Lamb Weston/Meijer started using the new production line this year. The current factory was expanded to install a completely new production line for premium frozen potato products.
The producer of frozen potato products and dried potato flakes has invested 120 million euro into the renewed factory. The existing production line of Lamb Weston/Meijer, or LWM, was thoroughly modernised, and a second production line was realised. In order to achieve this, the current factory was extensively expanded. Per year, up to 500,000 tonnes of potatoes from the Southwestern Netherlands will be processed into frozen fries and other frozen potato specialities. Four machines from machinery manufacturer FAM were ordered for the production unit in Bergen op Zoom.
FAM has introduced at least eight new machines in the past two years. One of those machines is the FAM Tridis 240P, designed especially for the frozen fries industry. “The Tridis 240P has been tested and approved in cooperation with prominent Flemish frozen companies, and LWM,” according to Niels van Laer from FAM. He explained that the machines in the factory will process tonnes of potatoes into wavy fries, both regular and deep wavy, every day. “This cut is better-known as Ziggy Fries by the consumers, it is a very crunchy fry with a structured outer side and soft substance on the inside.” This special cut of the Ziggy Fries requires a machine that can perfectly guide and cut the potato in order to realise the same shape on all sides.
Enormous amounts of potatoes are processed into cubes, fries and other shapes annually in the factory in Bergen op Zoom. Van Laer: “One of the most important performance indicators for LWM is therefore the maintenance of the machine. The frozen industry needs a robust and reliable machine that can guarantee minimal stagnation. The FAM Tridis 240P stands out because of its sliding electrical case, which offers easy access to the drive and because of its pattern system for dismantling the axles and bearings. Besides cutting quality, it is therefore also important that the machine can be easily maintained.”
Limiting cutting waste
According to Armand Butijn, Corporate Project Engineer for Lamb Weston, the Tridis 240P easily meets those requirements. “Cutting efficiency also plays a large part. It is even more important to limit cutting waste and loss of starch as much as possible with high volumes. If cell structure of potatoes is damaged during the cutting, it will result in the potato losing starch and moisture. This is often a problem for large processing lines.” The FAM Tridis 240P limits cutting loss to a minimum as a result of the optimum product passage with high passage speeds and a minimum distance to traverse.
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Niels Van Laer