Schoonbee Landgoed implements Paltrack’s Packhouse Solution

Schoonbee Landgoed implements Paltrack’s Packhouse Solution

Schoonbee Landgoed is a picturesque fruit producing farm, situated in Groblersdal in the lush Loskop Valley in Limpopo Province.

The renowned farm produces a wide variety of citrus and table grapes on approximately 3000 hectares of irrigated land. The farm exports to 33 countries, mostly geographically located in the Northern Hemisphere. The table grapes and citrus are well sought after in local supermarkets and throughout the world. Schoonbee Landgoed exports directly as well with exporters including Core, Impala Citrus, Freshworld and The Grape Company.

This year the farm celebrated 47 years of offering unparalleled quality produce to its global customer base.

The acclaimed farm boasts three main product areas where the blossoming citrus trees stand proud on 850 hectares of premium citrus growing land, producing some high yield novel varieties of soft citrus, navels, valencias and lemons, carefully selected for their production ability and world class eating experience.

Currently the farm produces 40 000 tons [1.6 million export cartons] of citrus. Production will increase to 2.5 million export cartons, once our newly planted soft citrus, lemon and late navel trees become full bearing.

The farm also boasts 380 hectares of lush vineyards under net covering, which supplies an extensive range of the best seedless and seeded table grape varieties available in the world. New varietals were planted which will enable production capacity to increase to 1.3 million cartons annually.

The citrus packing facility features:

  • Three Compac packing and sorting machines [Vision 9000 – will be upgraded to the Spectrum version soon].
  • A Vizier packing and sorting machine

These sorting and packing machines combined can pack up to a maximum of 60 tons per hour and assist that little to no hands handle the produce.

The new 8 000m² grape packing facility opened in October 2017, is fitted with advanced machinery and technology including the latest Marco and Soft Pro Scales which allows 22 000 cartons [4.5 kg equivalent] of fruit packed per day.

The de-greening facility consists of 3 rooms which can accommodate approximately 900 bins each and the current 500 pallet cold room is PPECB accredited.

This exciting growth required an advanced and comprehensive system to support the management and daily operations on the farm.

Abrie Saayman, the Information Technology Manager stated that the following business and operational issues drove their decision to implement PALPACK STD PLUS:

  • The volumes of total hectares and tons packed per season have escalated quickly. More transparency with data was imperative.
  • Consolidation of data to one central database is crucial, as several spreadsheets are time consuming.
  • Investment in hardware and software expansion proves to be rewarding.
  • The system creates little room for error.

Due to proficiency and reliability of the Paltrack systems previously installed, the farm did not hesitate to implement Paltrack’s PALPACK STD PLUS solution in our citrus and grape packing facilities.

He also expressed that Schoonbee Landgoed’s experience with the implementation of the Paltrack system during the application and training phase, was satisfactory, due to the smooth transgression and training during the entire process. The farm was already familiar with the PALSTORE system previously fitted.

He excitedly disclosed the benefits Schoonbee Landgoed noticed since inception of the application:

  • Simplified the intake part of their business on the new developments done on the orchards and created more BRC compliant data.
  • POD proved easy to use, consequently their personnel team could familiarize themselves quickly with the system.
  • Waste on labels were reduced and time for label change minimized.
  • RF functionality on dispatches streamlined the processes due to documentation being available as soon as the job was ended on the RF unit.
  • Quality control in the pack house and pack line is possible at any given stage and the data collected is allocated to the correct part of system, which ensure ease of access.

PALPACK STD PLUS is a comprehensive software solution developed for the fresh produce packhouse environment.  It provides clients with full management, visibility and traceability of product from bulk receiving at the packhouse throughout the packing process up to finished goods warehousing and shipping.

