CHEP Australia Launches New Standard in Crate Drying Innovation

CHEP Australia this week launched to the fresh produce industry technology that delivers an 80 per cent dryer crate, which it says makes its reusable plastic crates the driest on the market.

The state-of-the-art centrifugal dryer technology has been installed at CHEP’s Scoresby service centre in Victoria.

Fresh produce distributor, Moraitis, was among the first to benefit from the dryer crates.

CHEP Australia and Aldi recently launched the GEN 3 crate.

CHEP Australia and Aldi recently launched the GEN 3 crate.

“In our business moisture levels are critical to quality. We are very happy with the results from the new centrifugal crate dryer – it has already improved our ability to transport fresh produce to market in peak condition,” comments Ashley Lockett, Moraitis National Equipment Controller.

Complementing CHEP’s HACCP crate wash system, the centrifugal dryer will offer a new level in product protection and quality.

“With the new dryer we can now supply crates with less than 3 grams of water. This will be ideal for fruit and vegetables that require very low moisture environments, such as onions, and will widen the opportunity for growers to benefit from CHEP’s reusable plastic crates solution,” states David Hansen, CHEP’s Senior Director Supply Chain.

The CHEP Scoresby service centre in Victoria was first to install the new dryer technology which uses centrifugal force to remove 98 per cent of the excess water from each crate.

“The centrifugal dryer is also an environmentally sustainable piece of technology,” Mr Hansen adds.

“We catch the clean water spun from the crates in a water collection tank before pumping it back into the washer for reuse and by doing this save around 180,000 litres of water a year. The dryer also uses up to 80 per cent less energy compared to the existing blow dryer technology and it self-generates power which brings the total reduction in energy use to 90 per cent.”

During the rotor’s deceleration phase the machine uses the spinning motion to generate power which is then used for the next spin cycle. Tunnel dryers use approximately 150kW of power while equivalent operation with centrifugal drying technology reduces it to 9kW. This equates to a 90 per cent reduction in power consumption.

“By bringing this world’s best practice offering for reusable plastic crate drying to the Australian market, CHEP is reaffirming its commitment to providing the very best quality and service in pooled equipment.”

The introduction of the dryers coincides with the launch of CHEP’s new industry standard crate, the Gen 3, which features the lowest fold down height in the world resulting in unbeatable return logistics that are up to a 29 per cent improvement on the previous generation crate.

Victoria is the first of three states to install the high tech dryer with New South Wales and Queensland to follow in early 2014.

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