Bulltec from Cesena has supplied OP Ortomì from Pachino (Siracusa), a new semi-automatic system for the packaging of a bunch of tomatoes into punnets. For Bulltec, Ortomì is a point of reference in the area of the packaging and commercialization of Pachino tomatoes both in Italy and abroad.
The system was born from the collaboration between the two companies, which, together, studied a solution with unique characteristics. The objectives Bulltec and Ortomì had set for themselves were to facilitate and optimize product processing, preserving quality also in terms of packaging layout.
"The system is made up of a series of conveyor belts feeding the bunches to 13 weighing scales which, via a Bulltec software, creates optimal combinations of 2/3 bunches. A weighing scale is always destined for single tomatoes so that a minimum weight can be guaranteed for every packet. The bunches are always placed in punnets according to client needs and with minimum handling," explains Ruggero Ricci from Bulltec.
The line develops along three phases: during the first one, operators clean and feed the bunches onto the conveyors leading the produce to the 12 central weighing scales. An operator then fills the tray with the loose tomatoes, and the punnets are filled on a parallel conveyor featuring a dedicated weighing scale.
Once the software identifies the optimal combination of the 12 scales loaded with bunches and the one with the loose tomatoes, the combination is unloaded and packaged by dedicated operators. The line works at 30/35 strokes per minute. The average excess weight with respect to the guaranteed one is between 3 and 4% max per type of packet. The productivity of the line depends on the type of packaging, product variety, and quality.
Below is a list of the strengths of this innovative technology:
- Tray composition chosen by the client
- Constant productivity and performance of the line and operators throughout the day.
- Maximum gentleness guaranteed.
- Weight excess 2-4% per punnet.
- Reliability of punnet weight.
Bulltec machine installed at Ortomì
The final result obtained and verified by the client working with the Bulltec line is an increase in the productivity of all operators, leading to a saving of 25/30% per kg processed.
Joseph Fortunato, marketing manager at Op Ortomì, reported that "we chose Bulltec as we needed to improve and automate the processing of bunch tomato punnets without reducing the quality of the final product. The approach we employed together with Bulltec to identify the key elements of this project was fundamental to guarantee a top-quality result."
"The Bulltec line enables us to work with all types of punnets and bunch varieties with extreme gentleness and precision so as to achieve a high quality and homogeneity of the final output."
"In addition, the reliability and productivity of the line enable us to plan the work ahead to deliver the orders with punctuality."
The new Bulltec processing line guarantees a high degree of gentleness in product management as there are no falls between the conveyors, which all work at the same height. On this line, Ortomì can process all types of bunch tomatoes - cherry, plum, small cherry, and Piccadilly tomatoes.
"We are pleased to report these data, as we managed to meet client needs, i.e., using less personnel while obtaining excellent precision and preserving product quality," concluded Ricci.