The 35th project to be completed by Haith for Greenvale AP delivered the perfect Christmas present. Commissioned in June 2022, two new Haith wash lines allowed Greenvale’s Cambridgeshire facility to handle the busy festive period easily.
One of the UK’s leading potato suppliers saw throughput at its Floods Ferry site almost double. However, despite the increase, Greenvale continued to meet its exceedingly high-quality standards and benefit from exceptionally low running costs and water use.
At the start of 2022, Greenvale’s engineering team and board of directors saw that two of their wash lines at Flood’s Ferry were showing their age, and with reliability becoming an issue, they decided it was time to change. As the neighbouring line – installed by Haith in 2014 – was performing well in terms of volume, handling, washing and operating costs, Greenvale’s engineering manager, Adrian Dickson, decided to consolidate suppliers.
“We met with Duane Hill and the team at Haith, and we were very impressed with the features and enhancements of the latest wash equipment. As we have several Haith machines at our sites, we knew that Haith would be able to produce the bespoke systems we required,” says Adrian. “We always look at the market and decide which companies to work with based on their products, the quality of service and the overall cost. Haith stood out in all areas.”
The new lines are based on Haith’s proven format but offer the latest in energy efficiency, low water consumption and sophisticated software to ensure gentle handling.
Potatoes are received by Haith’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise winning Rota Tip Top Eject, passed into a Supa-Flume stone separator before being cleaned in a semi-submerged washer. The potatoes are then dried and quality graded by Greenvale’s existing machinery.
Haith’s Rota-Tip Up-Eject was designed at the request of food packers and processors who experienced oil leaks, high energy use and instability when using traditional hydraulic box tipplers. Haith innovated the design by replacing hydraulic motors with all-electric drives, which use less power and prevent oil leaks. Haith also developed a new, safer, and more effective rotating system that can handle larger box volumes than older designs.
Once tipped, Greenvale’s potatoes enter a Haith Supa-Flume De-Stoner, which efficiently separates stone and clod from the crop with minimal power consumption thanks to its efficient close-coupled pump and ie3 motor. With a heavy-duty rubber stone discharge elevator, external bearings and adjustable flow divider, Haith’s De-Stoner is highly efficient and reliable.
Before being dried and sorted, the produce passes through a semi-submerged stainless steel barrel washer. The 4m long washer features a highly efficient displacement barrel and incorporates Haith’s floating debris removal system. Haith has included the option to pre-select water levels to facilitate easy crop changeover.
“As well as coping easily with the volume we specified, the new lines have the ability to greatly reduce the change over time when switching produce,” says Adrian. “This means we have reduced the stop-start cycling time we experienced with the previous lines and have greater control of line balancing, which is very important to us.
“We have also reduced our water usage and enjoy the ability for much faster change over times thanks to the way Haith has designed its machines.”
Haith’s in-house software engineers incorporated complete control of the new equipment and its functions into the HMI unit, ensuring that the Haith washer complements Greenvale’s signature continuous loop wash water recycling system. The new functionality also protects the crop from potential damage, thereby increasing quality and customer satisfaction.
A further benefit of the new lines for Greenvale relates to health and safety. The line is more accessible for Greenvale’s engineering team, and its stainless steel fabrication and the absence of hydraulics comply with the highest levels of food safety standards.
“Haith delivered a superb job. The team’s workmanship and professionalism were second to none!” observes Adrian. “And when utility costs are skyrocketing, we’re delighted to report that new Haith lines use considerably less electricity than our previous lines, so as well as reducing damage, increasing quality and throughput, and lowering water consumption, we are also being responsible towards energy usage.”
Photos: Greenvale engineering manager Adrian Dickson