Potatoes ‘go’ fully automated thanks to Europe’s largest plastic pallet box
Jul 16, 2019
Goplasticpallets.com 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 GoPalletBox 1311S 3R – Europe’s largest plastic pallet box.
The pallet boxes being filled with product having been sorted by size and quality by the optical grader.
Offering more than 35 years expertise in the development of integrated handling solutions, 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 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 trialling 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 litres 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 characterised 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-racking.
Non-slip rubber profiles on the upper edges of the pallet box allow up to seven boxes to be safely stacked on top of each other, a feature which helps optimise warehouse storage space. In terms of retail food applications, the pallet boxes are extremely versatile and can be used for cold storage in temperatures from minus 30 to plus 50 degrees Celsius.
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.
Johan Deprez, founder and CEO of Deprez said: “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.”
Goplasticpallets.com’s 1,400 litre plastic pallet box has been used for a number of other large scale automated applications. This includes supplying 2,000 pallet boxes with lids for a global pharmaceutical giant to be used for the handling and storage of sports bottle preforms, and more recently supplying a whopping 19,750 pallet boxes in different colours to GA Pet Food Partners to be used in an enormous new automated facility, which represents the pinnacle of the company’s development in dry pet food production.