Since early 2021, family business Jan Reijm & Zn in Zevenhuizen has been growing high-wire cucumbers year-round on an area of 11 hectares, of which half is lighted. This results in a production of 1.1 million cucumbers in the top weeks.
During the realization of the conversion at this location, from a tomato crop to a cucumber crop, it soon became clear that, in addition to an efficient harvest processing, also a high sorting and pelleting capacity was needed. Especially the amount of cucumbers to be processed was a challenge. Jan approached KOAT to find a solution.
KOAT offered the improved container system for this situation. KOAT’s existing container unloading system has been further developed and upgraded:
– The new stainless steel container focuses on ergonomics during harvesting and is made entirely of stainless steel, which means that the containers are easy to maintain and clean, which is important for virus reduction;
– The harvesting container is designed so that insertion of the cucumbers is quick and easy which saves time during harvesting;
– The large capacity of 300 cucumbers per container is important to generate high capacity;
– The unique bottom-discharge system ensures optimal fruit-friendly handling of the cucumbers.
In the attached video, Jan Reijm shares his experience about with KOAT
By inserting the cucumbers correctly into the harvest container, the cucumbers eventually fall into the grading machine’s trays in the right way. The advantage of “the stems on the same side” ensures that the packers do not have to rotate the cucumbers, which allows them to work and pack faster.
KOAT works with a container unloading robot to achieve a capacity of more than 90 containers per hour, which corresponds to +/- 27,000 cucumbers per hour. This “over” capacity offers the possibility to work with not completely full harvested containers (e.g. in the beginning and at the end of the cultivation) without losing capacity during sorting. Depending on the supply of containers and the degree of filling, Reijm can process between 22,000 and 24,000 cucumbers per hour.
The large numbers of cucumbers coming from the KOAT containers are fully software controlled singulated so that there is a constant supply without gaps or piles of cucumbers.
The packed cucumber crates are transported to one of the three robot pelletizing positions per grading/size. At each location, the crates are stacked and rotated for the correct position on the pallet. This allows the robot to pick up to 6 cases in one movement and place them on the pallet. This was a “Must” for the high handling capacity of up to 24,000 cucumbers of the grader. With three pallet positions the robot is flexible to pelletize three different sortings, but the customer can also choose to process the main sorting in 2 or 3 different barrels and/or pallet sizes and thus rotate the main sorting easily and quickly.
Partly due to the use of this installation, Fam Reijm can supply cucumbers via Oxin Growers to Bakker Barendrecht/ Albert-Heijn.