By carolemetcalfe

A Refreshed Washing Range

Tong Potato Barrel Washer Vegetable - Potato Grading & Washing

The UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of handling equipment for the vegetable industry has announced an updated model of its market-leading vegetable barrel washer.

Built with efficiency, reliability, gentle handing and ease of maintenance in mind, Tong’s proven barrel washer design has been enhanced to incorporate the latest technology, offering users even greater washing results, while ensuring the gentlest of handling.

Robust, dependable and expertly engineered to provide smooth washing operation and perfect crop movement, the enhanced system includes a number of new features alongside the latest crop processing technologies.

From Tong’s Blue Inverter technology driven motors for improved energy efficiency to heavy-duty side guards offering easy-access cleaning facilities for simple maintenance, the updated Vegetable Barrel Washer provides the complete solution for effective crop washing.

Manufactured in barrel lengths ranging from 1.2m – 5m, the Tong Barrel Washer can be specified as a stand-alone unit or integrated into a new or existing handling line. The washer is available in 12 standard specifications, or can be fully customised to suit exact washing requirements, with throughput capabilities of up to 40tph.

“With over 80 years experience in manufacturing effective and gentle vegetable washing equipment, our barrel washer has been installed into hundreds of farms and packhouses across the country,” commented Simon Lee, Sales Manager at Tong Engineering.

“The new updates provide users with an even more effective process, helping to minimise time and labour costs, but still guaranteed by a proven and reliable design.”

One organisation effectively using the Tong Barrel Washer as part of a complete washline set-up is progressive potato grower Slaney Farms Ltd.

Based in Co. Wexford, Republic of Ireland, the family-run business farms and processes over 400 acres of traditional Irish potatoes every year.

“Since expanding our acreage and introducing new varieties in 1994, we have seen demand for our crop increase dramatically,” commented John Stafford from Slaney Farms. “In fact, we now supply some of the country’s largest supermarkets, as well as independent packers across the UK and ROI.

“For the last ten years, we have washed and processed our entire crop using a small static Tong line, which provided throughputs of four tonnes per hour.

“Although the equipment was effective and reliable, we needed a larger system to cope with increased crop volume and reduce lead times on our yearly throughput.

“With this in mind, we contacted our local Tong dealer for Ireland, Kevin Woods Machinery, to help us develop a custom washing and handling line. By working closely with Kevin and the design team at Tong, we specified a solution to meet our exact processing requirements.

“The bespoke line consists of two 150° box tippers leading to a barrel washer with integrated vegetable destoner, followed by a sponge drier, roller inspection table, lift roller grader and four exit hopper/conveyors.

“The system delivers hourly throughputs of up to 14 tonnes, helping us to turnaround a higher volume of crop quickly after harvesting.

“The line is outstanding, especially the Tong Barrel Washer, which provides excellent washing results and gentle crop handling. The integrated destoner also reduces labour and processing time, protecting the rest of the line from unnecessary damage.

“Since installation, we have seen immediate results. Processing times have reduced significantly, and throughput potential has increased three-fold. Crops are handled effectively, but treated with care and attention. The layout fits our washhouse space perfectly, while meeting our exact needs.

“From initial design to build and fabrication, Tong’s hands-on approach gave us complete confidence. Furthermore, with a local dealer on hand, we knew that the support for our service and maintenance requirements were just down the road. Rather than buying a standard machine from an overseas manufacturer, the whole process was personalised to Slaney Farms. We were invited for a tour around Tong’s Lincolnshire factory, as well as being involved in every step of the build process, which meant that our team of growers could input into the layout and design process.

“I’d definitely recommend Tong Engineering, as the equipment is not only reliable and efficient, but also helps us to minimise costs and maximise profits. Having an Irish dealer has been invaluable for us, and the local back-up service is fantastic.”