Wyma have designed, manufactured and installed a number of russet potato lines over the past 15 months. Packers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Minnesota States have turned to Wyma to solve problems associated with increased service and maintenance costs on their handling equipment, and a decrease in produce quality and consistency. Despite unfavourable potato prices, plant operators are confronting the problem head on, investing in the latest washing and packing equipment to reduce operating costs and waste, and to optimise the quality of their end produce.
Stuart Allen-Oldham, Territory Manager North America, is not surprised with the strong demand for Wyma technology in the USA, and admits that it all comes down to collaborating with your customers to come up with the right equipment integration. “Our customers enjoy the fact that we take the time to listen to them and consider their current and future needs before offering a solution. The only way we can add value is by understanding first-hand the packers’ current problems, their objectives and their constraints with a possible plant renewal or upgrade. It is particularly important when dealing with a potato variety like russet, which demands a unique handling process that accommodates its large size and delicate skin at harvest time”.
All of the lines recently sold in the USA, ranging from 20T to 100T/hour, included a Wyma Wet Hopper to gently pre-wash russet potatoes in a large tank. Floating Debris Remover and Flume Destoner typically followed to cope with the amount of clods, stones, vines and/or corn cobs present after harvest. The Flat Bed Brusher is also a popular component of russet potato lines. Customers appreciate the ability to bypass some of the brush rows, consequently adjusting the intensity of brushing to skin conditions. At the grading end, the Wyma Lift Roller Sizer is often included to provide mechanical sizing in between optical grading and/or sizing systems.
Most of the customers Wyma worked with, supplied the fresh retail market, with the exception of one customer supplying frozen chips to the fast-food industry. Russet potatoes are popular for baking and mashing in the USA. Their long shape also makes them the ideal spuds for shoe string fries.
The Wyma installation team has travelled across these states to get the equipment up and running on time for the harvest season in August. Their hard work and professional attitude in getting the lines running within schedule have strengthened the Wyma name in the region and demonstrated the value in having the workers who built the equipment, also installing it.
View an example of a line recently installed in the USA below.
Read about the Wyma equipment installed at the Malin cooperative here (Article written by Samantha Tipler from Herald and News).