Visiting packhouses in California last week, I heard a constant theme of appreciation for Compac’s forward thinking and proactive attitude of continuous innovation. Investment in R&D and a focus on delivering incremental value for our customers has been an important part of Compac’s history, and continues to be necessary to ensure Spectrim delivers on its promise to maximize packhouse value.
We have sold more lanes of Spectrim for citrus than any other category including the single largest Spectrim install to Fowler Packing. Clear rot detection has been a difficult challenge for a lot of these packers with the only reliable method being manual graders in a UV tent. We are now releasing an additional IR wavelength for citrus packhouses that will help overcome this age-old problem. By using Spectrim for clear rot you can reduce the dependence on UV rooms resulting in a lower cost-per-pack, increased throughput and most importantly, more consistent products.
New Zealand companies are solving global problems around the world and our location has never been a barrier. Headquartered in New Zealand Compac is a major player in the fresh produce industry and our influence is increasingly felt across the globe. In fact, the New Zealand horticulture industry is now worth a record high of around $8.7 billion a year. This is impressive, particularly when you take into consideration that kiwifruit exports have now overtaken wine for the first time ever, at a value of $1.7 billion. Compac recognises this growth and aim to continue leading the way with Kiwi ingenuity and integrity.
Spectrim continues to revolutionize the way produce is packed globally and is picking up major awards on the way. Spectrim was awarded NZTE Innovative Agritech Product at the 2017 New Zealand Hi-Tech awards earlier in the month and the inspection system was behind another win for our very own Matt Stillwell who was crowned the PMA-Produce Plus Marketer of the Year for 2017.
On the 23rd of March, Prime Minister Bill English officially opened EastPack’s new ‘super grader’ in Te Puke, New Zealand ahead of the start of this year’s kiwifruit harvest. The Washer Road site now has the largest automated kiwifruit grading and sorting line in the world, with 14 lanes and the ability to pack 100,000 trays per shift. This provides EastPack with capacity to pack more than 40 million trays of fruit across the business.
The fresh produce industry is facing challenges that only technology can help resolve. In an age where we’re all technology adopters, we barely bat an eyelid at the incredible technological achievements humans are making globally. But when we stop to take a look, we’re making huge advancements in all areas and the fresh produce industry is certainly no exception.
I’ve never been a fan of being told that our software needs to be more ‘simple’. This hasn't been the main goal – we’ve always focused on providing the maximum functionality and then, on working out how to make that both usable and flexible. Einstein has been attributed as saying “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” I’ve always read that as ‘maximize simplicity without compromising performance; make it do what you want and then make it simple’. I think of this in three logical steps: making the system fully functional, ensuring it is completely usable, and then maximizing flexibility.
We all know that skilled labor is becoming more difficult to find and increasingly expensive to keep. This is a particular concern in America where a labor shortage means that packhouses are competing for staff by accommodating, transporting and feeding workers, and yet there’s still no guarantee they’ll show up for work. Labor is one of a packhouse’s largest overheads and leveraging technology can reduce this number and make the packhouse more efficient. Automating tasks with machinery allows you to be more flexible and accurate, positively affecting the bottom line.
Titan Farms is the largest peach grower on the east coast of the United States, with more than 5,000 acres of peaches in production. It is a fully integrated grower, packer and shipper of its fresh produce, shipping more than 150 million peaches annually.
PRESS RELEASE – December 7, 2016 Compac is set to retrofit Spectrim™ optical fruit grading platform on competitor machinery following its world-wide product success.