An innovative MARCO weighing and packing solution is bringing important savings to Kenyan fresh produce and vegetable specialists, Vegpro, at their packhouse within the Nairobi International Airport complex. Every night, dedicated cargo planes take off from Nairobi with their holds full of Vegpro’s fresh beans, spring onions, bok choy, okra and the growing selection of prepared vegetables, that have been freshly harvested and packaged within 24 hours. Vegpro exports around the world including supermarkets across the UK, Europe and the US. MARCO were tasked with designing a factory automation system which reduced overpack and streamlined their packing process.
MARCO’s Trac-IT Yield Control Module installed at VegPro’s site in Nairobi features an innovative automatic optimization (AO) software. This constantly monitors and logs individual packer’s weight trends. Unbeknown to the packers, the software automatically adjusts the target weights on an ongoing basis, to optimize the average pack weight for the entire operation. This eradicates overpack/giveaway for the whole facility. For VegPro this massively reduces costs associated with airfreight and general waste. These savings, for instance, are equating to an average of one spring onion in a pack typically containing ten to twelve vegetables.
Whilst not only decreasing overpack, MARCO’s Yield Control Module has also massively increased productivity within VegPro’s facility. The easy-to-use smart weighing devices operate via a traffic-light system for correct and incorrect weighing. Now without having to focus on numerical values, VegPro’s packing speeds for individual workers has greatly increased. This increase in pack speed provides a significant, 30% increase in productivity, for MARCO’s YCM installations.
Vegpro’s James Cartwright is delighted with the yield control system and as he concludes:
“We operate a dynamic packing operation where time is of the essence to maintain all-round freshness. We have to balance speed with accuracy and pack appearance. The MARCO system allows us to maintain this delicate balance with the benefits of significantly reduced giveaway and improved productivity.”