News Features

Hesper Farm Invest In Yoghurt Pot Filling & Sealing Solution- February 14th 2017


Set off the beaten track in the Yorkshire Dales, Hesper Farm is a proud producer of tradtional Icelandic style Skyr Yoghurts. Made by their pedigree Holstein Friesians, the Aireburn Herd, they are part of a proud dairy tradition that goes back generations.

Their award-winning herd has twice won the North of England Premier Herd competition and reached the top six of The National Herd Competition. It is this passion for farming, for cows and for quality that stands Hesper Farm so well. With 180 cows milking at any one time, once pasteurised, their cows’ milk is made into Skyr Yoghurt on-site in their new purpose-built dairy.

Skyr Yoghurt is made by incubating skimmed milk with live active cultures. The water contained in the milk, the whey, is then strained away. Per pot, they use about four times as much milk as an equivalent pot of traditional plain yogurt meaning it’s incredibly thick and beautifully creamy. Hesper Farm first purchased their first Riggs Autopack yoghurt depositor in 2015 to operate in conjunction with a manual sealer from Seal-it-Systems.

The Riggs Autopack Model 1000 Series 3 depositor was a semi-automatic unit and proved invaluable with the flexibility to fill 150gm, 450gm, and larger containers with all styles of yoghurt ranging from smooth vanilla to strawberry, blueberry and black cherry flavours, complete with fruit additions. However, due to increased demand and rapid growth, they soon realised that a higher level of automation was required.

As part of their investment program, Hesper Farm approached Riggs Autopack and Seal-it-Systems to find a fully integrated and fully automated solution. Working together, engineers from Riggs Autopack and Seal-it-Systems modified the existing semi-automatic depositor to a fully automatic depositor to work with a new, bespoke Rotary Sealer.

The Rotary Sealer de-nests one pot at a time from a stack, then using a rotating platen passes each pot through various stages from product depositing with full control integration to the depositor, through foil lid placement, sealing, coding, and finally delivery via a belt conveyor to the packing station. Previously, 2 operators were required; one mixing and filling the product, and one then sealing and coding. This has all changed with the new integrated automatic solution that is not only working faster but reducing labour, enabling greatly improved production efficiency.

Sam Moorhouse, owner of Hesper Farm, has been very pleased with the flexibility and operation of the new system. He stated "My Riggs depositor machine is very important to us, without it we’d never be able to meet demand. We produce in small batch sizes and we need quick changeover, damage free depositing, fill accuracy and hygiene is also key. Our depositor gives us all that. The assistance offered by both Riggs Autopack's and Seal-It-Systems sales team in providing us with this new automated solution was second to none".