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Potato handling fully automated thanks to Europe’s largest plastic pallet box has seen an increased adoption of automation in the UK potato industry. Much of this is based around systems developed and implemented by Deprez Handling Solutions and using its GoPalletBox 1311S 3R – Europe’s largest plastic pallet box.

Offering more than 35 years of expertise in the development of integrated handling solutions, Deprez launched its first automated handling system in 2008 which allowed the company to double its capacity. With the retail food sector being one of the company’s main areas of focus, over the years Deprez observed that potato packers, in particular, were increasingly demanding immediate storage of their goods prior to packing.

Today, potato harvest is sorted and stored based on quality or size, which requires that some goods are temporarily stored during the packaging process. This storage must be hygienic, robust and offer maximum filling capacity to make the best use of available warehouse space.

Non-slip rubber profiles on the upper edges of the pallet box allow up to seven boxes to be safely stacked on top of each other, a feature which helps optimise warehouse storage space. In terms of retail food applications, the pallet boxes are extremely versatile and can be used for cold storage in temperatures from minus 30 to plus 50 degrees Celsius.

After harvesting and washing, the potatoes are sorted by an optical sorting system according to their size and placed in the plastic pallet boxes. The loaded boxes are then either automatically stored in the high-bay or forwarded directly to the packaging line, depending on their destined use. With subsequent use, a system-integrated orbiter box tipper automatically empties the boxes into the corresponding packaging lines.


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