The Potato Industry Is Becoming Increasingly Automated
Goplasticpallets.com – a supplier of plastic pallets, pallet boxes, and containers – has witnessed increased adoption of automation in the UK potato industry, much of this based around systems developed and implemented by Deprez Handling Solutions and using its own GoPalletBox 1311S 3R, which is dubbed Europe’s largest plastic pallet box.
Deprez launched its first automated handling system in 2008 which allowed the company to double its capacity. With the retail food sector being one of the company’s main areas of focus, over the years Deprez observed that potato packers, in particular, were increasingly demanding immediate storage of their goods prior to packing.
Today, potato harvest is sorted and stored based on quality or size, which requires that some goods are temporarily stored during the packaging process. This storage must be hygienic, robust and offer the maximum filling capacity to make the best use of available warehouse space.
As wooden and corrugated box varieties were not an option for this highly hygienic application, after trailing a range of different plastic boxes, Deprez chose Goplasticpallets.com’s GoPalletBox 1311S 3R plastic pallet box, which is manufactured by CABKA_IPS.
The plastic pallet box has a capacity of 1,400 liters and is made of impact-resistant, chemical-resistant and food-safe HDPE. With a net weight of 69 kilograms in perforated and 72 kilograms in closed design, it is characterized by high payloads of up to 7,000 kilograms when static, 2,000 kilograms on the go and 1,000 kilograms when used in high-ranking.
After harvesting and washing, the potatoes are sorted by an optical sorting system according to their size and placed in the plastic pallet boxes. The loaded boxes are then either automatically stored in the high-bay or forwarded directly to the packaging line, depending on their destined use. With subsequent use, a system-integrated orbiter box tipper automatically empties the boxes into the corresponding packaging lines.
“Our solution would simply not exist in this form without the plastic pallet box. Now, whenever we plan an automated solution for a new customer, we recommend it; in fact, we’ve already implemented 30 installations with this pallet box,” said Johan Deprez, founder, and CEO of Deprez.