Danone Canada is part of Groupe Danone, the multinational food products corporation based in Paris, France. The Canadian operation is located in Boucherville, Que., where it produces 75,000 tons of yogurt every year. With brands that include Danino, Activia, Silhouette and Danone Creamery, the company is the number-1 yogurt producer in Canada.
To maintain its leadership position, Danone Canada has been expanding its facilities and has doubled production in just 48 months. The company used Quebec-based mechanical contractor Topps 2006, which specializes in food industry installations, to install piping at the company’s dairy plant.
The contractor’s first project at Danone was the 2009 installation of piping for the facility’s compressed air and potable water systems. The contractor has also installed piping at the plant for condensed water, domestic water, nitrogen and cleaning agents. The work was performed by Topps 2006 and Danone’s maintenance crew.
“We used 3/4-in. Viega ProPress stainless and had very good results,” says Jean-Guy Dubois, a professional welder and co-owner of Topps 2006. “Because stainless steel pipe is so clean, Danone requested it for the next job. Now, every project at Danone for 1/2-in. to two-inch stainless pipe is 100 per cent Viega ProPress.”
Time and cost savings
According to Dubois, Viega ProPress is a better, safer way to join stainless steel pipe compared to traditional methods such as welding and roll grooving. “With Viega ProPress, we saved about five per cent in costs compared to welding or grooving,” he says. “It takes a lot less time to connect stainless steel pipe with pressing. But, time and cost savings are not the only reasons why we like pressing. We also use it because there’s no risk of fire from flame. Viega ProPress is the safest product we’ve ever used. It’s safe for my employees and safe for the plant.”
Safety and hygiene are two of the most important considerations in food and beverage applications. Before the project began, Danone had to be assured that the piping and installation materials would not contaminate the dairy operation. In a yogurt plant, there are a lot of possible contaminants,” explains Dubois. “Welding and grinding can both cause contamination. By using Viega ProPress, we can cut pipe without using a grinder and we can join pipe without soldering or welding.”
“We use Viega ProPress stainless for the benefit of our customers,” adds Dubois. “When we work with pressing, we’re protecting the production against contaminants.”
Dubois also likes the speed of Viega ProPress for stainless. A connection can be made in a little as seven seconds, compared to many times that number for welding and threading. “There’s no other way to provide a fast and reliable connection like pressing,” he emphasizes. “Also, we can do the job quickly, at any time, even if there’s water in the pipe.
“Danone is a very well-maintained plant,” continues Dubois. “It’s easy to maintain the cleanliness of the plant with Viega ProPress. The results are nice. Danone is looking forward to future plant retrofits and expansions using Viega ProPress.”
Topps 2006 has been onsite at Danone since 2009 and continues to do installation and retrofit work at the yogurt processing plant. The contractor will also be involved in the next plant expansion at Danone later this year.
“We try to introduce Viega’s ProPress stainless to every one of our new customers,” says Dubois. “It’s faster, safer, cleaner and more aesthetically appealing than the other pipe-joining methods.”
For more information on Viega’s ProPress system for stainless, visit www.TheTorchIsPast.com or call (866) 766-7805.