A 30 station YCM Yield Control System installed by packhouse specialists Marco is bringing significant productivity improvements to Jouno’s tomato packhouse in North West France. Brittany based Tomate Jouno have been growing fresh produce since 1888 and their diverse range of pre-packed tomatoes has achieved an enviable reputation for quality, taste and variety.

The accurate, manual packing of tomatoes presents a number of significant challenges, especially varieties that are packed on the vine. Packers need to match speed together with pack weight consistency and quality, whilst complying with EU packing legislation. Excessive giveaway (over-pack) clearly has a direct, negative impact on profitability.

Marco’s Yield Control System has been developed to significantly reduce this giveaway, whilst improving productivity, minimising waste and reducing direct labour overheads. The YCM LineMaster workstations feature clear lights that operators rapidly respond to, effectively de-skilling the packing operation.

Through the use of ingenious software, Marco are the first company to provide such a visual system based on individual fruit weights. The One Fruit, One Segment display significantly simplifies the packing process. Quite simply, operators are visually prompted to add or take out individual fruits to ensure pack weight compliance. The software constantly monitors pack weight trends and makes necessary adjustments in the background. The pre-programmed scaling of the system takes into account different tomato types.
Given the competitive nature of the fresh produce market, typically characterised by the low single digit margins, it is imperative for packers and growers that any productivity-improving investments provide a low-risk, rapid return on investment. In the case of installations such as Jouno, the return on investment calculations show the pay-back time to be nine months or less, based on a reduction in giveaway by 5%.

The company continues to be family owned and Mr Jouno is very pleased with the results from the packhouse installation, “We are very impressed with our Marco installation. Marco’s innovative technology is bringing important changes to the way we pack tomatoes and the system has become an essential part of our packing operation. Prior to this we used conventional scales to check pack weights. Not only was this very laborious, but the process also resulted in consistently high giveaway. Line speeds have now increased significantly and our giveaway is below 1%.
Operator training requirements have also reduced significantly. We expect to see payback for our investment with Marco in less than nine months. This initial installation has been such a success that we are now planning on expanding the Marco system to all of our remaining packing lines.”

Marco are exhibiting at the upcoming PMA Fresh Summit Convention in New Orleans (Booth 778). Visitors to the booth will also be able to obtain free copies of Marco’s informative ‘Guide to Productive Tomato Packing’.

Contact Details
Becky Hart
Tel: +44 (0)1732 782380
Email: becky.hart@marco.co.uk