The Schneider butchery in Pliezhausen supplies its own specialist shops, delicatessens, colleague businesses and community catering facilities. In order to optimise the work processes in the company and to create better working conditions, the brothers Marcus and Jochen Schneider decided to expand their production at their headquarters. They were supported in this by the expert planners of Schwan Projekt GmbH from Lonnerstadt in Middle Franconia. Because contrary to all rationalisation trends, the Schneider butchery decided to react to future requirements and thus keep the added value in the region.

■ Mr. Schneider, why did you decide to build a new building or an extension to your company?
Marcus Schneider: We had exhausted our capacity, and our business could not have developed any further. We wanted to be up to date again, especially in the areas of smoking and cooking. We were also concerned about creating more pleasant working conditions.
■ Why was it important for you to call in a specialist planner for the construction?
Schneider: Butcher shops have to be built in a special way, so expertise is important. We experienced with the first extension that things don’t work without specialist planning. The company had no experience when it came to waterproofing, wall-floor terminations and detailed solutions. That’s why this time it was important for us to go to a specialist planner. Schwan advised us on which floors were suitable and what the walls had to be like. Knowledge is also required when it comes to discharging exhaust air and setting up cooling chambers.
■ What role did the topic of operational optimization play in your planning?
Schneider: That was a big issue. When I invest, I naturally want to optimize. I want to work economically, save energy, minimize cleaning times and create more pleasant working conditions for my employees.
■ Have you already planned capacities for. future operational growth in the current construction project?
Schneider: Yes, that was a very high priority for me. First, of course, we wanted to integrate the current stock into the extension so that work could run smoothly. The second step was that further capacity expansions are now possible with optimal operating processes. In sausage production, we now have the filling room as well as the smoking and cooking room with the boilers where intense heat is generated. Separate from this is the cutter room, where it can get noisy. The separation makes it easier to work.

■ To what extent does the new building also improve the product quality of your meat and sausage products, through the optimization of work processes, better cooling options and faster further processing?
Schneider: That was a decisive point in the planning. Thanks to the local realignment of the workplaces, we produce under very good conditions. The cold chain is not interrupted, and optimum cooling options have been created for the finished goods.
Schneider: I can confirm that this is the case.
How have your customers reacted to the expansion of production?
Schneider: There was a lot of interest. Our customers wanted to see what we had built. They really appreciated the improvements. The new building shows our customers that Metzgerei Schneider is thinking ahead to the future and that quality and hygiene continue to have a high priority for us.
■ You have retained your regular customers. Have you also been able to gain new customers as a result of the expansion?
Schneider: Yes, we have. Because the hygiene standard is now even higher than in the existing plant, as we have better conditions thanks to the new building. The experience of the specialist planners has been a great help to us. Not only in terms of floor and wall design, but also in how to control the water pipes, how to connect the smoke chamber to the gutter, and which lamps are best suited for the operation. Walls must stand up to the cleaning agents needed in food processing. And planners also know which cold room doors have stood the test of time to ensure durability.
■ The topic of EU certification already played an important role in your butchery before the conversion, how important will it be in the future?
Schneider: When we first rebuilt, the bar of the EU standard was still very high, but that has been relaxed over time. It is now easier to implement, which is why EU certification is now standard. That’s why we decided to build a plant that even meets the ISP standard. red