Marshland St James engineering firm launches state-of-the-art grader

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After years of research Marshland St James-based Herbert Engineering has launched a state-of-the-art grader designed to significantly improve the grading process.

The business, a market leader in agricultural handling systems, has launched its Herbert “Vector” Wave Motion Grader, which it recently showcased at the LAMMA show in Peterborough, the UK’s leading show for farm machinery and equipment.

Simon Cleere, marketing manager for Herbert Engineering, said: “The grader attracted great interest at LAMMA. Many leads were taken and we’ve orders pending at the moment.

“We’re very excited about the Vector – it’s a unit that will offer potential customers a different way of grading, and it will provide additional sales opportunities for Herbert. It can be offered to both new and existing customers.”

The Middle Drove company has developed the Vector after researching how to improve the performance and accuracy of screen sizing, particularly when working with larger mesh screens and long tuber varieties.

The Vector is designed for grading potatoes, onions, bulbs and red beet and it means farmers and growers will benefit from more accurate and quicker grading of longer varieties. It will also eliminate impact damage and uneven soil build up.

Andy Hubble, Herbert’s commercial manager, said: “This is a major advantage to farmers who can grade more accurately and at higher throughput while reducing waste and maintaining quality.

“There’s a growing demand for high quality produce, which can only be achieved by increased accuracy of grading – and this is exactly what the Vector delivers.”

Another of Herbert’s machines, a Herbert Oculus, has recently been installed at East Harling for major potato grower and processor Spearhead Potatoes, which supplies all the major potato processing companies in Britain with a wide range of potato varieties for the chip, crisp and snack food market.

Spearhead’s supply chain manager, Craig Uttridge, said: “For us and our customers, defects are a big issue, particularly as we are working to exacting quality standards, bulk production – up to 500 tonnes a day – and just in time deliveries for our customers.

“Different processors want different levels of quality and acceptability. The Herbert Oculus gives a great level of adjustment so we can focus on giving the factories the quality they specify and increase the yield for the grower. The Oculus plays a key role in defect removal, protection from foreign objects and sizing the crop on length and width to deliver premium product to the factory.”