As part of continued factory developments to increase production and meet customer demand, Pipers Crisp Co. made the decision to invest in a custom potato handling infeed line from Tong Engineering.
Based in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, Pipers Crisp Co are a specialist handcooked snack manufacturer. Producing over 800,000 bags of luxury crisps every week. These are then distributed to pubs, hotels, delicatessens, farm shops, museums, stadiums and garden centres nationwide.
“Our aim is to provide the perfect potato crisp. Using locally sourced products, natural ingredients and traditional processes.” Commented Alex Albone, Director of Pipers Crisp Co.
“Over the last nine years, Pipers has expanded significantly. From the simple beginnings of washing potatoes in a sink, slicing by hand. And then finishing them up by cooking the potatoes in a fish and chip shop fryer. To producing millions of packets of hand-cooked crisps every month.
“Before investing in new potato handling equipment, we were using a second-hand manual infeed line. This infeed line led to a destoner, peeler and single bulk fryer. To increase production and efficiencies, we extended this setup to include a second fryer and new batch potato peeler.
Increase in demand Led to automation
“We knew that automating the entire process was essential to help effectively meet targets. Particularly with demand soaring and orders increasing, on an almost daily basis.
“With this in mind, we purchased a bespoke infeed system from Tong Engineering.
“Starting with a one-tonne custom box tipper, a high volume of potatoes is fed into a bespoke hopper-conveyor. This then leads to coil cleaners and a new vegetable destoner. Once soil and stones have been removed, the potatoes are elevated into a batch peeler. Before being fried and bagged, ready for despatch.
“The potato processing equipment is customised to meet our exact space and size requirements. Our factory wasn’t built as a dedicated processing plant, so specifying standardised equipment would have been impossible.
“Following installation, our efficiencies have increased dramatically. We now produce over three millions bags every month, using a fully automated process.
“The equipment is robust, reliable and the perfect solution for our needs. What’s more, as a Lincolnshire-based company themselves, Tong’s dedicated service team are just down the road. They can help out with any questions or maintenance requirements whenever we need them.
“I’ve been delighted with the whole process, from site visits and specification to installation and after-sales service. I’d recommend a custom system from Tong to anyone and hope to work together in the future.