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Innovative technology key to business growth

Innovative technology key to business growth

Date: 2012

Subject: Innovative technology key to business growth

Business: Patricio Cavazos

Location: Mexico


It is 2:00am in Monterrey, Mexico. Mr. Patricio Cavazos has just arrived at his pack-house. He is relaxed, his equipment is quietly and reliably operating, his freshly washed potatoes are shiny and without handling damage. His attention can immediately focus on his customers and his plans to grow the business further.

This is in stark contrast to the situation three years ago, before the installation of a Wyma wash line. Quality issues and cost inefficiencies inhibited growth in the packing business. The old barrel washer and brushing table caused numerous problems including damaged potatoes, difficulty in getting rid of clay soil and rhizoctonia, high noise levels and maintenance costs.

Mr. Cavazos, an energetic 23 year old, looked for strategic inspiration from his family who has extensive knowledge of potato growing and handling. The vast majority of the potatoes he washes and packs are supplied by three of his un­cles. They jointly own one of the largest potato growing operations in Mexico and are pioneers in innovating and introducing new potato growing and harvesting technology in the country. This successful business approach convinced Patricio to follow a similar strategy for his packing business.

Two years were spent researching pack-house technology via visits to international trade shows and to pack-houses in Canada, and with constant communication with potential equipment suppliers. In the end, a Wyma Wet Hop­per and Vege-Polisher™ combination was ordered to guide the business on a growth path. “We chose Wyma because they are innovative and solve problems. They listen to the customer and are con­stantly looking for ways to improve their equipment.”

Potato bags are manually loaded onto a Wyma Elevator. The produce is conveyed into the Wet Hopper which provides a gentle reception and buffer storage to manage produce flow. Pota­toes rub against each other in the wet tank, causing excess soil and debris to fall through the web conveyor belt and into the collection hop­per underneath. Following this pre-soak, the potatoes are washed and polished in the Wyma Vege-Polisher™.

“We have a lot of problems with clay soil getting stuck to the potatoes in Mexico. Amazingly, the combination of the Wet Hopper and the Vege-Polisher™ manages to remove the soil gently and without peeling the potatoes. It even gets rid of the rhizoctonia. The Wyma wash line has also significantly increased our capacity, and this had to happen considering the increased de­mand that resulted from the improved quality.”

Three years have passed since the purchase and the Cavazos family have no regrets in their investment. With washing technology still at its infancy in Mexico, they are proud to again lead the way in successfully implementing technological change.

“Since the installation of the Wyma equipment, we are recognized for the quality of our potatoes and our processing costs have considerably decreased. With this reliable equipment, we can now focus on personal service to our increasing number of customers and stop wor­rying about machinery breakdowns and the quality of the final produce.”


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