For more than 20 years, Strauss Verpackungsmaschinen has been producing asparagus sorting machines, weighing machines, packaging machines and, for five years, harvesting aids for asparagus. At the moment, the preparation for this year's season is in full swing. In parts of Europe, harvesting already began in March and in Germany the 2019 season is slowly getting under way.
These are busy times for the Strauss team: The new machines are assembled and pre-set, used machines are being overhauled and customer service and worldwide commissioning are all go.
Further automation of the harvesting process
There is a great deal of interest worldwide in machines that facilitate harvesting and processing, and many are awaiting fully automated harvesting technology. This conversion will be necessary in the long term in view of labor shortages, says Matthias Kinzel, who works in the company's sales department. "With our semi-automatic machine, however, a significant part of the work is already taken over: The covers are lifted by means of film guide, so that the harvesting assistant only has to manually cut the asparagus. The harvesters do not have to carry or push the heavy asparagus baskets, As the asparagus is placed on a belt system, to be transported to the center of the machine where it can be cut to the desired length and washed."
The 'washing' feature is advantageous, especially when dealing with heavy clay soils: "This means you do not give the soil a chance to dry on the asparagus, which in turn would make later washing more difficult later on."
Another advantage is that the plants of between 7 and 14 rows are collected in one place - this means workers no longer have to drive around the fields to collect the boxes.
Great strength in sorting
"The majority of our products, however, are still our sorting installations for green and white asparagus, which we market worldwide." As far as green asparagus is concerned, these machines are often equipped with weighing segments in which the sorted asparagus is collected in bundles, after which they are packaged by a GUB packager or a flowpack machine."
For white asparagus, the goods are usually sorted to go into baskets or large containers of 5kg, says Kinzel. "But even for white asparagus, GUB Buncher are increasingly being used today, bundling the asparagus with two rubber bands or a with rubber band and a Elastitag."
He continues: "In recent months, we have been working hard on completing the SPS controlled combination weighing machine. The current scales are PC based - about a year ago we successfully used a PLC control system for leeks. Simple operation of the user interface, a structured menu navigation and a self-explanatory, image-based, service area where always central to us." This means each employee should be able to operate the machine, even after a brief instruction.
In addition to the user-friendliness, the precision of the system has also been further refined. All combination weighing machines delivered this year are already equipped with the SPS control. Even the feed robots, presented at expoSe 2018- are already running via this new controller. This will enable the scales to be extended by this technology in the future.
In the meantime, Strauss Verpackungsmaschinen GmbH has a service network of partners whose highly trained employees look after the installation, service and maintenance of the machines on site.
Representation for the Netherlands:
Op´t Root Landbouwmechanisatie
Herr Gerard Kempkens
6065 NP Montford, Niederlande
Tel.: +31 (0) 475 541 312
Representation for France:
Herr David Bergot
1A rue du fossé des Orphelins
67000 Strasbourg, Frankreich
Tel.: + 33 6 13 44 45 79