GREEFA – Ceres Fruit Growers

GREEFA – Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG) is one of South Africa’s largest and oldest apple and pear packing and storage facilities, and the management team at CFG report that they are satisfied with their newly installed Greefa Combisort cup sizer packing line with Greefa’s iQS Performance Plus optical sorting, and in-feed system designed and built by Greefa and MED Automation. MED Automation is the exclusive Sub-Saharan agent for Greefa, a world market leader in fresh produce sorting technology based in the Netherlands.

CFG’s impressive new state-of-the-art packing system for apples and pears has been installed in a beautifully restored pack house building which is flooded with natural light. In addition to the optical sizer/sorter, the packing line and the packing tables, MED Automation and Greefa also custom-built the fruit infeed bin dumper and flooder machinery which assists the fruit to enter the packing line. The new packing facility has significantly increased the company’s packing production outputs, from 1500 bins of fruit per week to between 2500 and 2700 bins of fruit weekly.

MED Automation and Greefa are proud to have successfully provided CFG with the packing line design and installation service that they required. CFG’s Management team members have provided detailed positive feedback on the process and results of this installation.

GREEFA - Ceres Fruit Growers

From conceptualisation to completion with MED Automation and Greefa

Once CFG made the decision to repurpose an old pack house and install a new packing line, the Management team started a comprehensive research and planning process, and it took two years before construction could begin. “The design and implementation of a packing line and the supporting machinery is a complex, multi-faceted process and there was a large range of variables that we needed to consider,” says Malan. “Our team had to make the decision together and we were not just fixed on one service provider. The packing line needed to accommodate both apples and pears, and sorting and packing pears is more challenging. It was therefore necessary to find the best possible hybrid system that would work for both commodities. An important part of our research was visiting other pack houses to study their packing lines during the planning process. We looked at the high-speed packing lines from several packing machinery companies. The companies that we dealt with all provided good offerings, so deciding which one to choose was not easy. Although high-speed packing lines usually run faster that the cup sizers, we decided to install a cup sizer type of packing line as it is easier to achieve singulation as well as good rotation of pears under the cameras in the sorter with a cup sizer than with high-speed lines and this hybrid system thus best suited our requirements.”

Conclusion

Malan concluded that CFG has had a long-standing relationship with MED Automation and Greefa and had worked well with them in the past. “We chose to go with their proposal and have been very satisfied with the results. Our criteria were fruit friendliness and increased productivity, and it has been rewarding to see that the system has delivered convincing results in both these categories.” He added that the process of designing and installing the packing line and additional machinery had been the result of a massive team effort. “The CFG Management and growers are proud of what we have achieved here, and we feel confident to say that the end result is good.”

 

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From CIAGRI we offer assistance in the design of your new sorting line. As well as technical service 365 days a year. For us, maintaining customer confidence is the most important thing.

Ciagri - Greefa