Onion specialists join forces in Onion Tech Alliance
Five suppliers in the onion processing sector have joined forces in the Onion Tech Alliance (OTA). The companies offer the market a transparent platform, and have a firm ambition to get onion processing at home and abroad to a higher level.
OTA has the objective to be involved in 90% or more of projects worldwide, and helping out in complex processing matters. "Projects are becoming ever bigger and more complex," the OTA partners say. "You can't view processing and packing as a chain of individual components anymore. The various machines in the production chain are hardly communicating with each other, but because of increasing interdependence, an integrated approach is required."
By joining forces in the Onion Tech Alliance, a project is approached from a wider perspective, significantly increasing efficiency. "Until today, suppliers have been used to linking up the individual pieces, which is inefficient and always more costly. OTA, however, wants to complete the puzzle together with the client, starting at the design stage. We know what we can do as individual players, but we can offer the sector more as OTA. OTA now offers the client one point of contact, and a solution for the entire process."
Onion Tech Alliance is convinced that the onion processing industry will go through a significant evolution in the near future. "By stimulating and facilitating this innovation, processors are given the opportunity to distinguish themselves. Many companies are tied to conventional equipment and fragmented processes. OTA sees an increasing demand worldwide for complete solutions, and foresees a revolution in onion processing in the near future. Product handling, optical sorting, integrated line control and watertight traceability are increasingly important for good and constant quality."
“You can't view processing and packing as a chain of individual components anymore”
- Founders Onion Tech Alliance
Across the spectrum, onion processors are under high pressure. This pressure, OTA says, is caused by increasingly expensive labour, and fewer available (foreign) workers who are prepared to brave the dust, noise and long hours of the onion warehouses. The sector-wide switch to further automation is unavoidable, but complex and capital intensive. Investment decisions have an impact for decades.
"Together with the onion sector, OTA wants to develop the right procedures for the coming decades, choosing a joint and integrated approach. That approach manifests itself in integrated design based on individual specializations, further developing existing techniques and joint responsibility for the total performance, control and linking of IT systems, and joint delivery of service and project support."
Each of the participating parties brings its own specialization to the table: ERC Machinery (production technology for processing and packing), Longobardi (electronic sorting technology), Deprez Handling Solutions (internal transport and storage technology), Modesta (separation and dedusting technology) and Qreenno (consulting and engineering services). During the upcoming Landelijke Uiendag and Fruit Logistica in Berlin, the Onion Tech Alliance will introduce itself together.