Primeur | Accurate Grading of Onions
Ellips delivers software to manufacturers of fruit and vegetables sortingmachines. “Thanks to this software, the quality of fruit and vegetables can be graded better, more rapidly and more consistently than by the human eye alone” explains Erwin Bakker. Because of optical grading internal defects are discovered. “Ellips is one of the few providers that use the ‘transmittance’ method, as a result of which the entire fruit can be illuminated and not merely a part of the fruit. In this way, deviations such as rot, but also brix, dry matter, acidity and ripeness can be determined accurately”. www.ellips.com
“A good investment: optical sorting of onions in Denmark”. Optical sorting of onions is a sensitive issue in the Netherlands. Manufacturers are cautious with making this investment. However where the onion market in the Netherlands is hesitant, companies abroad are ready for optical grading. The Danish company Gyldensteen recently switched over to dual lane optical sortingmachine of Ellips with a capacity of 4,5 to 6 ton an hour, depending on the quality and size of the onions. “For us it was a trade off between labor wages and mechanization, and technology prevailed” explains Frants Bernstorff-Gyldensteen. “The machine doesn’t get tired”. The Danish company Gyldensteen grows onions, leek, celery and apples. In addition corn and grass seeds are cultivated on the estate where also accommodation can be rented. Onions are the company’s mainproduct.
Dutch People are careful.
Frants can understand why Dutch onion companies are careful with the investment. “It’s a big investment and you have to calculate if it’s worth to make the investment. For us, the investment pays off, because it led to a reduction of labor costs”. The company has around 20-25 employees. “The machine gives us more flexibility because less employees are involved. From our Danish perspective it’s certainly a good investment. If you have enough capacity to let the machine run, then it’s worth the investment. and we can let the machine run”.
Keeping up with Technology.
To the customer group belong retailers and wholesalers from Denmark, Germany and Scandinavia. “We can sort onions by specific requirements” explains Frants to customers about the optical gradingmachine. It’s unknown if the onions are more expensive due to input of the machine. “The technique is heading this way, so in our opinion it was about time we got on board. The quality of the onions had nothing to do with this, but it is a bonus that we can work more accurate in the future”. Before the acquisition Fritz looked at different sortingmachines. “Ellips provided the best deal. The best quality at the lowest price. This combination made us choose for the Ellips system. The results are good and we are very satisfied”. Ellips has installed 28 lanes last year, and will again install 22 lanes in Europe and the United States in the coming half year.