M H Poskitt Ltd

Carrot Optical Sorting Line

As one of the UK’s larger producers and processors of carrots, potatoes and combinable crops, we are proud to say that M H Poskitt Ltd, better known as Poskitts, chose Tong Engineering to design a new carrot grading & handling facility in-line with their business objectives of long-term growth, whilst minimising crop wastage.

Designed to incorporate the latest optical sorting equipment, the new carrot handling facility at M H Poskitt Ltd in Goole, East Yorkshire, offers fully automated sorting of over 1000 tons of Poskitts’ carrots each week.

The new Tong carrot sorting facility handles Poskitts washed carrot crop and is designed and built over two levels, incorporating a specially designed mezzanine floor to ensure the complete sorting process can be completed within one building on site at Poskitts.  Washed carrots are received onto the new high-care stainless steel sorting line by a series of elevators and conveyors that feed an impressive seven-line optical carrot sorting system which integrates seven fully automated Visar Sortop optical sorters of which Tong is UK distributor. A sophisticated conveying system receives the sorted crop and transfers graded crop to boxes, bags, or onward for cooling, weighing and packing.

“As we continue to advance and invest in our vegetable handling processes, we are very focussed on not only improving the throughput and quality of our sorting processes, but we are also very committed to minimising the amount of crop that goes to waste,” explains Guy Poskitt, Managing Director of the family farming business M H Poskitt Ltd. “The new Visar optical sorters use an advanced camera system which allows us to fine-tune grade specifications, ensuring no good carrots go to waste. Where our previous grading systems required a considerable amount of manual sorting and inspection, the new Visar sorters sort crop automatically, ensuring a more consistent and accurately sorted end product. This will is meaning significant increases in the percentage of saleable crop, resulting in an even better end product for our customers, including leading supermarkets, whilst maximising our yield for other markets too.”

“We are proud to wash, pack and distribute all of our products from one site, ensuring we can control all aspects of production. Tong Engineering really looked at our aims and objectives for the new sorting facility and have custom-designed an advanced system that meets our requirements, all within one of our existing buildings on site. We are very excited about the capabilities of our new sorting facility from Tong. It’s great to see more of our carrot crop going to good use, and in doing so, minimising waste,” added Mr Poskitt.

“The new Tong line at Poskitts is one of the largest and most advanced of its kind in the UK,” said Charlie Rich, Export Sales Manager at Tong Engineering. “We have worked with M H Poskitt Ltd previously to supply other handling equipment for the farm, so our existing relationship meant that we were able to work very closely with Guy and his team on this large-scale project to design it to their exact requirements. The intelligent controls and advanced camera sorting systems integrated within the facility will give Poskitts even more capabilities to achieve an exceptionally high quality end product, and this really reflects their position as one of the UK’s leading carrot and vegetable producers.”

After running the line for several months, Mr Poskitt also added “We spent two years researching this project with Tong and Visar and we’re pleased to say it’s now working very well. We have significantly reduced the amount of inspection staff, so much so that for some customers we can actually pack their carrots without anybody at all working on the line. In addition, the Visar has improved the packout, but more importantly, it puts the right carrots in the right place, which has enabled us to use the crop more efficiently and we’re not putting high value product into low value packs, and vice versa.”