Food Production Capacity Increase for Morrisons

By Protolan
Food Production Capacity Increase

Food Production Capacity Increase at Two Vegetable Production Sites

Morrisons is the UK’s 2nd largest fresh food manufacturer with 18 sites across the country. To ensure they continue to offer fresh food at a great value, they sought to increase food production capacity and develop technologically advanced, efficient and labour reducing facilities at their root vegetable production sites in Gadbrook and Rushden.

The Challenge

Morrisons goal was to increase capacity across root vegetable production at Gadbrook (as an initial phase), followed by a second phase at Rushden to consolidate potato packing from three packing facilities to two, whilst improving finished pack quality.

Delivering Success

Protolan has worked with Morrisons on several projects.

To deliver these schemes, Protolan was recruited to supply Food Project Management, Food Project Engineering and Food Capacity Planning.

We led both projects and worked closely with the management team involved to scope, procure, implement and commission the building and equipment through Workstream Management Project Process.

Protolan managed the removal of all existing process equipment and the redevelopment of the buildings resulting in a higher specification (including strip out and installation).

The end to end replacement of all process equipment delivered:

  • Potato conditioning by individual load
  • Washing equipment with optional use of a potato polisher
  • Optical grading to remove 98% of rejects and size grade the raw material (using 4k camera technology)
  • Automated delivery and storage of graded, washed raw material with automated delivery to the packing process (this was the first of its kind in the UK)
  • Packing lines with grading, weighing and Vertical Form Fill Seal and bulk packing capabilities
  • Checkweighers (linked to weigher for automated control of weights)

The projects had their similarities, but specific differences included:

  • New Waste Water Treatment Plant at Gadbrook recycling 90% of all process water
  • Upgrade to existing Waste Water Treatment Plant at Rushden
  • Raw material grading of off-field material at Rushden
  • First pass optical grading to eliminate 95% of material defects ahead of secondary optical grading process of 98% Rushden to eliminate all manual grading operations.

Both projects were a success, delivered to budget and on time to hit the site peak volume period of Christmas