Installation, commissioning of a post harvest handling line #3
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El montaje de una instalación de post cosecha, parte 3
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Agrovent, BrimaPack, Samos, Verbruggen, Eqraft, SKALS, Marcelissen, Beemsterboer handling

With each cable in place, connected to the motors, sensors and control panel, we began the tests.

Installation and commissioning of an Eqraft BV potato, onion and carrot handling line

Part 3

On the Friday, ten days since we started, the line was ready to receive its first produce. The client wanted to start out with potatoes, but it all went so smoothly that we did all possible tests that very same day. We could brush and wash the potatoes and carrots, and we processed onions from their arrival with and without a box tipper. From that day onwards, the line has been operating without any hitches; any small adjustments were made by the Dutch technician without interrupting production.

Potatoes entering a postharvest handling and packing line

The first potatoes are unloaded onto the reception chute, from a truck which came straight from the manual harvest.

Inspecting potatoes on a roller inspection table

As seen here on the inspection table, the input flow was excessive. Thanks to the frequency controls, from the control panel we reduced this flow in a matter of seconds.

grading potatoes on a roller grader

The grading machine working flawlessly. This grading machine has the upside that it is very easy to change the sizes, even during operation. It can be adjusted by turning the handle seen to the right of the machine.

Part of a postharvest handling line for potatoes, onions and carrots

Here come the potatoes from the grading machine.

Potatoes leaving a potato washer

The potatoes leaving the washer and going through the dryer on rollers.

The potatoes leaving the washer and going through the dryer on rollers.

Packing and stitching.

Learning the threat a potato bag sewing machine

This is not a breakdown! Our partners are just practising how to change the thread on the bag stitcher.

Learning putting the thread in a potato bag sewing machine

In the end, the men had to call one of their wives, who is also one of our partners, so she could help change the thread.

Potato bags, well weighed, well closed ready for the client

Handling: In this place in the Caribbean whose name I do not care to remember, they have these sacks of good potatoes, well weighed and properly sealed. There you go...

In this place in the Caribbean whose name I do not care to remember, they have these sacks of good potatoes, well weighed and properly sealed. There you go...

First of all, we had to check that there were no tools or other objects inside the machines, as they could cause damage and even serious accidents.

The first thing to check is the rotational direction of the motors. Each motor is three-phase, and is powered with stabilised frequency, which makes it easy to carry out this task: if a motor spins in the wrong direction, two cables are swapped in the control panel and it's good to go. Once the electrical installation was all checked, the line was started up without any produce, with each of its different programmes. During this phase, the speeds are controlled manually, using frequency controls. If any programming error is detected at this stage, the PLC (the computer for the line) is connected to the internet with the long-distance technical support programme, and an Eqraft machinery technician can make corrections to the programme from the Netherlands.

Once everything appears to be functioning correctly, tests with the produce begin. This is the part that the client enjoys most, although if the previous tests were done well, the work of the technicians is almost over and they can then pass the mantle onto the workers. Any remaining tweaks will be done by the technicians, alongside the workers and those in charge, so that they can obtain a good idea of how everything works and be confident about touching the buttons. This final part is crucial, and is the reason why Eqraft machinery and I insist on everything being prepared prior to installation so that we can work together, without waiting for a forklift, electrician, or (even worse) a power connection. The sooner the line is assembled, the more time we can spend training the staff.

To mechanise your post harvest processes:
contact us:
+1 239 3002374
or use our (preferable)
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Address: Farm San Isidro, Volcán, Panama.

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