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20 Million Bags of Onions with Symach Palletizers

Nov 06, 2023

Tholen - Will the old palletizers move with us to the new building or will we switch completely to new ones, Arian Vos of Vos Onions in Veen asked himself during the new building last year. He ultimately chose to move the two existing Symach machines and buy a third palletizer. That the old machines are still serving well was evident last week when the counter on one of the palletizers hit the 20 million bags processed mark. Johnny de Bat of Symach traditionally took advantage of the milestone to bring cake to the onion sorting and packing station in Brabant.

Vos Onions decided to take the operation in hand at the new building (3,500 m2 of floor space). "There used to be a stack of pallets in front of each palletizer, now they are fed by two pallet warehouses with a buffer for about 200 pallets. A shuttle supplies each palletizer with pallets, so we hardly have to worry about it," Arian says. "Furthermore, we also have one discharge line for the full pallets. A shuttle takes the full pallets to the wrapper. After this, we have plenty of room to buffer and a forklift driver can load two cars at his leisure before he has to take the pallets off. The full pallets are now about ten to twenty meters away from the dock."

Arian shows himself to be an enthusiastic user of the palletizers. "We purchased the first two at the previous new construction fifteen years ago. With the new machine we bought last year, we also gained additional features. For example, the elevator is electric instead of hydraulic, the bag feeder is flat and the bin no longer has to tilt, and the new palletizer can also stack crates. Because we pack on the floor and then lower the onions, we no longer need elevator belts, only lowering belts. This benefits stacking and prevents wear and tear. Before, bags of coarse onions could sometimes get stuck in the bin because they were lying backwards. We don't have that problem anymore."

A special wish of Vos Onions was to work with a wrapper with a double arm, but with one clip unit. "The moment the net runs out, the wrapper turns 180 degrees and automatically starts up the other roll. This allows the operator to choose a quiet moment to replace the roll himself," explains Johnny de Bat. He speaks of a pleasant cooperation. "Arian knows very well what he wants and had figured out in advance exactly how he wanted it. With some drawing and shuffling you arrive at the best solutions that way. I promised that with three palletizers he could wrap 60 pallets per hour and he succeeded."

 "We've also had machines reach 25 million bags, so we know the machines can last a long time. Vos Onions handles most of the maintenance itself and takes good care of the machines. It's nice that a packing station reaches these volumes, that shows there are hefty volumes being packed daily," Johnny compliments the onion packing station.

"The other palletizer is at over 19 million, so you can already signal the baker in Zaamslag," Arian responds, laughing. "The great thing is that the rush at our place is nicely spread throughout the year. Now we are packing a lot for large customers who export a lot of onions to Africa, after the turn of the year we again serve mainly customers who export within Europe. That way we can keep the palletizers working well all year round."

Translated from the original Dutch text.