The solution provides for:

  • Orchard dispatches
  • Bin receiving, handling and storage
  • Empty Bin Movements
  • Degreening and Drenching Management (Citrus)
  • Pack Run Configuration, Packout and Management Reporting
  • Scale Integration
  • Label Generation (standard, Print-On-Demand, Peel-and-Present, in-Line Label generation)
  • Carton Management Module (on-demand label generation with RF carton and dispatch scanning)
  • Inspection Management (integrates with TITAN)
  • Quality Control for Deliveries, Production and Stock
  • Packer Performance Management
  • Packhouse Inventory Control
  • Broker Sales Management
  • Packing and Loading Instructions
  • Finished Goods Stock Management
  • Financial Functionality and Third-Party System Integration
  • Various Scanning Technologies
  • Report Generation
  • Dashboards Services
  • Administration

PALPACK is offered in various versions, depending of the functionality required at a specific customer.  The first phase of the implementation was very focused on Schoonbee Landgoed’s workflows and fit with the solution.

The implementation at Schoonbee Landgoed focused on the following 3 areas:

Orchard dispatches

The app allows for the capturing of typical bin card detail in the orchard and transmits that information to the packhouse before the physical load arrives.  This flow of information serves as early warning of loads in transit and furthermore contributes to the accuracy of the information recoded as part of the packhouse receiving process.

The mobile user registers the device once the application is opened for the first time.   Master files are sync’d onto the device.  Whilst in the orchard, the user creates a new dispatch and the transaction is validated against the master files on the device.  Drop down menus for PUC, orchard, commodity, variety, bin type and bind brand are provided for.  The drop-down menu will only display the master files that is applicable to the specific orchard.  The number of bins to be scanned is specified as part of the process.  The bins are scanned and validation ensures that the specified quantity cannot be exceeded or bins duplicated.  Once done, the user submits the bin intake. On farm drenching is also catered for.

Once the bin intake has been submitted from the mobile device, the electronic data will be sent via the Paltrack hosted services to the packhouse.  If no signal is available, the data will be stored on the mobile device.  When the device is in an area where coverage is available, the user can initiate a sync that will transmit the data to the packhouse.

On the PALPACK Bulk Delivery screen at the packhouse, the PALPACK user will have visibility of all the orchard dispatches en-route.  A delivery is then created in PALPACK based on the info received.  The user can verify the bins by scanning the bins at the packhouse.  The system then flags each bin as verified and correct.  Any short and excess situations are highlighted.  Once the delivery has been created and finalised the bins will reflect as stock.

Label Generation

Label printing functionality that has been developed in line with fruit industry and GS1 standards, are included. It provides functionality for bin, pallet, carton, punnet and thrift bag label printing.  PALPACK caters for various print options like Standard Label Printing, On-Demand-Label Printing (Peel-And-Present) and In-Line-Label Printing, providing flexibility to customers.

Carton Management Module

The Carton Management Module offers on-demand carton and pallet label printing, with RF carton and dispatch scanning.

On-demand label printing provides customers with the ability to print carton and pallet labels at the packing stations by selecting the packer and carton type on a pre-loaded tablet.  The printer is located at the packing station and prints the label immediately upon selection.  With this on-demand label printing functionality, clients have full traceability of cartons and pallet label accuracy is greatly improved.  Label waste is minimised, thereby reducing costs.

RF Carton Scanning functionality allows users to scan carton labels that generate full fruit specification information on pre-intakes. Each carton is scanned to ensure that the pre-determined business rules are adhered to with regards to information on a pallet (including mixed pallets).

Mismatches of fruit specifications are highlighted on the scanner and can be corrected at source. RF carton scanning triggers pallet label printing at the end of the pack-line, improving intake efficiency and accuracy.

Benefits of RF Carton scanning:

  • Eliminate manual recording of critical information from carton labels, thereby reducing errors and exceptions made during the pre-intake process
  • Speed up the intake process
  • Provide for real-time intake information
  • Carton scanning allows users to operate more efficiently and effectively ensuring data integrity throughout their business processes

RF Dispatch Scanning provides for real-time dispatch information, ensuring that the correct products are loaded onto the truck and increasing the load-out rates.

Future development for Schoonbee Landgoed will focus more on:

  • Racking in the cold stores
  • Location tagging of pallets
  • Forklift mounted tablets

PALPACK STD PLUS will cater for this future development as it already has finished good stock management in place.

Please do not hesitate to contact Jeanette Jenkins, Sales and Marketing Manager at Paltrack on (021) 818 4200 or email: jeanette@paltrack.co.za, should you require more information about the solution.

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