Food sorting and peeling solutions
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Success story aviko, the netherlands

Aviko, one of the leading processors of potato products in Europe, has installed BEST’s Genius™ optical belt sorters in three of its processing plants, including its home unit in Steenderen, the Netherlands.

“We are pleased with the technological leadership of BEST and its ability to analyze our needs and recommend the most productive solutions to us”, explains Jan Janssen, Technical Manager at Aviko group.

The Dutch Aviko group is a business partner to 7 of the 10 biggest retailers in Europe. Twenty percent of the group’s turnover in the Dutch, French and central European consumer markets is derived from products Aviko has introduced over the past 5 years. That exemplifies the importance of innovation in Aviko’s strategy.

Use every bit of potato

With 1.5 million tons of potatoes processed yearly into French fries (fresh and frozen crispy varieties in many sizes, shapes and flavors), cooked and cut potato products, shaped potato specialties based on rösti, mash and potato granulate, and compound potato specialties, every bit of potato has to be used. “Getting everything the potato has to offer is fundamental to our success,” says Jan Janssen. “A small loss in production volume is a considerable reduction of income. We want to reduce waste, and we count on BEST’s sorting technology to support this.”

In the group’s main processing unit in Steenderen, the Netherlands, four BEST Genius™ optical belt sorters are installed in the processing line. Two of them have been inserted in the wet part, which comes after cutting. The sorters prove particularly useful for checking the quality of the raw materials. They are placed in line: they use monochromatic, high resolution cameras to take out the main defects and discolorations.

The two other machines are placed after freezing, where they perform a final quality check on the frozen potato products, with color cameras, to detect the remaining defects and discolorations, rejecting them by air guns positioned at the end of the conveyor belt. These sorters are also equipped with a laser unit, for the detection and removal of foreign material.

In the Belgian Eurofreez site (Proven), one Genius™ belt sorter is installed. This sorter is also placed in the wet part. It detects and discolorations, making sure, high qualitative potato products continue in the processing line.

“BEST’s primary attribute is its hard work and innovative power in developing successful technology”

Jan Janssen, Technical Manager Aviko group

The BEST sorters are taking out defects, discolorations and foreign material, according to Aviko’s requirements. In addition, the false reject level is kept to a minimum, so very limited quantities of good product are rejected by the machine. “As mentioned before, this is essential for us”, says Jan Janssen, “losing or keeping small percentage of potato products implies an important difference in our raw material cost.”

Because of the consistent achievement of the sorters in the plant in Steenderen and Proven, Aviko decided, some months ago, to also invest in sorting equipment for the second Dutch Aviko site in Lomm.

Two Genius™ belt sorters are placed in the wet part of the processing line for the detection of defects, dark brown- and light green discolorations.

Leading in technology

“BEST’s primary attribute is its hard work and innovative power in developing successful technology,” underscores Jan Janssen. “One of the advantages of BEST sorting equipment was the width of the belt, which needs to be large enough to guarantee throughput”, he explains. “Also, a special developed optical configuration for French fries, allowing BEST to inspect every inch of the product, by inspecting potatoes from different angles, is quite innovative and an important performance improvement.” Jan Janssen continues, “The quality for our consumers is our main priority. Through technological innovation, BEST helps us to guarantee these high levels of quality.”

“The application of a special optical configuration for French fries, used to inspect potatoes from different angles, is quite innovative and an important performance improvement."

Jan Janssen, Technical Manager Aviko group

"BEST is an important player in the industry for years. They have proven expertise in sorting of potato products, as well as the combination of laser and camera on one machine, which comforts us, in making our investment decisions," concludes Jansen.

Knowledge of the sorting trade 

Janssen also appreciates the way BEST equipment employs innovative solutions. Using standard parts is a comfort zone for customers, thinks Janssen.

“It’s just easy and cost-effective in terms of maintenance. It’s also part of the user-friendliness of BEST’s solutions."

If all else fails, we can count on BEST’s professional support services, but I have to admit there hasn’t been any need for that. To be on the safe side, we’ve had a technical employee trained by BEST.

He now is able to instruct and assist our sorting line workers to use the BEST sorters to the best of their potential. Only when you ‘live’ the sorting trade can you offer this service.”

Sorting is indeed a trade of its own”, continues Jan Janssen, “and each processing plant has its own requirements, depending on the customers it serves.” Belt sorters need to meet the requirements of the end customer, such as restaurant chains that are particularly precise on the length of French fries. With its Inline Length Measurement (ILM) module, BEST Genius™ sorters measure the fries’ length and indicate their compliance to preset specifications.

BEST Genius™ sorters are the ideal solution to our requirements and the BEST organization is highly capable of supporting all aspects of sorting activity. That’s why they are the market leader. We are eager to see more of their innovative solutions.”

About Aviko

Aviko was founded in 1962 in the Netherlands. From the beginning, the company’s mission was to “create value from potatoes”.
Since 2002 Aviko is part of Royal Cosun. Aviko is the second largest potato processing company in Europe and the fourth worldwide. Also, Aviko is the largest producer of cooled French Fries worldwide.

If you are interested in a free demonstration with your own product or if you need more information, please contact us directly.