When designing the right Vege-Polisher™ for your specific conditions, we take into consideration many factors. Both technical and experiential recommendations are made by the team at Wyma to ensure that our customers receive the best possible solution for their polishing requirements.
We caught up with Blake Newell, After-Sales & Spare Parts Co-ordinator, about how Wyma selects brushes for the most effective vegetable polishing system in the world, the Vege-Polisher™.
When designing a Vege-Polisher™ for a customer, a Wyma Project Manager will consider many factors. Firstly, they will gain a deep understanding of the specific produce, from soil conditions right through to the end purpose (for example, juicing or fresh produce for consumption). This knowledge sets a foundation for the Project Manager to work from. Examples of the considered factors include:
A variety of produce types can be washed with a Wyma Vege-Polisher™. We often work with potato, parsnip, carrot, turnip, and beetroot processing lines to deliver effective polishing and peeling solutions. Potatoes and parsnips require a much softer brush, depending on the variety. Carrots, turnips, and beets generally require a slightly harder brush as their skin is tougher. Often Wyma Vege-Polisher’s™ that are used for carrots will require a different type of brush for the infeed and outfeed end of the polisher. This is because consumers prefer carrots to be cleaner and their tougher skin means they can endure harder polishing.
While the type of produce is our first step in determining a brush type for a customer, the variety of produce type is also considered. For example, russet potatoes are very soft-skinned and so require softer brushes when cleaning, while waxy potatoes are more likely to need harder bristles and a deeper clean. It is important to get the right balance between a brush that will clean into the crevices of a vegetable without causing damage to its skin.
When working with a customer, we need to understand not only their produce but also their processing line conditions. This includes the amount of water that is flowing through their line during cleaning and if there is a pre-wash solution installed, such as a Wet Hopper. For example, if a carrot processing line has a hopper installed ahead of the Vege-Polisher™, the produce may require less of a thorough clean as dirt, debris and stones have previously been removed.
The end use of the produce will affect how thoroughly it needs to be polished. Our customers have a variety of end purposes for their produce, from fresh consumables to juicing.
These factors shape the decision for not only what type of bristles are required for the customer’s Vege-Polisher™, but also the dimensions of the boss and the configuration of the brush segments. Depending on the situation, we may decide to increase the boss size of the brush segment and shorten the bristle length. This can be recommended to customers who have no prewash before their polisher as it helps to withstand stones and debris. It can also be a good solution for baby carrots as it decreases the likelihood that one will get stuck between the rollers.
There are many different brush configurations, each one unique to the specific produce and line conditions. Your Wyma representative is equipped with years of knowledge and expertise to help assess your unique requirements.
We find that Wyma Vege-Polisher™ brushes last approximately 6000-10000 hours. Of course, this time can change depending on several factors, including:
A prewash through a Wet Hopper or Barrel Washer gives the produce a soak and removes excess dirt before polishing, which prevents debris and stones from entering the polisher. This can help to extend the life of the brushes.
The type of bristles that a customer requires for their produce will affect the life expectancy of the brushes. A harder brush may last longer than a softer brush due to the decreased likelihood of bristle splaying, however this is also dependent on other factors.
We recommend switching the brush direction regularly to avoid the bristles splaying to one side over time. The timing of this swap will depend on the hardness of bristle and produce.
The amount of water that is put through the polisher during use will affect its longevity. Greater water volume means a better polish due to increased lubrication and less debris. This also keeps the bristles cleaner, resulting in extended life.
We use a local supplier we have shared over 20 years of business with. They have a wealth of knowledge and expertise which means we can consult with them around customer brush solutions.
Our brush bristles are made from recycled plastic, which is important to us as we are constantly working towards becoming a more sustainable business. Any leftover recycled plastic collected from bristle production is reused, which means the process is virtually waste-free!
Aside from the bristles and brush shafts, your Project Manager will also make recommendations around the following areas, based on your specific produce:
The speed of brush rotation can be set depending on the amount of brushing your produce requires. For dirty produce with tougher skin, the brushes would rotate much faster than they would for dirty produce with softer skin, or cleaner produce with harder skin.
Rotating the drum ensures that all produce is mixed and brushed evenly by the Vege-Polisher™. It is important to get a fast enough drum rotation for agitation and produce flow while ensuring not to damage the produce.
The greater the water volume the better the polish, due to increased lubrication and debris removal. Water flow rate will depend on your produce type, soil condition and the soil burden on the produce. Wyma will consider these factors to recommend the optimum flow rate for your conditions.