Existing machinery was poorly designed, had safety issues and damaged fruit. In addition the existing designs were not able to peel and slice fruit at the same time. This required rehandling of the fruit creating additional costs and reducing the quality of the finished product. Tropical Harvest QLD was faced with having to manually peel and slice mango for their heat pump dried product. This would mean the product would no longer be viable. A new design of machine would need to peel and slice mango into cheeks, cups or slices with minimal handling and produce high quality finished product. It is now the end of October and we need the machine in the first week in December!
A team of engineers from Foodstream was formed to transform technology, that was invented in the 1980’s by Tom Franklin, to create a modern industrial machine. A new machine was designed utilising the latest 3D CAD/CAM methods, based on the key principals proven in the 1990’s. Knives were developed to slice the ripe fruit cheeks at the same time as peel the fruit to minimise handling and maximise quality and yield. The machine safety issues were solved by utilising the latest standards proven in the chicken and fish skinning industries. Utilising Rapid Product Development the machine was designed, constructed and commissioned in less than six weeks!
The new machine enabled Tropical Harvest to produce very high quality dried mango disks and fingers at a competitive price allowing their business to grow