“Lutosa, more than just potatoes”. A well-known slogan in Belgium, but where and how these French fries have been produced and what are the latest trends? How did Lutosa achieves a higher return thanks to Hafinox? We went to visit Mr. Debels, Project & Energy Manager at Lutosa.
Lutosa is one of the largest potato factories in the world and has two production sites located in Belgium.They specialise in the processing of potatoes in the known tasty deep-frozen, French fries, deep-frozen potato specialties and dried potato flakes. In the last few years there has been a new trend and the consumer are asking for larger and larger French fries. In order to respond to this demand, farmers have started growing larger potatoes.
The potato’s must be cut into sticks, and this is done with water knives; powerful pumps that project the potato at a high speed onto a grid, of which the meshes vary according to the desired caliber.
Hafinox helps Lutosa to get them off the hook
“The size of the water knives had to be adjusted because the potato’s have become larger and larger. Otherwise the potato will be smashed if the opening of a knife is too small. Mother company McCain had, thanks to its years of experience, a standard solution for this, which Lutosa wanted to take over and assemble in its own production.
Unfortunately the existing production buildings were limited in space, so it was a major challenge to incorporate the new installation into this. Hafinox ensured that the installation could still be installed perfectly in the existing building and also provide the complete piping that was required. In order to install this new process and to move parts of the existing installation, the production was shut down for two weeks.
Hafinox made a 3D scan of the production at Lutosa to realize everything in the short term. “In this way, the total piping could be manufactured perfectly in advance. ” explains Mr. Debels, Project & Energy Manager at Lutosa. “We are very pleased that Hafinox realized the conversion without delay and we were able to restart the production on time. The installation engineers of Hafinox were very motivated and paid a great deal of attention to all safety aspects. The engineers can carry out difficult work to a successful conclusion. ” said Mr. Debels.
Benefits of 3D scanning for Lutosa
To ensure the installation of the new water cutting machine in the existing production buildings, a 3D scan was performed for Lutosa. Because of this, Hafinox got an insight into the new situation and they could avoid unforeseen circumstances.
By using the technique of “3D-Scanning & Modeling” Lutosa has realized the following benefits:
- Time savings before, during and after the realization of their project
- Avoiding unforeseen obstacles thanks to clash detection
- Better pre-engineering that goes to a detailed level
- Lower cost price through more correct and complete offers
- Optimization of production process
- Visual inspection and simulations in advance
- Correct as-built, which is retained for the future