Herbert Engineering is a British manufacturer, who this year celebrated 40 years in the business. The company supply handling systems for the agricultural, fresh pack, food processing, materials handling and waste management industries and specialise in highly efficient handing systems, designed to meet individual operational needs. Herbert provides a complete package from initial design and layout to building the equipment, installation and on going support.
This year the company celebrated 40 years in the business and Glen Burt, Technical Sales Engineer at Herbert explains the changes in the sector over the years. “Customers have different demands now than they did 40 years ago, the industry has changed. People now have to adhere to stricter hygiene regulations and everyone is trying to cut energy use.” He adds that as technology changes machines can be more efficient, be it with easier access for maintenance, meaning less down-time or by using led lights to save electricity and of course by reducing the number of operators.
At the recent Potato Europe in France, Herbert Engineering launched the Oculus optical sorting machine. The Oculus is the next generation in high performance, compact, optical sorting for washed potatoes.
Glen explained that this machine is a culmination of 20 years in the sorting machine business. The company's first sorter was the Upgrader, a machine which was high in mechanical parts, this was followed by the Autosort, which was designed after talking to customers about possible improvements. After 10 years of running the Autosort it was time for something new. The Oculus.
Again this was developed after talking to customers and cooperation at all levels within the company. The main requests were for more user friendly software, energy efficiency, easy maintenance and easy cleaning.
According to Glen this new machine has all these features. The symbols are universally recognised such as those on a smartphone or iPad, it uses 30% less power, which has been achieved by amongst other things, the use of LED lights, it is constructed from 8mm thick stainless steel which is easy to power wash and can withstand starch and cleaning chemicals.
"What is important for businesses these days is reducing labour costs and increasing profit. The Oculus has been developed with this in mind, it is more accurate in sizing and can detect a wide range of defects due to the 360º presentation infra-red and digital colour cameras. We are also developing the software all the time, it is a very solid system."
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