Valio’s dairy in Jyväskylä and cheese factory in Äänekoski ensure their hygiene with the help of Kiilto: “Collaboration involves more than just chemicals, it’s about improving the entire hygiene process”

At the beginning of 2023, Valio’s production facilities in Jyväskylä and Äänekoski chose Kiilto as their hygiene partner. The implementation of Kiilto’s cleaning chemicals has proceeded systematically and safely with the assistance of Kiilto’s experts. Next, the washing processes will be developed collaboratively to become even more efficient.

Hygiene is a part of food safety

A hygiene partner who understands the processes of the food industry. Rapidly responsive and knowledgeable professionals. Reliable and systematic operation. This is how Jukka Launonen, Technical Expert at Valio Jyväskylä, describes the collaboration with Kiilto.

The collaboration began in January 2023 when Kiilto was selected as the supplier of surface and clean-in-place cleaning chemicals for Valio’s dairy in Jyväskylä and cheese factory in Äänekoski. Kiilto also supplies membrane cleaning agents to Valio in Jyväskylä.

At Valio’s Äänekoski cheese factory, 2 million kilograms of Aura blue cheese and Valio salad cheese are produced annually, making it the leading blue cheese producer in Finland. Valio’s factory in Jyväskylä on the other hand produces over 70 different products, including various milks, snacks, protein shakes, and creams. The production capacity is immense: approximately 155 million litres of milk are processed annually. With such massive volumes, the smoothness and reliability of hygiene processes are of utmost importance.

In the Jyväskylä dairy, 155 million litres of milk and a wide range of other dairy products are processed annually. Kiilto’s products play a crucial role in ensuring production hygiene.

“Previously, there were just red milk, blue milk, and sour milk. Now, the dairy aisle is full of different products. This demands a lot from the cleaning agents used for the pipelines and equipment in production facilities,” summarises Riitta Järvinen, Kiilto’s Key Account Manager.

Given that hygiene is so central to the safety and longevity of products in the food industry, the expertise and reliability of the hygiene partner are significant.

“I value the expertise and involvement of Kiilto’s staff. It forms the foundation of our collaboration,” says Jukka Launonen.

Kiilto’s Technical Expert Roope Niinimäki (left) and Valio Jyväskylä’s Technical Expert Jukka Launonen (right) have closely collaborated on the switch to Kiilto’s cleaning and disinfecting chemicals at Valio Jyväskylä. “Kiilto’s technical support has been systematic and thorough,” praises Launonen.

Collaborative efforts and close communication

At Valio Jyväskylä, the first nearly one and a half years of collaboration involved switching cleaning chemicals. Kiilto’s chemicals have been adopted gradually as the old ones have run out. Kiilto’s Technical Expert Roope Niinimäki has been present during these switches to help and ensure everything goes as planned.

Sometimes, changes need to be made at short notice when an old chemical runs out faster than anticipated. In such cases, Kiilto has responded quickly.

“Usually, Roope has been able come to Jyväskylä within a few days,” Launonen appreciates.

Anni Alakotila, Production Manager at Valio Äänekoski, is also pleased with Kiilto’s quick customer service:

“Kiilto’s technical experts are always ready to help, they’re easy to reach, and responses to emails come quickly. Therefore, working with Kiilto is easy.”

Valio and Kiilto personnel maintain regular contact. During the chemical implementation project, status update meetings occur about once a month. Often, communication is conveniently handled via Teams, and at least once a year, the entire team meets in person.

Kiilto supplies surface cleaning agents for Valio’s dairy in Jyväskylä. The appropriate cleaning and disinfecting chemicals for the site have been chosen in collaboration with Kiilto’s professionals.

Local production ensures quick responses

Kiilto is the only domestic provider of hygiene solutions for the food industry in Finland, with products developed and manufactured in Finland. Domestic production was one reason Kiilto was chosen as Valio’s hygiene partner.

“In these times, it’s good to support domestic companies and increase employment in Finland,” says Jukka Launonen from Valio in Jyväskylä.

Anni Alakotila from Valio Äänekoski agrees: “Domestic production was an important factor as it ensures the availability of chemicals.”

Local production also allows for quick responses.

“If a special product is needed, or if more product is consumed than expected, we can respond and deliver it quickly since shipping time is minimal,” explains Riitta Järvinen.

One example of a quick response was when Valio Jyväskylä found during the tendering process that the packaging size of Kiilto’s surface disinfectant was too small for the production facility’s needs. The surface disinfectant was added to the range in a larger, 1,000-litre container fairly quickly.

“Kiilto’s Finnish production means that we are available daily for our customers, and they can always rely on us being close by,” promises Roope Niinimäki.

Savings from optimising cleaning in place

Once the old cleaning chemicals have been replaced with Kiilto’s products, the customer can choose CIP (Clean in Place) optimisation as an additional service from Kiilto. In this service, the time, temperature, and concentration of the cleaning solution are adjusted to achieve an impeccable cleaning result as energy- and cost-efficiently as possible.

Kiilto also offers the Kiilto ProCIP® optimisation service, which allows real-time monitoring of cleaning in place and provides concrete information on the economic savings achieved through optimisation.

Also, Kiilto’s role as an active hygiene partner does not end with cleaning optimisation. Kiilto continues to assist its customers, for instance if the products manufactured at the production facilities change.

“For example, the emergence of oat products in the market has brought new cleaning needs, and we have developed new products with that in mind,” says Roope Niinimäki.

Improving hygiene processes was one reason Valio wanted to collaborate with Kiilto.

“It is important that the hygiene partner doesn’t just sell chemicals, but there must be potential for development in the collaboration, such as how to improve the washes and their energy efficiency and environmental friendliness,” Launonen summarises.

Roope Niinimäki and Riitta Järvinen also praise the collaboration with Valio. When all parties are committed to carrying out the chemical change project thoroughly and have a deep understanding of its requirements, the collaboration is smooth and rewarding.

In the food industry, switching the supplier of cleaning and disinfecting chemicals is often a significant decision that is carefully considered and time-consuming. At Valio’s production facility in Jyväskylä, this crucial process is nearing completion, and Technical Expert Jukka Launonen is pleased with how professionally the various stages have been managed in collaboration with Kiilto.

Kiilto offers high-quality training

Kiilto’s services also include training, which encompasses both theoretical and practical aspects, showing how surface cleaning should be performed correctly. Both Launonen and Alakotila have found the training beneficial and good.

In Äänekoski, Kiilto has provided surface cleaning training not only for Valio’s own staff working in the production process but also for the employees of an external cleaning company that performs surface cleaning in the packaging area.

At Valio Jyväskylä, staff from the process side, whose job description includes foam and surface cleaning, participate in the surface cleaning training.

“It is always good to review what has already been learned. Training can bring clarifications and improvements to our operations,” says Jukka Launonen.

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