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November 13th 2018, Lugo

July 16th 2018, inside one of the packing facilities of Diamond Fruit Growers, located in the Hood River Valley in Oregon, saw the opening of the new 18-lane plant equipped with UNITEC Uni 9.0 Pear technology with Pears Sort 3 system to sort different pear grades.

It is the first plant in the world highly specialised in pear processing and grading.

The reason that we chose the UNITEC? The Board made a decision to reinvest into the company so that way we are here for the next hundred years. We went out and started taking a look at what was out there for running pears. What new technology was out there. (…) Most of them were involving apple lines that ran pears: they tweaked them enough to run pears on them.

UNITEC was one of the only companies that was willing to listen to us, was willing to take the time of saying what they would like to do and was willing to design a line that would handle pears that was meant for pears from start to finish.

With these words, David Garcia, President of Diamond Fruit Growers, clarified very well what made the Company choose UNITEC for such an important project.  UNITEC’s will to fully commit to the project from the very first project stages.

UNITEC, from the first meeting with the prospect Customer, undertook the responsibility of listening to its needs, understanding its requests, taking the necessary time to think about how to turn requests into tangible and reliable solutions for this special fruit.

UNITEC has truly believed in this project and has thus become the first company in the world to build a highly specialised plant for pear processing and grading.

When we started this project, we wanted to kind of reinvent the whole process. So we wanted to add into the mechanical world and look for the equipment and it didn’t exist! So we had to find a partner who was willing to work with us, to gamble with us, to get through all the tough times with us, and it fairly quickly became evident that UNITEC had the people and the attitude that we were looking forward forward to partner up with this.

Robert Wymore, Diamond Fruit Growers Operation Manager, therefore confirmed what President Garcia had stated on the reasons behind their decision to entrust UNITEC with the project. For such an important and ambitious project, Diamond needed a highly professional company with strong commitment and engagement and it found a perfect partner in UNITEC.

Behind the results that UNITEC has enabled its Customers to reach year after year there is always the desire to fully commit to projects.  Interest, passion, enthusiasm are the added values that UNITEC puts in what it does. Professionalism and continuous innovation are the foundations, but they are not enough if you want to aim at excellence.  And the UNITEC team never copped out from the first design phases to the final steps of the production process.

President Garcia underlined that for UNITEC commitment means also reliability in service:

Anything that we saw was a problem, they have fixed it. That has just been outstanding. During the line installation they have been here 24/7 for us.

Also Nick Erickson, Diamond Fruit Growers Project Manager, was impressed by the professional integrity of the UNITEC Team:

They didn’t just say: “Yeah, that’s what you agreed to”. Sometimes they saw things they didn’t like that we hadn’t even noticed, and they said “We are gonna make that better”.

And the results of this attitude did not take long to show. Giving the UNITEC Team full satisfaction, the President of Diamond Garcia declared that technological results did not only meet, but even exceeded expectations from all points of view:

Has UNITEC‘s technology met our expectations? Most definitely. In fact they have exceeded all our expectations, on every aspect of itThe throughput has exceeded our expectation, the consistency of the grading process has exceeded our expectationthe consistency of the sizing has exceeded our expectation, their professionalism exceeded our expectation, There hasn’t been one aspect of dealing with UNITEC that hasn’t exceeded our expectations..

The Pears Sort 3 system, with which Uni 9.0 Pear is equipped, is true state-of-the-art technology: it sorts the different pear classes with precision and unprecedented reliability.

Furthermore, it is an extremely delicate system that enables a non-invasive classification that fully respects the organoleptic characteristics of pears.

We just don’t see the damage of the fruit that we experienced with the old equipment. And the consistency of the product is really good so, when we send out a box of fruit to our Customers,

they’re gonna receive the same quality of fruit, box after box, day after day, month after month.

With these words, Robert Wymore shows to be fully aware of the fact that using Uni 9.0 Pear with the Pears Sort 3 system, Diamond Fruit Growers can ensure modern retail and final consumers pears of consistent quality inside the same pack, but also in the various supplies (Consistent Quality over time).

Robert Wymore’s words are reinforced by President Garcia who insists on the consistency of the finished product and on how this has positively impressed the packers who work with Diamond:

We have been very happy with the consistency of the grading. In fact we have gotten comments from our packers that see the fruit down the line. They are saying that it’s the most consistent quality that they have seen ever.

These results are also accompanied by a considerable reduction of processing costs.

The Uni 9.0 Pear with Pears Sort 3 technology enables Diamond a considerable saving in terms of labour because the high level of automation of this technology leads to a much lower number of people on the line.

If before buying the UNITEC technology, production lines were two and located in two different plants, with an overall number of 100 workers dedicated to grading pears, now, thanks to UNITEC technology, Diamond can process all the fruit on a single line, located in a single processing plant and with just 24 workers.

In addition to saving on labour, Diamond can also benefit from a lower use of space, water and power with a truly surprising general increase of efficiency throughout the production process.

All this without affecting the production level and the reliability of grading, which have considerably improved also in absolute terms.

President Garcia concluded his long declaration with the following words that could not be a better reward for the UNITEC team:

What has impressed me the most about everything is how big a scale this operation was and yet how it all came together so effortlessly. What we were looking forward to in theory came about in reality.

The installation of this plant is a very important element in the construction of an increasingly stronger relation between UNITEC and the US market, where UNITEC has been operating for a long time also through two branch offices, one in Lodi, California, and one in Wenatchee, Washington State.

Results like the ones described above give great satisfaction and renewed motivation to the UNITEC team that, every day, not only in the USA, but also in other parts of the world – Europe, South America, South Africa, Far East, etc.  – commits itself to achieving tangible results for its Customers through continuous research and innovation.

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