Witmar specified that the system must have a washing capacity of 20 tonnes per hour with the ability to store over 100 tonnes of washed produce for further processing. The emphasis was on high quality washing with minimal fork truck movements to create a safe working environment. Also, where possible, Witmar were looking to reduce the number of operatives to reduce labour costs.

The line consists of a Haith patented rotary box tippler for gentle handling feeding into a self-cleaning soak tank which removes stones and aerates the water for the effective removal of heavy soils. The carrots, after passing over a top removing elevator are washed in a self cleaning barrel washer. Two polishers, with eighteen 3.5 metre rollers each, are fed by the washer which further cleans the carrots before they are graded by length where the smalls and oversize can be separated from the line. Two inspection roller tables allow poorer quality produce and foreign objects to be removed before the carrots are diameter graded andcooled for optimum storage.

The operator then has the ability to put the graded product into any one of nine chilled storage bins with a total capacity of around 150 tonnes. Each bin has a traversing conveyor for even filing and gentle handling and a chilled water spray system to ensure the carrots remain in perfect condition.

Once in storage, the operator has wide range of options for further processing. Through the installation of three topping machines, carrots can be topped before being peeled using the Haith peeling system incorporating an eighteen row 3.5 metre long carborundum & brush peeler. Alternatively carrots can be bagged or boxed using a Haith vertical filler or bulk filled into trailers. Finally, any one of three weighers can be fed by the storage bins where market carrots can be bagged for dispatch.

All these operations are controlled through an easy to use touch screen interface. With minimal effort, this gives a huge degree of flexibility in the system.

On top of all this, Haith has also installed a water treatment system made up a mixer tank where polymer can be introduced for efficient separation; a settlement tank for the extraction of solids; a belt press for further separation and a treated water storage tankbefore for pumping back to the wash system. This not only saves water for the plant but also reduces wear on pumps and pipes through the effective removal of abrasive solids.

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