Astilbe nursery Rutgrink in Lisse has been working with the Furora Nova from Bercomex for over a year now. This is a fully automatic sort and bunching machine. It measures and sorts the astilbe on quality, length, colour and volume. It allows more efficiency and a better result.
on the left Ivar Spronk, and right Marc Rutgrink
Ivar Spronk is Account Manager at the supplier and says: “The Furora Nova has three benefits. First of all, a higher quality and more uniformity. Secondly there is less work pressure. It used to be done with four people and now with two. And at last it brings peace on the work floor: less people, no hurry and more streamlined."
One person gently puts the stems on the line. The flowers are hanged vertically, scanned, photographed and rated. The computer registers and records all data so that the flowers can be bunched by the same quality. A robot put the bunches on the line again and an employee put the bunches in a barrel.
You can adjust the program if you like because it is fully automatic and software driven. Like speed and how many flowers per bunch. This also means that most of the problems can be digital fixed. "When something happens you just phone the helpdesk, they log in on the system and tell me what is wrong and we fix it." says Marc Rutgrink who owns the nursery together with his brother.
"Trust and continuity is important in flower processing. That is why we have around fifteen mechanics who can help the growers with service or maintanance questions." says Spronk. "We offer a national cover and even worldwide cover with our online remote service. But mostly we provide service from a distance."
The flowers go up, they are hung vertically and separated.
The Furora has always been used for the sorting and bunching of tulips, a sector for large numbers of stems. The flowers can't be damaged because they are hung vertically, so upside down with the flower bud down. Nowadays there are more flowers processed by the Furora like, tulips, bouvardia, bunch and spray chrysanthemum, peony and lots of summer flowers like sun flowers, veronica, campanula and of course the astilbe. At this moment there are more than 120 Furora sytems in the world
Marc is very pleased with the Furora Nova. "Sorting was a real bottleneck. Specially out of the greenhouses. Also types out of the fields were difficult if you want great quality like us. We knew we needed the Furora Nova. But we were doubtful, it is a big investment and the machine was never used on astilbe. But last year we've got more efficacy than expected and of course the three pluses from Ivar - higher quality, less work pressure and peace at the company. Sorting is no longer a problem and by that barriers to grow are gone."
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Marc Rutgrink ( nursery Rutgrink) and Ivar Spronk (Berecomex)
Netherlands: No bottleneck in astilbe processing with Furora Nova
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