New machinery at Frederick Hiam Foods significantly improves efficiency

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Efficiency has jumped more than 90% at Frederick Hiam Foods, thanks to new equipment provided by Wyma
Efficiency has jumped more than 90% at Frederick Hiam Foods, thanks to new equipment provided by Wyma

Related tags Fresh produce machinery

Vegetable processor and packer Frederick Hiam Foods has reduced energy and water consumption and significantly improved efficiency thanks to an investment in new machinery at its Suffolk-based site.

The food firm approached machinery provider Wyma, who discovered a range of issues on the production line – from ineffective destoning to poor cleaning and conveyor sweeps that were prone to blocking.

To address these key issues, Wyma installed a cyclone destoner for more reliable destoning, a wet hopper to provide effective buffer storage, pre-cleaning and an accurate metered flow into the line to optimise line flow, as well as a pre-cutting polisher to better clean the crop prior to cutting.

Optimising efficiency

Wyma also introduced a pre-cutting lift roller sizer to split the crop flow into pre-determined diameters to optimise trimmer efficiency.

The additions to the line have helped improve efficiency on site by more than 90% and has led to a number of other improvements that were not expected at the start of the process.

“One of them is around energy​,” said Frederick Hiam managing director Jamie Lockhart. “Obviously the cost of electricity is eye watering at the moment, and we are seeing somewhere in the 20 to 25% saving on energy usage.”

“The other is water – water is an ever increasingly rare resource and we're hopeful that this line will save somewhere in the region of 30% of the water usage. What started with a single solution has actually given us significant benefits elsewhere as well.”

Easier operation

Other improvements included fewer drops and better transitions in the line, leading to better crop presentation and lower risk of rejection due to bruising. Overall, the entire system is easier to clean, manage and operate, making the whole process more time and resource efficient.

“By taking an overall look at line efficiency, and identifying the key areas where issues were occurring, we were able to introduce a range of tailored solutions that saw a significant overall improvement in performance,” ​added Wyma UK territory manager Josh Stilwell.

Meanwhile, sustainable packaging solutions ruled this year’s Interpack,​ with exhibitors showcasing a range of innovations that addressed key challenges such as greenhouse gas, cost and efficiency. Here’s our roundup of launches…

Related topics Fresh produce Operations

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