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. The majority of tomato packing facilities will also pack multiple product varieties, during the same season, on the same packing line. The growing trend of greenhouse growing within the tomato industry also means that growers are able to get year-round use of their packing facilities, meaning a faster return on investment for facility improvements.
The MARCO Trac-IT suite of modules combines unique MARCO hardware and software to offer a comprehensive good-in to goods-out packing solution. Individual modules such as our Yield Control Module have been installed within tomato packing facilities worldwide. YCM incorporates our innovative AO (Automatic Optimization) software which constantly checks each individual pack weight and continually fine tunes target weights at each station to ensure giveaway is virtually eradicated. MARCO solutions such as this have provided tomato growers with productivity improvements of 30% or more, whilst eradicating overpack and reducing labour costs.
Tomato Industry Case Studies
MARCO’s operator friendly scales and workstations are also favoured by tomato packers for their ability to deskill the packing process. For example, the ‘one-light = one-fruit’ display, where each light segment on the visual light display represents a single fruit. This feature significantly increases the speed of the packing process and is ideal when the tomatoes being packed in a particular batch run has consistent proportions. For tomato growers, the YCM terminals can been pre-programmed to store different types and weights of tomato, making pack line changes very simple and rapid. As pre-packed tomatoes travel down the packing line, they are placed on the scale and then operators are visually prompted to ‘add’ or ‘take out’ individual fruits to ensure pack weight compliance.
To find out more about MARCO’s installations within the tomato packing industry please feel free to browse the case studies below.