Heidi Hilbert, Senior Marketing Specialist
Started more than 40 years ago by two brothers who were licensed cheesemakers, Wisconsin-based Koss Industrial now uses their experience to help food manufacturers mitigate their operational challenges in a fiercely competitive industry. To do this, Koss Industrial designs, manufactures and delivers robust stainless steel equipment for cheesemaking, dairy processing, and food and beverage processing. Along with its prowess in equipment manufacturing, the company possesses in-house engineering, instrumentation and automation, precision machining, waterjet cutting, and fabrication capabilities that enhance its potential to manufacture industry-best solutions for its customers. “We pride ourselves on providing highquality, long-lasting solutions to our customers; be it the materials we use or the welds we make, we never compromise on quality,” says Heidi.
What makes Koss Industrial unique is its potential to develop tailor-made solutions that meet customers’ specific needs. "Our customers are committed to ensuring safety, and so are we. Therefore, we develop solutions that keep our customers’ people and products safe,” says Heidi Hilbert, Senior Marketing Specialist at Koss Industrial. Efficiency is another focus for food manufacturers, and Koss Industrial excels at maximizing plant efficiency by helping to reduce downtime, waste, and energy consumption, along with maintenance and operational costs.
To do this, the company’s expert team collaborates with customers, understands their needs, and develops solutions from scratch instead of simply adopting a cookie-cutter approach.
In addition to manufacturing processing equipment, Koss Industrial also supplies other necessary products and components used in the food industry such as sanitary pumps and valves, heat exchangers, and leveling feet. In order to deliver maximum value for customers, the company delivers comprehensive services—installation, service, repair, troubleshooting, factory acceptance testing, and quality control. “We always want to be on-site during the initial operation of our solutions to ensure hassle-free operation and provide the necessary training for customers,” adds Heidi.
To further elaborate on Koss Industrial’s value proposition, Heidi shared how they recently helped an icecream company who needed to easily scale recipes depending on batch size. Koss Industrial created a digital database to which the manufacturer can input the desired base flavor and desired output quantity in gallons. The solution helped the manufacturer significantly by automatically providing the quantities of needed bulk ingredients such as cream, sugar, and water. The manufacturer produces more than three million gallons of product annually and offers upwards of 100 flavors so being able to quickly call up a recipe and scale it has given them tremendous efficiencies in their process. In addition, the program tracks ingredient use eliminating the need for more manual inventories. They can easily see where ingredients went and how much were used.
In addition, Koss Industrial upgraded the ice cream manufacturer’s outdated valve system. The old mix of divert, shut-off and cross-body valves did not have a way to verify valve position (open or closed), which opened the manufacturer up to possible crosscontamination and nut allergen issues. Operators had to rely on experience and tribal knowledge when using the valve system and training new staff on this particular process was a continuous challenge. Koss Industrial built a new valve manifold consisting of nine mix proof valves and programmed them to indicate valve position. This successfully eliminated the possibility of crosscontamination.
As a company with tremendous growth since its inception, innovation is always on Koss Industrial's roadmap. The company launched a new website in June, which has been an excellent resource for both customers and employees. It is also planning to add an eCommerce platform to enhance its customers’ buying experience. On the technology side, Koss Industrial is always looking to implement the latest technologies for improving its manufacturing capabilities. “We're always testing new welding technologies and evaluating our processes and equipment so we can improve our quality, lead time, and efficiencies,” concludes Heidi.