Vegetable processor installs sprout sorting line

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Th Clements approached Tong Engineering to install its new sprout line
Th Clements approached Tong Engineering to install its new sprout line
Lincolnshire-based fresh vegetable processor TH Clements & Son has partnered with Tong Engineering to install a Brussels sprouts grading and sorting facility at its site in Boston.

The facility handles sprouts from receiving the harvested product in boxes to cleaning, drying, grading and defect sorting crop prior to reaching the packing area.

TH Clements project manager Graham Neal said the time had come to update their existing Brussels sprouts processing operations in order to significantly expand the company’s capabilities.

“Our original Brussels sprouts grading system involved a great deal of manual sorting, and subsequently labour requirements,”​ said Neal. “Our throughput capabilities were increasingly limited and, as new and existing contracts developed, we were finding it difficult to achieve the wide range of grading sizes that were demanded by our customers.

“Not only that, as the original system had been updated over the years, the layout was becoming increasingly inefficient, making equipment difficult to clean and maintain effectively.”

Maximum efficiency and productivity

This led to the decision to replace the original system with a custom-built line, explained Neal, incorporating the latest technology for maximum efficiency and productivity.

“Tong designed a complete Brussels sprout intake and grading system that meets all our grade size requirements and incorporates the new Veryx digital sorter from Key Technology for exceptionally fast and consistent defect sorting,”​ he added.

“It is so much more productive. We no longer have to perform screen changes to meet all the grade sizes required. Now we simply make our grade selections on the touch screen and the machine adjusts automatically.”

Tong engineering sale manager Nick Woodcock said the new line had been designed to be very flexible and responsive to TH Clement’s customers’ demands.

‘Easier and proactive’

“Throughput and consistency has significantly increased, and with much easier and proactive maintenance, they can be sure their new investment will bring maximum performance for many years to come.”

TH Clements harvest over 20 different varieties of Brussels sprouts more than 405 hectares across Lincolnshire. Harvesting takes place between August and March, reaching a peak throughout the festive season.

Supplying to some of the UK’s major supermarkets, the company produces high quality Brussels sprouts ranging from whole loose product to bagged, peeled and sliced, distributing them nationwide.

Meanwhile, Britvic has installed new bottling lines at its Leeds and Rugby manufacturing sites​ with the help of business consultancy and facilities designer Lorien Engineering, as part of a £204m investment programme.

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