Hoza invests in optical onion sorting machine ERC/OTA
It has been quiet in the area of optical sorting technology in the Netherlands for the general public, but this silence was broken this morning. Onion breeder Hoza from Oudenhoorn confirmed its investment in an ERC/OTA onion sorting machine by contract. It was a well considered decision for Jim Hoogzand.
"We try to keep the entire process in hand in our company. Onion is in my blood. My father Kees is getting older and I hope to free up more time and space with this investment. With an optical sorting machine we realise a quality improvement, as well a labour reduction, with which we want to take our company and the sector to a higher level." says Jim.
Hoza will use the optical sorting machine for the selection of the planting material. Because the machine - two lane with six exits to box fillers - is used a few months per year, ERC/OTA have plenty of time to further develop the new sorting technology. "It has been agreed to share 100% of the knowledge gained with onion sorting companies committed in the investment of our optical sorting technology. Hoza is a testing centre to get the optical sorting technology off the ground. The great thing about Hoza is that as a seed breeding company it isn't a competitor for Dutch onion processors," says director Gerard van der Knijff of ERC.
Rutger Keurhorst pleads a realistic story. "We have built up the necessary experience over the years and aren't starting from scratch, but match the current techniques with support from camera suppliers, for instance. But we don't make empty promises. All developments in the optical onion sorting machine will be applied to this machine over the next seven years. Three aspects are of great importance in the development, a robust mechanisation, the camera technique and data processing. Modesta takes care of the dust extraction and residual dust processing. By implementing good solutions for processing lines the pollution on the line is reduced and labour conditions are improved. Our challenge is to integrate the loose components that are there now into one system."
“Onion companies realise they need each other”
Gerard van der Knijff - OTA/ERC Machinery
"In recent weeks we approached all Dutch onion packaging station to participate in this investment. A number have already indicated that they will join. Not everyone will, but the responses are predominantly positive. They realise we need each other," says Gerard. He isn't surprised that it is a relatively smaller company investing in an optical sorting machine. "Large companies often think within set borders, we see that the layer below is ready for this investment."
Jim has a lot of faith in this technology. "It might seem like we never give each other anything in the onion world, but in the end we want to continue together. We try to improve our process every year and now this is in optical sorting technology. I would rather invest in a machine for the future, than people who have to be trained for years and might not continue to work with you at the end. I know I'm investing in a development, but I hope to further 'improve' this machine with this investment."