The FPS is placed at the beginning of the production line to remove foreign material, clods of earth, stones, plastic or wooden pieces from crops in the range of 30000 tonnes delivered by many different suppliers - more than 50.
This first sorting upon delivery is crucial, since it helps protect the downstream industrial equipment from any material likely to cause malfunctions or damages, by ensuring a smooth removal of any such material.
A dedicated software application can handle all flows, regardless of the onion varieties that are processed.
Grégoire Volpoet, Area Sales Manager France at TOMRA Food, explains:
“The machine is embedded into the BCO industrial process at the beginning of the production line, and it is user-friendly, with a dedicated operator software. It provides outstanding performance and remains stable even at high speeds of roughly 20 tons/hour (without false detection), despite the airborne dust and particles that could hinder the removal of foreign material. The machine is widely used in the potato sector, but this is the first time in France that it is being used for an onion application.”
Eric Massias, head of production at BCO
“The machine is an integral part of an innovative industrial plant entirely redesigned by BCO. It started with the inauguration of the site a year ago.”
ONE YEAR OF FEEDBACK
The plant has just been officially launched in June 2019. The cooperative sorts, packages, sells and delivers onions, which makes this dedicated facility, both in terms of size and state-ofthe- art equipment, a model plant across Europe. 35 people work there to monitor and manage automated operations.
BCO invested €10 million in 2018 in its new industrial onion/garlic/ shallot sorting/packaging plant, providing unparalleled technical expertise in the food applications sector in France. TOMRA’s FPS sorter, with its NIR (near infrared) sensor sorting technology, has found its perfect home here.
The BCO factory is located in the centre of France (Loiret, Centre- Val de Loire region), in Sermaises. It supplies supermarkets, wholesalers, and exports 1/3 of its production to Europe.
TOMRA PROVIDES A RANGE OF SORTING APPLICATIONS DESIGNED FOR ONIONS
In addition to the FPS for the post-harvest handling of onions, it provides sorting solutions for peeled onions with TOMRA 5A, for chopped onions with TOMRA 5B and for frozen chopped onions with Blizzard.