French farming company SCEA HERMANT experienced total flexibility in production during first season of operating a new optical sorter.
Looking back on continuously operating their TOMRA 3A sorting machine during the two-and-a-half-month potato harvest period last year, Loïc and Alain Hermant find their expected benefit has been proven. The machine not only brought total flexibility to production, which can be accurately managed at any time. In addition, the machine’s start-up and adjustments were easily mastered by the team.
Simple to use
‘The machine is simple to use. Currently, three people in our company know how to use it. Before the arrival of the sorting machine, six seasonal workers were in charge of sorting. Now, only the tasks of machine supervision, over-sorting in certain difficult conditions, and the rolling of the skips require temporary staff’, says Loïc Hermant. The Hermant’s acquired the new machine in 2020 to sort and grade potato and onion crops prior to storage. They made this investment after careful consideration and convinced by the launch of TOMRA’s new optical sorter in autumn 2019. As part of its continuous investment policy, SCEA HERMANT chose the largest model in the TOMRA 3A range, with a belt width of 2.4m. This machine, with a high capacity, was delivered mid-July 2020 for complete start-up in mid-August.
200 to 240 hectares of potatoes
The SCEA HERMANT farm, located in Villers-Bretonneux in the Somme in northern France, plants 200 to 240 hectares potatoes. Annual production amounts to 12,000 tons of tubers, with a dozen of different varieties and sizes ranging from 28 to 80 mm. They sell their products in big bags via brokers. Most of it is destined for packers and then goes to the fresh market for supermarkets. The rest (about 15 percent) is mainly exported to Spain, Portugal and Italy, with the domestic market as a secondary outlet.
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