During the past year, logistic problems have affected the market like never before, increasing the complexity of commercial campaigns dealing with long distances such as that of cherries from South America destined to the Far East. For this reason, Unitec's solutions have provided great support. The company will attend Simposio internazionale della ciliegia (May 2nd-6th 2022). FreshPlaza has talked about it with president Angelo Benedetti.
FreshPlaza (FP): How can Unitec solutions help producers dealing with cherries? Are there any new products?
Angelo Benedetti (AB): Over the last period in particular, Unitec has developed various innovative systems for which patents have been registered. All this with the objective of building solutions to classify quality that are highly effective and capable of improving process efficiency and diminishing processing costs for each kg of produce. Another important step was the update both the software and some components on existing lines. This too improved performances and efficiency, enabling our clients to face this difficult period with more serenity and trust - the peace of mind of operating with lines that can guarantee effective and delicate fruit processing and sorting is, in fact, a strategic aspect
The effectiveness of Unitec systems also translates into an increased effectiveness of the people working on the lines, reducing the current problems linked to the lack of labor. The updates in the traceability and flow management system have in fact made operations even more fluid and constant, facilitating the entire process without interruptions or the need for frequent operator interventions.
Finally, Unitec has developed innovations also for operations at the end of processing - e.g. packaging and palletizing - thanks to the solutions perfected by our Unirobotics division to make work more automated, efficient and less alienating for people.
Angelo Benedetti in an archive photo
FP: How many nations feature Unitec cherry sorters?
AB: Our systems are present in each country where cherries are processed to help our clients obtain the best results and assist them in the development of their business. We have installed our cherry sorters in over 30 countries in the 5 continents.
FP: What are the countries that have opted for your technology the most?
AB: The countries that have most used our systems are without doubt those with a strong vocation for exports, as Cherry Vision solutions enable a higher quality not only of the single fruits, but of entire batches, eliminating the fruits that may contaminate the homogeneity of the quality obtained in the field.
Over the years, our specialization has increased our credibility in many countries, as the businesses that chose our systems managed to be more reliable in their supplies to supermarkets, the big retail chain or importers.
All of this is made possible thanks to continuous research aimed at perfecting each aspect of processing, from the collection of produce from the fields to palletizing. Everything is supported by multiple patents, each focused on safeguarding the fruit.
FP: What advice would you give producers when it comes to choosing a sorter? What criteria should they look for?
AB: When processing soft fruit, one of the basic aspects to consider is of course the capability of the system to view the whole fruit, analyzing its every part so as to eliminate the little quantities of fruits that are unsuitable or too ripe and that would thus damage the value of the entire batch.
Another aspect, which is just as important, is gentle handling in order to safeguard the organoleptic quality of every fruit.
A third aspect, that must go hand in hand with the second, is the potential of the system in order to process the highest number of fruits or ton/h possible.
Last but not least, is the classification of internal quality when it comes to all its organoleptic parameters.
FP: How are you dealing with the current increase in the cost of energy and raw materials?
AB: We do not have the power to change things, but we can help our clients and all those who choose to work with us by building solutions that can reduce a considerable part of the costs thanks to the latest innovations, which have been perfected precisely with the aim of countering the increases in the cost of energy and raw materials. In addition, all our lines are built with strong automations for energy saving.
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