The brief

In January 2019 we received an email enquiry from a cabbage processing company located in the extreme southwest state of Missouri, USA.

Their initial question of us, could we design and manufacture a bespoke solution that would:

(a) reduce their operating upcharge cost of purchasing cabbage pre cored and quartered

(b) improve their existing production throughput targets

(c) provide inbuilt redundancy to cater for future processing expansion

(d) allow them to take control of their internal Quality Control processes, especially concerning waste management.

Furthermore, the solution must comply with stringent mechanical, electrical and automation guidelines set by this now understood global company operating across 30 countries.

The solution

Our innovative design allowed the customer to automatically process (decore and quarter whole cabbages) at a reliable production rate. This was 30 cabbages per minute, or over a 12-hour production run 21,600 cabbages per day, 7 days a week.

To minimise waste, innovative height laser sensors were incorporated to measure the sphere of each individual cabbage. Using the Euroflow scripted control software, coring heads would continuously adjust for optimum depth of cut.

The cabbage core once removed would be discharged from the machine in a separate direction, and collected by the client to be recycled as animal feed to local farmers.

The use of integrated “goose neck” conveyors would transfer cored and quartered segments of cabbage for sanitation treatment prior to shredding. Water conservation was an additional key automation requirement.

Euroflow via the main touch screen control panel supporting variable administration and engineering settings applied an additional level of automation. Allowing the process of adding a % of fresh water versus that of discharged dirty water to be automated with the use integrated depth level tank sensors.

Keeping the customer informed of each step of the manufacturing process via videos and photos was key to building a robust and informed relationship. This meant that they could manage their internal deliverables accordingly.

Due to COVID, travel restrictions prevented our engineers travelling with the machines to conduct the installation and commissioning process in America. To overcome this and in order to fully support our customer through the above process, Euroflow integrated remote access software before exporting the machines. This technology allows our technical support engineers to dial into each machine from our site in Boston to help remedy any IT problems encountered.

Furthermore, and utilising the benefits of Microsoft Teams we provide direct support twice weekly to our client in Illinois and Missouri.

After all the uneasy challenges experienced, we have and continue to have our 1st satisfied USA based customer.