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Strauss Verpackungsmaschinen GmbH at 2018 International Asparagus Days

Automated harvesting options to combat labor shortages

The Strauss company from Buxtehude in Lower Saxony, develops, designs and builds machines for harvesting and processing asparagus, apples and leeks. This fall, they are will also be present at the International Asparagus Days, from October 16th to 18th in Cesena. There they will inform us of the development and innovations of their asparagus processing machines. For example, their extension of the SVA-17, which has been in use for leeks for more than 15 years. It can now also be used for asparagus, facilitating events there. Because of the relatively sensitive nature of asparagus, this technology had to come quite a long way.

Harvesting - Sorting - Weighing - Packaging
"This new, partial automation is intended to optimize the transition between the asparagus scale and the downstream packaging unit, where the asparagus is currently being inserted into a flow-pack machine manually. This way, a grower can save on staff." The Strauss company addresses a big, current problem producers have: a lack of seasonal laborers.

"This fall we are presenting our asparagus sorting system with prewashing and various other options, followed by our GUB-Buncher. This is a stand-alone machine that can be combined with either the asparagus sorting machine or the scales. It automatically puts rubber bands or ElastiTAGs around the bundles of asparagus," says Matthias Kinzel, who has been working for the company for 14 years, first in technical support and commissioning of the machines, now in Sales.

"The rubbers band are often still added by hand. We have been using the GUB-Buncher for 14 years now and have been developing it ever since. It is mainly used for asparagus, but currently it is also used in Australia for mini broccoli, and for spring onions and leeks in the US."

Here is a clip of the GUB-Buncher in action:

Labor shortages
At this time, labor shortages are a particularly pressing problem in the market. "As customers are using these machines daily during the seasonal work, we work closely with them to improve handling. We see that at the moment, the shortage of seasonal workers is a big issue. And while we can not do anything about the crops itself, we can make the working environment much more pleasant." Certainly, automation of the various processes is necessary because there are simply not enough workers to go around.

Four years ago, Strauss launched two harvesting implements: a trailer -to be towed by a tractor- with a span of over 16 meters (roughly 11 asparagus beds), and an automatic machine with a span of 28 meters (covering 14 asparagus beds).

The Strauss company was founded in 1945 by Paul Strauss. It is currently managed by his grandson, Jörn Strauss, and Magdalena Strauss, who are representing the third Strauss generation, active in the company. Today, 50 people are employed there.

Please contact the Strauss company: from October 16th to 18th they will man booth no 6 at the International Asparagus Days in Cesena.


For more information:
Matthias Kinzel
Strauss Verpackungsmaschinen GmbH
Felix-Wankel-Straße 22-24
21614 Buxtehude
Telephone: +49 (0)4161 74020

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