Haith And Grimme Keep Stewarts Of Tayside Moving During Factory Upgrade

Haith’s new working relationship with GRIMME has helped Stewarts of Tayside maintain its output during a factory redevelopment project.

GRIMME and Haith entered into an alliance in April cross-selling machines and working together to deliver integrated handling and service solutions.

Earlier this month Haith began the installation of a new intake system at Stewarts of Tayside’s Tofthill site as part of a significant investment in an improved washing and grading system. Normally, Haith would undertake this type of project during a factory shutdown. However, the increased demand for fresh produce caused by the COVID-19 pandemic meant Haith had to find a way of allowing Stewarts of Tayside to continue working while the new intake system was installed. The answer was a GRIMME CleanLoader.

“The pandemic has seen demand for fresh produce go through the roof and Stewarts of Tayside is incredibly busy, which meant we had to work in a slightly different way,” says Duane Hill, Sales Director at Haith. “We developed a three-phase installation, which will allow Stewarts to remain operational throughout the upgrade. The first phase was the removal of the intake line. Due to our close working relationship with GRIMME, we were able to arrange for a CleanLoader to be used at Stewarts of Tayside, which means the intake line could remain operational. The CleanLoader was up and running in under an hour of arriving at the site, which is amazing!”

Built around GRIMMES’s proven RH24-60 self-emptying receiving hopper, the CleanLoader is road legal and requires no external power source to operate due to an on-board engine.

The hopper automatically feeds onto twin coil units to ensure even and constant crop flow through the machine. The first set of coils provide intense soil separation, while the second coil unit can be used either for additional separation or pre-grading of the crop depending upon conditions.

The CleanLoader can handle up to 120 tonnes per hour depending on the soil type, crop and conditions and features GRIMME’s popular VC50 control unit, that provides full touch screen control of all major hydraulic and electric functions.

When complete, the new Haith line will allow Stewarts of Tayside to process 40 tonnes of swedes per hour at its Tofthill site.

Haith’s new swede washing, grading and packing system, features heavy-duty conveyors to feed a Haith Combi Clean Pro for large produce with an open pitch web and deformable roller separator. A three-metre Cyclone Pro with active sidewall belt then removes stones up to 300mm in diameter, with the produce then entering a Haith pre-soak tank, barrel washer and trimming system. Finally, the swedes enter a weight grader which selects the washed and trimmed swede by weight to a pre-determined outlet, for packing.

The Stewart family has farmed at Tofthill, on the banks of the Tay in Perth, Scotland, since 1930. The business’ primary focus is on fresh produce, primarily swede, strawberries and raspberries.

Liam Stewart, Managing Director, has been impressed with the installation from Haith and GRIMME: “We supply retailers, processors and wholesalers 52 weeks of the year with entirely UK homegrown swede,” he says. “With increased challenges on the cost and availability of labour, coupled with the continued extreme weather variations, our production line has come under severe pressure over the last five years. So we approached Haith and asked Duane and his team to design a new line that will cope with current throughput and an anticipated increase in the years to come. Haith has done an excellent job so far and shown the flexibility and innovative thinking that we need to ensure that the installation of the new line can go ahead without us slowing down production in these very busy times. Haith’s partnership with GRIMME certainly helped us keep moving during the improvement programme, and the CleanLoader we have on loan to us is very impressive and adaptable. We have enjoyed long standing relationships with both Haith and GRIMME, and this latest project proves we are working with the best companies.”

At the height of the harvest, Stewart of Tayside is handling 1,200 tonnes of swede each day at its 40,000 square foot factory.

“As well as working on this project with Haith and Stewarts, we have also staged three training days for our respective sales teams. They now have an excellent understanding of both companies’ unique products and can offer an integrated solution to growers needing both harvesting and handling solutions,” says GRIMME UK Ltd.’s managing director, Patrick Graf Grote. “We are also adding the final touches to a new brochure which will introduce people to this new combined offer.”

To find out more about Haith and its range of vegetable handling equipment, please visit our Machinery Section, email sales@haith.co.uk or call +44 (0) 1302 831 911.

To find out more about Stewarts of Tayside click here.