Does craftsmanship in the the butcher’s shop also work with industrial machines? The Lowis butchery from Setterich-Baesweiler (near Aachen, Germany) says: yes. In the rural part of the Aachen city region, master butcher Hans Lowis and his son Niklas, together with eleven employees, produce liverwurst, ham sausage and many other traditional specialities just as they did in the first branch founded in 1955 – but now supported by machines that are also used in industrial companies. The vacuum cutter and angle mincer come from K+G Wetter in Biedenkopf, Germany.
High-tech in the family business
Hans Lowis took over the business from his parents in 1988 and was one of the first customers of the butchery machine manufacturer K+G Wetter, which was founded in 1990. “We started with a small 65-litre cutter and a 130-millimetre angle mincer,” says Hans Lowis, who has since passed the butchery on to his son Niklas. “The cutter was in use for 17 years. Then we moved on to 120 litres, 200 litres and now 360.” Since May 2022, the VCM 360 Hygienic Secure and the MWW 160 mixing angle mincer have been in operation in the butcher’s shop. The new machines have been in the new operations building since spring 2022.
Double-walled bowl reduces build-up
“Liverwurst is our absolute sales hit,” says Niklas Lowis, who sells the family business’ products in two regional branches and, with a wholesale partner, also nationwide through retailers and in the Benelux region. The cooking system of the VCM 360 cutter shows its strengths in the sausage meat for liverwurst: The cutter bowl is double-walled, a completely closed system. Hans Lowis is absolutely convinced of the benefits for his butchery speciality: “The sausage meat sticks less and caramelises less in the bowl. Our liverwurst is even better as a result. In the past, intermediate cleaning due to build-up on the cooking bowl was common after about ten batches. Today, hardly anything remains in the cutter after ejection. This is clearly due to the double-walled bowl. In the past, the bowl was heated much more selectively via steam nozzles. Now the steam is evenly distributed in the intermediate space.”
“Added to this is the construction of the machine – the cast iron machine stand means we have extremely low vibrations and can get very close to the bowl with the knife,” adds Heiko Schneider, regional sales manager at K+G Wetter. From conversations with customers, he knows that burning is a bigger problem when the distance is greater. “These are things that you might not associate with product quality at first glance, but they have a massive impact,” says Schneider.
Economical use of energy
Another advantage: While the entire boiler room used to heat up, now it is only the small space between the cutter bowl walls – which saves time and energy.
“The machine has one and a half times the capacity of the VCM 200, but the peak current load has been reduced. If you add to this the fact that we have already been able to produce 400 kilogrammes of sausage meat for “Mettwurst” (smoked pork sausage spread) in the 360-litre bowl without anything overflowing, the economical use of the machine with precious energy resources becomes even clearer,” says Niklas Lowis. “This is only possible due to the raised bowl rim and the special geometry of the bowl,” explains Heiko Schneider. But Niklas Lowis also occasionally uses the VCM 360 for smaller special products, such as 40 kilograms of roast stuffing. The acquisition of a separate small cutter for such tasks was therefore not necessary at the Lowis butcher’s shop.
Design with door in the mincer hopper
Rhenish ham sausage is also on the production schedule in the butcher’s shop. The meat for the ham sausage first passes through the MWW 160 mixing angle grinder. “The MWW 130 we had before had become a little weak for our increased requirements,” says Hans Lowis. The master butcher also placed special emphasis on the Easy Access feature. “The design with the door in the mincing hopper was indispensable for us when we bought the new machine.” Despite the industrial size, according to experience, all employees can operate the machine perfectly and remove and install the mixing paddle and meat auger easily, quickly and without much effort during cleaning.
The butchery also produces minced meat in the mincer – “the cutting pattern has become even clearer,” says Niklas Lowis happily. A sorting device reliably removes unwanted components in the meat, for example tendons or bone splinters. “We now already have the sorting device in the third machine from K+G Wetter. It has always been great, but the new sorting knife has improved it even more. Lowis is also very satisfied with the lateral ejection of the material sorted out. “There’s nothing in the way on the cutting set housing and it’s quick and easy to clean.”
Customised touch panel
The hydraulic loading system precisely fills the meat minced beforehand into the cutter bowl. Gradually, more ingredients are added – spices, salt, ice, more meat. After a few minutes, the sausage meat is ready. “In our experience, the time saved is around 40 percent. It used to be ten minutes, but now it’s six.
” A special function that the team at K+G Wetter programmed specifically according to the wishes of the Lowis butcher’s shop: the customised control panel with the functions that the business needs on a daily basis. For example, all nine buttons for the blade speed are assigned twice: Niklas Lowis has to tap a maximum of twice to set the perfect speed in each case. The same applies to the touch fields for vacuum, temperature or bowl rotation count.