Lamb Weston / Meijer’s Partnership With TOMRA Ensues High Yields And Low Energy Usage
The 11 TOMRA Steam Peelers operating in seven Lamb Weston / Meijer processing facilities worldwide help the business put out an impressive 255 tons of potatoes every hour so they can fulfill the orders of their global customer base. The peel loss rate is highly dependent on the potato’s variety and the time of the year it is harvested, but average levels would fall between 0.5% – 2.0% for Lamb Weston / Meijer.
Given their portfolio’s width and depth, at Lamb Weston / Meijer, they use a wide range of potato varieties – Innovator, Markies, Lady Anna, Bintje, Fontane, Ivory Russet, and the Russet Burbank, amongst others. Each type of potato has its own characteristics, making it essential to have intelligent equipment that can handle various spuds without hassle. Defects can be found in color variations, solids’ content, the finished product appearance, and other anomalies.
Lamb Weston / Meijer’s first TOMRA Steam Peeler, installed in 2003 at Lamb Weston /Meijer v.o.f Oosterbierum marked the beginning of a lasting and prosperous relationship in EMEA. This original line is still operating today, although the peeling equipment has been updated and evolved with the times. This long-term partnership has been reaffirmed and strengthened year after year – with the two companies challenging each other to deliver the best possible potato products to the end consumer.
With their TOMRA Eco Steam Peelers, resources are harnessed to directly improve product yields while reducing their steam energy usage, contributing to and enabling the brand’s sustainable operation goals. These Eco Steam Peelers, combined with their strong focus on furthering sustainable operation, have tapered down water use by 4.7%, reduced energy use by 4.4%, and in 2019, they diverted 89% of their waste from landfills.
“We monitor our energy use to stay informed of our progress and consumption. With the Eco Steam Peeler from TOMRA, our organization’s sustainability strategy follows best practices to limit consumption while at the same time improving our processing possibilities,” says Rick Verhage, process engineer for Grading & Peeling within Engineering Services at Lamb Weston / Meijer.
More automated processes rendering actionable data are desired in addition to sustainability targets– all areas TOMRA equipment addresses, according to the company.
“Working with TOMRA Food, we have achieved superior solutions and a higher level of automated process control on yield and quality at our Pacific/Bergen op Zoom upgrade L1 project. The industry’s future is more sustainable operations and bringing automated process control to the next level focusing on data. These are both aspects where TOMRA’s expertise and knowledge have helped us and furthered our operations. The TOMRA steam peelers and integrated peel scanners have been an improvement on overall peel quality, peel loss, and requires less operator attention,” says Rick Verhage, Process Engineer for Grading & Peeling within Engineering Services at Lamb Weston / Meijer.
To help ensure that their lines are meeting the necessary output for a consistent supply for their customers, Lamb Weston / Meijer also subscribes to TOMRA Care at their Wisbech and Broekhuizenvorst plants.