By carolemetcalfe

New Zealand grower processes loads more onions!

Tong Onion Processing Line Caretaker mobile onion potato grader

Leading New Zealand grower, Bostock New Zealand, is now processing a whopping 100 tonnes of onions per hour. With new automated onion processing equipment from Tong Engineering, they have refined their processing.

Bostock New Zealand

Bostock are based in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. In what is claimed to be one of the cleanest and purest growing environments in the world. Bostock New Zealand has been exporting a wide variety of quality produce for over 30 years. Including onions, apples and kiwi fruit. Bostock needed to increase the capacity and efficiency of their onion grading and handling process. As part of the company’s commitment to producing premium produce. Tong onion processing equipment was a natural choice. Supplied by their local Tong dealer Dobmac Agricultural machinery.

“After many years of positive growth, we are now exporting produce to over 20 different countries. Throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America,” explained Neville Gillespie from Bostock New Zealand. “With demand for our onions continuing to grow, we needed to upgrade our onion processing facility. This will allow us to achieve a much higher throughput, whilst improving our cleaning and inspecting capabilities.”

Why they chose Tong

“We chose to purchase Tong equipment, as our experience has proved it to deliver on capacity. Whilst being manufactured from a quality which lasts,” said Neville. “We also have a good relationship with their New Zealand dealer Dobmac. So we were confident that our new onion processing equipment could be specified to do the job we required.”

Simon Lee, Sales Manager at Tong Engineering comments “The first phase of equipment upgrades at Bostock New Zealand allowed them to effectively receive their harvested onions. With a 2.4m wide Tong Caretaker mobile vegetable grader machine, this incorporated 6 rows of adjustable coils for effective removal of onion waste. Further to this, we have just commissioned two fully automated custom built EasyFill box fillers.

Increased capacity

Neville adds “We also added automation to the bin filling function on our bulk unloading line. Following the increased capacity achieved with the Caretaker mobile vegetable grader. We fill 5 tonne harvest bins at up to 100 tonnes per hour in good product conditions. Thanks to this addition, we are now capable of a throughput of over 1000 tonnes per day.

Even better, when Tong and Dobmac last visited the facility, we shaved an extra 17 seconds off the time to fill each bin. Across 200 bins for the day, that’s the equivalent of another hour of operation! Allowing us to process another 100 tonne into storage. The Caretaker, coupled with the fully automatic fillers, has resulted in our throughput growing out of sight!”

Onion processing upgrade

Bostock have really turned the efficiency of their processes around. By upgrading their onion processing systems to higher capacity, automatic onion loading, cleaning and filling equipment. With our dedicated Tong dealer Dobmac Machinery on hand, Bostock have a local point of contact. This allows us to discuss any future projects, ensuring labour continues to be utilised in the most efficient way” added Simon.