Equipment & Technology

Automated De Marchi Line Increases Productivity 30% with Tomra 5B Help

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The De Marchi Group in Brazil decided to further automate its production line last year to increase output quality and yield. Since installing a Tomra 5B sorting machine in February of 2023, there has been marked improvement in product sorting and volumes.

The company’s operations range from the large-scale cultivation of fruits and vegetables to the production of many different kinds of frozen foods and “In Natura” products for consumption in Brazil and abroad. In serving demanding markets, it strives to go one step beyond customers’ expectations by offering higher-quality, healthier and more sustainable products.

Partnership with Many Benefits

In emphasizing the importance of his business partnership with Tomra, Carlos Alberto De Marchi, industrial director of the Sao Paulo-headquartered company, stated: “It gives us several advantages — the main one being increased quality of our products.”

Noting that before installation the Tomra 5B the production process was entirely manual, he added: “Today, great progress has been achieved, not only in terms of resource management but also in terms of economics. Not only is the increase in profitability measurable, but also important was the food safety that the machine added to the product. In addition, we know that labor is becoming more complex every day. People can’t do repetitive work with a high degree of concentration for very long, so the machine greatly increases reliability in the selection process.”

Six months after installing the Tomra equipment and working with various types of fruit and vegetables, feedback from the client couldn’t be more positive.

Mr. De Marchi commented: “With the automation of the line, we have a 30 percent increase in productivity and much greater safety in the products we produce, which would have been impossible with the manual process. Moreover, we’re bringing together profitability, reliability and agility in our processes to reach higher levels. We have exceptional personalized support from Tomra through various channels, which makes all the difference.”

João Medeiros, area sales manager of Tomra Food Brazil, remarked: “This partnership is key in a sector as important as fruit and vegetables. De Marchi is an innovative company with a strong presence in the national and international market, and it’s undoubtedly a very important partnership for Tomra in the minimally processed fruit and vegetable segment.”

The Tomra team designed the solution together with De Marchi, taking great care of the details because the customer’s assortment of products is large and requires a complete solution that can add value to all items in the range. The demonstration of the machine at Tomra’s test center in Santiago, Chile, proved to be of great importance in defining the project.

Versatile and Focused on Productivity

The main benefits of using the Tomra 5B optical sorter are maximum food safety, higher quality product sorting, optimized production line throughput, and ease of operation. Product quality becomes more consistent, and employees previously engaged in sorting can be redirected to other important areas of the production line.

“With the growing search for innovative food sorting technologies and the need to meet increased consumer demand and expectations, the Tomra 5B machine has been breaking barriers in the Brazilian market,” said Mr. Medeiros. “It is proving to be very efficient in various applications, especially in the minimally processed vegetable and fruit segments, as well as for frozen pre-fried potatoes.”

Optical technology automates the food selection process, increasing the quality and productivity of the production line. The machine maintains constant inspection quality, increasing the safety of the food that reaches the consumer’s table.

Looking forward to Tomra’s continuing cooperation with the customer, Medeiros stated: “We are sure that this is just the beginning of a great and long lasting partnership, because De Marchi is constantly looking for innovations, whether in the industrial area or in the field. Our mission is to serve them with the utmost excellence, contributing our experience to future projects to automate new lines and always supporting their success.”

This confidence is shared by Mr. Marchi, who explained that “due to the excellent results achieved and the opening of new production lines, it is possible that we will be making new machine purchases in the near future.”

Based in Leuven, Belgium, Tomra Food is a division of the Asker, Norway-headquartered Tomra Group. It has installed more than 13,800 units for growers, packers and processors around the world specializing in vegetables, potatoes, fruits, grains, nuts and other foodstuffs.