Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dutch company ZTI smart machines is positive about the past year. Machine production lagged somewhat, but the scope for new developments was also created. The Watermelon Wedger, the Watermelon Dicer, the Fruit & Vegetable Wedger, the Mango Peeler-de-Cheeker 20, and the Pineapple Peeler were created in 2020.
"An unusual year"
Hans Keijzer, ZTI's managing director, was apprehensive at the beginning of last year. That was about the pandemic's social and economic effects. "It quickly became clear that the travel sector would suffer greatly. Quite a few of our clients supply cut fruit to hotels, restaurants, lunchrooms, cruise ships, canteens, and companies that prepare meals onboard," he says.
"That buying just about stopped worldwide. Many companies became somewhat reluctant to invest too. Everything and everyone applied the brakes. This quieter period in the production of our existing machines gave us space. Space to work on many new developments. So, along with a lot of bad things, the past year has also meant a lot for us."
"The air is, hopefully, clearing"
According to Hans, the market's starting to pick up again. He's getting a lot of interest in the new machines, and long-term offers are being revived. "The market is noticeably starting to move again. Albeit cautiously. People still need to eat, and fruit and vegetables, in particular, are important sources of vitamins. The stores' pre-cut products section is also growing. More of these products are being sold. By boosting your own immune system, you might well be a step ahead of the virus."
Fruit & Vegetable Wedger cuts cabbage, melon, celeriac, pumpkin, and much more
ZTI recently delivered its Fruit & Vegetable Wedger. The company initially developed the machine to segment celeriac. But it soon became apparent that it could process far more. The product is cut into halves, quarters, or five wedges. The machine processes a maximum of 30 pieces per minute. The cut results in sharp and even wedges, ready for packing or further processing.
The standard version of the wedger is fitted with four or five-wedge slots. In this way, you can cut, for example, large celeriac into smaller wedges. You can replace the four and five wedge blades with two one-segment blades. These cut the product in half. The wedges are guided out of the machine via a chute at its side. There, they can be collected in a container or transported along a conveyor belt. You can mount a counter on the machine to keep track of the number of cut wedges.