The Bonduelle Group employs three different methods of vegetable processing (canning, freezing, and fresh) in order to promote the development of its products and to maintain its position as the leading player in the fiercely competitive European vegetable market. The company is the only multi-technology agri-food group to specialize in a single product: vegetables.
The Bonduelle Group production site in Renescure, France, is the oldest and one of the most important of the group’s locations in Europe. Each production line at this canning site processes between eight and ten metric tons per hour. In an effort of continuous improvement, the Renescure site committed to an ambitious goal of increasing productivity and yield by 20% over the next five years.
As part of their efforts to improve productivity, the working team at Bonduelle used the latest technology to review current production processes and evaluate potential areas for improvement. The team completed an in-depth study of the linking elements between machines in the production line, particularly product elevators.
The study indicated that the current conveyance system employing the use of buckets was somewhat unsatisfactory; a number of areas for potential improvement were revealed:
- Throughput: reduce product loss caused by products sticking to the buckets and contamination from foreign bodies
- Maintenance: reduce excessive maintenance costs
- Quality: enhance product quality by closely monitoring the transfer process between machines
- Sanitation: improve conveyor hygiene while also reducing cleaning costs
To determine a conveyance solution that would enable these improvements, Bonduelle collaborated with Intralox to complete further studies and tests. At their conclusion, Bonduelle chose Intralox’s Series 800 hygiene solution, a modular plastic conveyor belt featuring molded-in external sideguards, an EZ Clean In Place System, and offset sprockets. One of the elevators equipped with this solution spanned an elevation change of more than eight meters.
Intralox’s technology solution proved to be a perfect match for Bonduelle’s needs. As a result of installing the Intralox solution, Bonduelle recorded the following improvements:
- Product sticking reduced by 20%
- Maintenance costs for parts and labor reduced to negligible amounts
- Risk of belt contamination reduced to negligible amount
- Cleaning time reduced due to improved belt and component cleaning access
- Quality improved with ability to remove product at machine transfers
- Overall hygiene improved
- Noise levels decreased
With the help of Intralox, the Bonduelle Renescure site is making successful strides to accomplish its productivity goals.