Optical Sorting Solutions Boost Production Capacity
The Bühler Group, a UK-based provider of food processing and optical sorting solutions, further reinforced its role in ensuring excellence in vegetable processing with the installation of additional SORTEX optical sorting equipment at Westfro, the family-run Belgian producer of frozen vegetables, herbs and fruit.
Located in one of the best vegetable growing centers in Europe, Westfro has an annual production capacity of 95,000 tons, and for more than 40 years, has specialized in minimizing the time between harvest and processing in order to preserve the optimum level of vitamins, minerals and fibers in its vegetable products for both retail and foodservice.
“We strive for sustainable, long-term collaboration based on excellent product quality, high flexibility and outstanding customer service. We do this through rigorous quality control and continuous investment in up-to-date technology,” says Dirk Verhelle, owner of Westfro.
As part of its recent investment in a new processing plant in Staden, Belgium, and building on many years of successful partnership, Westfro turned to Bühler to underpin its quality standards. With a capacity to sort 24 tons per hour of individually-quick frozen (IQF) vegetables, including peas and carrots, the Bühler SORTEX K2A optical sorters allow Westfro to significantly boost its production capacity and output.
“We chose Bühler to provide us with the specialist sorting equipment we needed at our new site, following many years of using the SORTEX technology,” says Verhelle. “The reliability and efficiency of Bühler’s SORTEX technology, combined with the excellent local support provided by its customer care team, meant that we wanted to continue the relationship as our business expands.”
Positioned after the IQF tunnel, the SORTEX K2A optical sorters remove foreign material, misshaped or discolored vegetables and extraneous vegetable materials such as leaves, pods or bugs.
“We congratulate Westfro on its success and its expansion, which has resulted from its excellent service and quality products. We have worked in partnership with Westfro over many years to help the company continue to provide customers with good quality, clean and safe food. And, with this new installation, we look forward to continuing this relationship over the coming years,” says Stephen Jacobs, Bühler’s global product manager for fruit and vegetables.
Its ongoing positive relationship with Bühler ensures Westfro’s success in offering the high quality, consistency and throughput required to meet its customers’ demands, now and in the future, and underwrites the profitability of its operations for years to come.