Case Study:: Onion Processing
The largest Grower and Shipper of Sweet Vidalia Onions, Bland Farms (based in Georgia USA), has been the leader in automating the process and ensuring consistent quality.
Bland Farms: From Wood to Winning With Decade MACX Bins
Until 2005, Bland used wooden field bins for both harvesting and processing when Michael Hively, General Manager at Bland, realized that a much better solution was needed.
He was planning to install a cutting-edge processing line, which would allow increased efficiency. An eight-lane sizer system with a capacity of fifty-two onions per second or 1,872,000 onions per day with an ability of packing forty-eight boxes per minute or 2,880 boxes per hour was ordered.
After carefully examining all the possibilities, Michael chose the MACX® all plastic field bin.
He concluded that the MACX® provided Bland Farms with an advantage that the old style wood could not deliver starting with an all bacteria free environment, to super fast drying capability and on to smooth operations on the processing line, maintenance free plastic, and smooth inside walls for improved fruit quality and all-purpose field-to-factory ease of use.
“We are now in the third year of our conversion to the MACX® and I am delighted with the improvement in our operations. The bins that are used in the field for harvest, come directly into our fast drying chambers and then on to the processing line, saving time and extra handling. With the quality of our product foremost on our minds – switching from wooden bins to the MACX® was a natural move for Bland Farms”
The significance of smooth operations on an automated line during high volume in terms of down-time and lost production is critical – and by using MACX® instead of variable sized and often damaged wooden bins, the efficiency is greatly improved.
Pack-out quality was significantly higher and substantial savings in maintenance contribute to the value proposition.
Other advantages include: 4-way fork lift entry, steam cleaning and FDA/USDA approved materials & design