familiar with NIKO’s unique filling technology for long and sliced products that tend to bridge or stick on conventional machinery.

Products such as gherkins, lemon slices and half cherries are the types of product that present challenges when moving across stainless filling tables and on balances of weigh filling systems. Long products are even more difficult and any uncontrolled vertical drop damages the cellular structure. With NIKO’s tried and tested design, even hard-boiled eggs can be filled without damage.

The filling table design is the key to NIKO’s inline High-Performance Long-Filler (HLF) filler. Featuring vibration for both table and the containers passing through on the conveyor, the design allows product to be separated and then correctly nested in the jars or cans to ensure accurate filling. Products are fed from an elevator that can have decanting for brine or vinegar installed, allowing the liquid to be recovered for reuse. Any solid product not filled is recirculated back into the product feed.

Advantages of the NIKO HLF filling machine also include no change parts being required for different formats and the machine is designed for easy cleaning without the necessity of removing balance or telescopic pockets.

Published 11.01.2021

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