By carolemetcalfe

It’s in the bag for Norton Farm!

Customer service, reliability and gentle handling were the key reasons Norton Farm Potatoes returned to Tong Engineering when they required more packhouse equipment to meet increasing demand for their potato production.

Established for over 18 years, Norton Farm Potatoes farms 300 acres of Estima and Maris Piper potatoes together with winter and spring cereals and livestock.

In 2013 Norton Farm Potatoes invested in a bespoke potato grading and handling line designed and manufactured by Tong. They were so pleased with the equipment and service they received that Tong were the first port of call when increased throughput meant they needed to add to their machinery.

Richard Hayman says; “For producers like myself, after sales and support is an essential part of the package when it comes to investing in new machinery. We need to be confident that any potential downtime is minimised with help available quickly if required. Tong has always provided high quality machinery that is backed up with excellent customer support and we have a regional agent we can rely on to be here if we need him. With support like this we had no hesitation in returning to Tong when increasing our equipment line.”

High volume potato weighing

Higher volumes of potatoes and a wider range of varieties being produced meant Norton Farm Potatoes needed a more accurate weighing and sorting facility so earlier this year Richard had a higher capacity bagging and weighing machine installed.

Tong supplied a high-output weigher to feed the existing PacePacker bag stitching line. This new machine features two twin belt feed systems that weigh into load cell mounted tanks with pneumatic gates and has touch screen display for easy calibration. Also a new conveyer system was designed, manufactured and installed which feeds a new Oldenhuis & Prinsen bag-stacking machine. The complete system was designed to stack 25kg sacks at 9 tonnes per hour.

Edward Tong, operations director at Tong Engineering said: “We’re proud to deliver a complete service at Tong from initial design right through to after sales and are delighted when customers like Norton Farm Potatoes return to us when needing to upgrade their equipment. We recognise just how important having robust support is to our customers which is why we’re constantly investing in this area of our business and have recently appointed a new after sales manager to ensure we offer the best possible service from design, manufacture, installation and beyond.”

Richard concludes, “We’re really pleased with how the new equipment is running so far, it’s allowed us to increase our efficiency and output and Tong has guided us through every stage.”