As part of continued factory developments to increase production and meet customer demand, Pipers Crisp Co. made the decision to invest in a custom infeed line from Tong Engineering.
Based in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, the specialist handcooked snack manufacturer produces over 800,000 bags of luxury crisps every week, which are 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 cooking in a fish and chip shop fryer, to producing millions of packets of hand-cooked crisps every month.
“Before investing in new packhouse equipment, we were using a second-hand manual infeed line, which 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 peeler.
“However, with demand soaring and orders increasing on an almost daily basis, we knew that automating the entire process was essential to help effectively meet targets.
“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, which leads to cleaning coils and a new destoner. Once soil and stones have been removed, the potatoes are elevated into a batch peeler before being fried and bagged.
“The equipment is customised to meet our exact space and size requirements, with specific needs taken into consideration. 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 and 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.