In October we started a close cooperation with PIP Innovations, as we have the same drive and share the same goal and that is to make D-Blade a worldwide success. This unique machine can selectively halve or quarter the potatoes, depending on the size and shape and this means that pre-sorting is not necessary. “That is just one of the many advantages. D-Blade is a ground-breaking enrichment of the machine range for our sector and our own products and services fit in seamlessly,” says Marinus de Bruijn on behalf of FoodeQ.
This machine provides a considerable improvement in efficiency of the production. With built-in cameras and vision technology, the ‘defects’ in potato slices are recognised and these are automatically cut away by delta robots equipped with a special knife. After this beauty treatment, the potato slices can enter the processing again. “This means that significantly fewer potatoes are needed on the input side to produce the same capacity. That’s pure profit, just with that you earn back the D-Blade in no time,” explains Jeroen Pannekoek, Managing Director at PIP Innovations in Odiliapeel.
The first D-Blade was commissioned by Peka Kroef, a leading global player in the production and supply of chilled potato products. “We purchased D-Blade for upgrading potato slices,” says Bart Kroef, “but we soon started using D-Blade more widely, such as for halving and quartering potatoes and for the production of Hasselbacks. That’s why soon a second one was placed next to it and the third D-Blade is now on its way.” A significant part of the modern machine lines at Peka Kroef were developed by FoodeQ Engineering, which planted the seed for the current collaboration with PIP Innovations.
In this cooperation, the knife cuts both ways
“As said, D-Blade is extremely versatile but can only achieve its full capacity if the product infeed is optimal,” Jeroen says. “This automatically puts FoodeQ Engineering in the picture, because they deliver top quality in- en outfeed shakers. The quality products, the large network of contacts and the service organisation of FoodeQ make it a very interesting partner for us to work with. We reinforce each other and in this way we can both further increase our market share. If we want to build a global network ourselves, then this will take years, now we are jumping on a moving train, so to speak. By sparring with FoodeQ we can focus on product and software development.”
Robots provide speed and vision technology provides precision
D-Blade can be equipped with 2, 4 or 6 delta robots and each robot can perform 5 cuts (actions) per second achieving significant throughput capacity. D-Blade can be used multifunctional as it can be converted very quickly. Besides potatoes, the machine can also be used for other products such as carrots. The camera checks where the foliage has been and then it is cut off extremely accurately so that there is much less product loss. The machine can also be used to produce baby carrots, with a knife especially designed for this purpose.
“Do you want to see the D-Blade in full operation? We are happy to show you around at Peka Kroef, because that is the best showroom there is.”