Huber Technology explains the background to the project. In the UK, 45% of all apples harvested are for use in cider. The harvesting process sweeps the apples off the ground, often bringing dirt, sticks and leaves with the apples, all of which ends up at the milling plant.
Apples delivered to site are tipped into large pits and floated into production using transport water, which quickly becomes dirty. A large amount of debris is screened out of the water to allow it to be reused. Previously, these screenings were dropped loose into a trailer, and were so wet that the trailer leaked large amounts of water as it was transported across the site. The entrained water also resulted in much higher disposal weights and volumes, along with the associated increase in vehicle movements.
Huber was approached to provide a solution to remove the excess water from the screenings and compact the remaining material. By drawing from its hire equipment, the brewer was able to witness the benefits before committing to a capital spend.
In total, Huber supplied a wash press compaction unit with inlet hopper, ultrasonic level control, frost-protected washwater system, drain line for disposal of separated water, a screw conveyor to raise the compacted material into a trailer for site removal, and a control panel to automate operations.
Commissioned at the apple milling plant ahead of the milling season, the system was found to significantly reduce disposal volumes by removing water and compacting the loose material. It has also kept the site clean and tidy, as it now contains all of the transport water.