Adam Equipment, a manufacturer of scales and balances for professionals worldwide, recently joined forces with South African scale and balance distributor Scaletec. The companies successfully delivered weighing equipment to Olyvenbosch Farm in Wellington, Cape Town, helping to cut costs and improve its olive production process.
Olyvenbosch harvests 73 tons of olives each year, and Scaletec products play a vital role throughout, according to Niel Botha, Olyvenbosch's manager. The farm relies on the scales for many tasks, from weighing the newly harvested fruit to verifying the amounts of oil extracted from the olives.
"It's important to ensure that the farm is maintaining optimum production and quality levels," Mr. Botha said. "To do that, we measure sample boxes of olives harvested from different areas of the farm, looking for any unusual variance between harvest seasons."
Workers also weigh each box of olives, and that weight is used later in the olive oil production to help determine the percentage of oil extracted from the olives.
"This allows us to determine how well our extracting machine is working," Mr. Botha said. "If the scale shows us that too little oil is being extracted, we know the machine's settings need to be adjusted to extract more." It's a simple yet essential step that helps improve the efficiency of the process by maximising oil production, and ultimately, it increases revenue.
During South Africa's olive harvest, the trees are laden with plump, ripe olives, which are picked and placed in large crates for transport from the fields. Olyvenbosch workers use the Adam Equipment AELP pallet beams to weigh the oversized crates before separating the olives into smaller containers. Heavy-duty durability allows the AELP to withstand the large, bulky loads.
"Not only are the AELP pallet beams robust, they're easily portable," Mr. Botha said. "They're a vital component in our operation. We pair them with the Adam Equipment GK indicator, and that gives us the accuracy we need, especially for the large capacities we are weighing."
Olyvenbosch relies heavily on the Adam Equipment LBK 12 bench scale during olive packing season, which runs from October to April. The LBK is portable, allowing workers to use it in different areas of the facility.
"We charge it once a week and then move it around all through the week when we need to weigh our punnets," Mr. Botha said. Punnets are boxes that hold small, soft fruits such as olives. "It's easy to use, and the size of the scale is perfect," he added.
With a wide range of features and functions, the LBK is well-suited for the farm's needs, according to Mr. Botha. A large-sized pan is removable, making the scale easy to clean. The LBK features a levelling bubble and adjustable feet that allow the scale to adapt to uneven surfaces, and overload protection to prevent damage to the scale if the capacity is exceeded.
"Reliability and accuracy are two of the most important benefits that the LBK brings to our operation," Mr. Botha said. "With excellent readability and a high capacity, it's really an ideal solution for our weighing needs."
On the packing lines, workers use the Adam Equipment GBK and GBK-M bench checkweighing scales to perform weight checks. The GBK-M is approved for trade use, as it meets South African standards for products sold by weight.
Outfitted with a grade 304 stainless steel pan, the GBK is durable and easy to clean. The precision load cells in the GBK are less likely to be affected by temperature fluctuations, so the scale can provide greater repeatability as cooler weather arrives during olive harvest at Olyvenbosch.
GBK features five weighing units (kg, g, lb, oz, lb:oz), so it is ideal for use on exported products such as olives and olive oil, which is easy to measure using the GBK's dynamic weighing feature.
"The GBK is a real asset for workers, as it is user-friendly and simple to operate," Mr. Botha said. "It improves the overall efficiency, and that's a tremendous help for the packers." Users can save or transmit weighing results via the RS-232 interface.
GBK is outfitted with non-slip, adjustable feet to keep the scale stable during busy packing sessions and on uneven surfaces. Overload protection helps prevent damage to the internal mechanism if too much weight is placed on the scale.
"The LED display on the GBK is large, and it also has high and low limit lights," Mr. Botha said. "That's a brilliant plus point in ensuring accuracy during high-volume packing." Other features include capacity tracker, colour-coded numeric entry keypad, low-battery indicator, and a power-off function to save battery.
Harvest season is a hectic time for the workers, who put in long days to ensure the job gets done. Farmers know that a smooth and efficient process keeps costs under control and ensures consistent product quality.
Olive farming is increasing in popularity in South Africa and the number of olive farms is on the rise. Over recent years, South Africa's olive industry has experienced exponential growth, according to the South Africa Olive Industry Association.
Located on the northern slopes of the Paarl Mountain range in the Western Cape region of South Africa, Olyvenbosch Farm was purchased by the van Eyssen family in 2004. At that time, the main crop was table grapes. Since 2009, the farm has diversified its offerings by gradually replacing table grapes with olives, which are easier to maintain and more cost-effective, Mr. Botha said. Olyvenbosh is well-suited for olive trees – the soil is the perfect density and is neutral, rather than acidic or alkaline. The climate provides ideal growing conditions for olives – cold, moist winters and hot, dry summers.
During the transition, Olyvenbosch was introduced to Adam Equipment's products by Jeremey Northcote, branch manager of Scaletec SA. Mr. Northcote learned of the farm's steadily increasing weighing needs and suggested Adam's products, as they provided an affordable solution.
Mr. Botha said he recommends all of the Adam Equipment scales used by Olyvenbosch for similar applications.
"These scales are very reliable and accurate," Mr. Botha said. "And the service we receive from Scaletec is tremendous, which helps greatly."
About Olyvenbosch Farm
Our vision is to develop Olyvenbosch into an award-winning boutique olive oil-producing farm and to supply the highest quality extra virgin olive oil to the discerning buyer. Olyvenbosch extra virgin olive oil carries the prestigious South Africa Seal of Quality. For additional details about Olyvenbosch Farm, visit www.olyvenbosch.co.za.
Scaletec sells and services professional balances and scales for the laboratory, medical, education, industrial, food, animal/veterinary and jewellery markets. Scaletec is committed to offering an extensive selection of weighing equipment with best-in-class value, along with a full complement of service including set-up, calibration, maintenance and repair. The company has offices in Cape Town and Durban, South Africa. For more information about the Scaletec's services and product offerings, go to www.scaletec.co.za.
About Adam Equipment
For more than 40 years, Adam Equipment has designed and manufactured precision balances and scales for professionals worldwide in the laboratory, medical, education, industrial, food, animal/veterinary and jewellery markets. Adam is committed to offering an extensive selection of weighing equipment with best-in-class value. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, the company has strategically established offices in the United States, South Africa, Australia, China and Germany to provide product support and speedy delivery to distributors.