By carolemetcalfe

Double investment for family-led vegetable growers

Swede processing | Tong Engineering

When one of the South West’s largest vegetable growers needed to invest in a significant upgrade to its swede processing facilities, it chose Tong Engineering to help it remain at the forefront of the industry.

Dart Fresh grows and processes swedes for customers who demand the freshest, high quality produce.

Family run since 1957, the Exeter-based business decided to purchase two large-scale handling machines to help streamline its swede processing line and meet growing demand.

Tong delivered the solution, through its Pre-Soak Tank with Integrated Vegetable Destoner and its latest Lift Roller Grader.

The Pre-Soak Tank with Integrated Destoner clears the swedes of stones at the in-feed end, saving valuable time further along the line, before delivering an upward stream of water to gently float the crops along into the soak tank section.

The swedes are then transported to the new Lift Roller Grader, which gives Dart Fresh a range of adjustable grade band settings to suit different crop sizes and contract demands.

Both machines are manufactured with Tong’s Blue Inverter Technology, which uses inverter direct driven motors to increase energy efficiency. In addition, the new SPECTRACON® paint coating offers excellent corrosion resistance, durability and finished appearance.

The new equipment was installed during the summer of 2013, in time for this season’s harvest, where it quickly proving its worth.

“As technology moves on apace and the demand for our produce increases, we’re finding we need equipment that’s more efficient and more economic than ever to help us satisfy consumer demands,” said John Pritchard of Dart Fresh.

“Considering the amount of swedes our business produces annually, we decided to invest in equipment that we were confident in its reliability and performance in swede grading and handling. Tong had the perfect machinery to satisfy our needs.

“The lines complement each other really well, shaving valuable time off our handling processes and enabling us to routinely exceed our customers’ expectations.

“We found the customer service to be fantastic too, from the first phone call right the way through to the installation of our equipment and beyond.”

Simon Lee, Sales Manager for Tong Engineering, said: “It’s excellent to hear how pleased Dart Fresh have been with our service and equipment.

“No two customers’ needs are ever the same – that’s why we’re always working hard to make sure each client gets the solution that meets their exacting needs.

“For Dart Fresh, the success of their business demands they have machinery that allows them to meet high volumes in short lead times and with the highest possible levels of accuracy, efficiency and reliability.

“What’s more, our job doesn’t stop once we’ve delivered a customer’s order – our after service team is on hand for all of our clients to make sure their purchases stay in excellent working order for years to come.”