In Emmeloord, world-famous as the World Potato City, Eqraft designs, builds and maintains solutions for agricultural companies worldwide, with over 60 employees. The company supplies machines for sorting, processing and packing potatoes, onions and bulk. ‘With our expertise, machines and software, we contribute to more profitable and reliable companies. With our participation in the NAO-Netherlands-Pavilion at PotatoEurope, we want to present our products and developments to the potato sector’, says account manager Tiemen Markerink.
‘Eqraft is a Dutch machine builder, originating from ERC Machinery. We develop products based on market demand. We offer our customers a wide portfolio of machines. In addition to supplying individual machines, we mainly focus on turnkey projects. We do this with our own products and with products from partner companies such as Symach and Modesta. We have a wide range of machines available, ranging from cleaning machines to sorting and packing machines. When developing the machines, we aim for long durability. That is an important argument for our industrial customers. Of course we also have machines that are suitable for small (agricultural) companies. We now mainly see demand coming from the market where automation and continuity are important, customers choose us because of our durable machines with a longer lifespan. An example in the potato sector are larger seed potato growers. We supply them with machines that can automatically bag jute. Because this often happens on demand, these companies attach great value to a machine that is reliable,’ explains Markerink.
‘During PotatoEurope, we will show visitors that we carry a wide product range for the potato sector. We can deliver complete turnkey projects in the field of seed and consumption potatoes. In recent years we have mainly focused our attention on the onion sector. In this market we have designed an optical cup sorter: the Eqrader. This machine is now fully developed and is already up and running at a large number of customers in the Netherlands and abroad. Eqraft is exploring the possibilities of applying this optical sorting technique in the potato sector as well. Together with potato processors and packers, we want to investigate how to make the transition from the onion sector to the potato sector’, explains Markerink, inviting visitors to discuss this topic with Eqraft during PotatoEurope. He states that a fixed cup, where the product is stationary and passes under cameras, gives an accurate image of the tuber. ‘This also allows us to look through the product. We collect the light that passes through it in a spectrometer and are able to draw conclusions from that information. The Eqrader already works very well in the onions. Together with our partner Biomatic in Italy and our own AI engineers, we have already carried out a first test in potatoes. We are convinced that this technique is an important addition for companies in the potato market. We focus on unwashed potatoes, whereby the technique is suitable for both seed and consumption potatoes. Together with partners in the potato chain, we want to perfect this application for the potato sector,’ Markerink reveals. Visit Eqraft in the NAO- Netherlands-Pavilion on stand T59.
As a closely involved partner of the NAO-Netherlands-pavilion, PotatoWorld has published an e-book regarding the pavilion and its participants at PotatoEurope 2023. Find the e-book here.
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