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Skals raises the bar with grading of Vildmose potatoes

In October 2016 Skals delivered a complete new grading system to the Danish potato grower Aksel Nielsen from Lille Vildmose in North Jutland. The vildmose potatoes are known for being a tasty delicacy and for the fact, that they are grown in sphaghnum soil in the old moss area of Vildmose.

The new grading system was constructed, because Aksel Nielsen’s farm burned down in August 2015. Ever since the fire, Aksel Nielsen has been in close contact with Skals to find a solution that meets all needs for his 35 hectare area of table and seed potatoes. The potatoes are sold to Danespo and belong to the tasteful potato variety Folva. The variety Folva is one of the Danes´ favorite potato varieties.

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The task was to build a user-friendly, reliable and flexible system, capable of running with just a single person or truck driver in the production. Therefore, a special solution based on Skals standard components, was de-veloped. The solution consists of an installation with a hopper – inlet for trucks, boxes and bags silo. From this point, a cross flow pintle belt runs to the soil extractor. After the potatoes have been cleaned, the next step is into the brushing machine and from that point to the roller inspection table. Once the potatoes are manually inspected, they go to the grading machine and eventually down to the box fillers. The box fillers are equipped with automatic shifts, allowing the system to continue to run, even while shifting boxes.

Flexible and process optimized
The new system is process optimized, making it possible to place the inlet silo in several positions with a cross flow pintle belt. It is crucial to Aksel Nielsen, that the system, can be used for both storage and for grading. This is particular-ly important, due to the special soil conditions evident for Vildmose potatoes. Because of the large amounts of rain, the thick layer of spaghnum, may complicate the working process on the potato fields. This means, that the potato grower often has to postpone the harvest, since the sphagh-num soil otherwise turns into big lump of mud. This can be an additional challenge compared to other potato areas.

One of the special things about the Vildmose potatoes is, that the potatoes are not washed. The customer is able to see and feel the very special spaghnum on the skin of the potatoes.

Great efficiency and increased profit
One of the unique advantages of the new grading system is, that Aksel Nielsen is able to grade the potatoes in three different sizes with very high precision. As a result, it is possible to grade the potatoes in a quick and efficient way and hereby to sell the potatoes at a better price.

Removal of noise and dust
The grading system has furthermore caused a significant reduction of noise. Since the installation of the new system, there has been no noise in the production hall and Aksel Nielsen is even able to use his cell phone while working near the grading line. This was not possible before. Additionally, extraction has been applied to the system to remove dust in the air. This has improved the working environment significantly.

The brushing machine plays a key role
Since the vildmose potatoes are never washed, the brushing machine is essential. Therefore, Aksel Nielsen has chosen a brushing machine with extra high capacity. Once the potatoes have been through the brushing machine, they are perfectly fine and look as if, they actually have been washed. It is a clear advantage, not to wash the potatoes, as you avoid bacteria and the spread of diseases.

Customer satisfaction
Aksel Nielsen and his father Ole Nielsen have both been loyal Skals customers for more than 30 years. Choosing Skals as supplier was obvious, since cooperation, process and service have always been of high satisfaction and professionally executed.

The solution:

  • Hopper – Inlet for trucks, boxes and bags – Suitable for backwards tipping and box filling
  • RP Cross flow pintle belt – rabs spaghnum, straws, soil and dirt
  • R Soil Extractor – Soil, sand, sprout etc. are effectively removed
  • BM Brushing – Dirt and soil removal by brushes – The products visually appears as better quality – Integrated bypass conveyor – brushing optional
  • RB Roller Inspection table – – Lightning ensures optimal working conditions
  • SDe Grader – Grading machine with Shock-principle, which ensures optimal precision
  • DP2000 – Double boxfiller – Automatical box switch by turntable functionality, which ensures that wide boxes are evenly filled

The results:

  • Optimized operation and flexibility – The system can be applied for storage and throughout the season
  • Optimized operation and flexibility – The system can be applied for storage and throughout the season
  • Increased ability of grading
  • Improved working environment – less noise and dust
  • Increased efficiency in the production = improved profit and competitiveness