Eqraft (Netherlands) - Dutch family business Bowa, specialized in sorting and packing onions for a worldwide network, invested in a new Eqraft packing line in early 2021. Started in 1990 by family Boone from the Netherlands, the company now processes 50 000 metric tons of onions every year. Thanks to their new combination scale, roll stock bagger, and Baxmatic, Bowa is ready for a worry-free future.
Bowa and Eqraft’s collaboration goes back a long way: the family business bought their first onion topper in 2003 and has been using the machine builder’s maintenance services ever since. Eqraft project manager Mike Kooijman says: “It was my first time working with the Bowa gentlemen and it has been a great collaboration. Their company boasts a very friendly atmosphere and they’re very loyal people.” The satisfaction is mutual, Jozé Boone, co-owner of Bowa, confirms: “Eqraft has changed a lot as a company since the beginning of our collaboration, but what has remained the same is their pleasant way of communicating and the quality of their machines. There’s no reason for us to go looking for another business partner.”
Bowa has specialized in sorting and packing onions for a global network. “Almost all of our onions go abroad: we deliver all over the world,” says Jozé. His father bought the current business location, including machinery, from a potato processor and since then, the company has experienced steady growth. Jozé joined Bowa in 2000 and divides the tasks with his two brothers, Dignus (sales) and Jan (purchasing). The brothers began investing in new machinery in 2002 and have been innovating continuously ever since. By 2021, they agreed it was time for a new packing line: a storage bunker, inspection room, combination scale, roll stock bagger, and Baxmatic.
“The accuracy and reliability of our machines are very important for our business” — Jozé Boone, Bowa.
Reliable and accurate weighing:
Bowa’s new combination scale ensures exactly enough product goes into the bags. It quickly calculates the optimal output weight and then passes the right amount of onions onto the Baxmatic or roll stock bagger. Using the control system – which can be consulted on a tablet or phone – the operator can easily switch between the various machines with just one click.
“The accuracy and reliability of our machines are of extreme importance for our business: a batch must arrive at our customers with exactly the correct weight,” Jozé explains his choice for the new line. They were looking for a combination scale that was able to put the right weight into a bag with minimal variation: too little product can damage the customer’s trust, while not enough product puts pressure on profit margins. That’s why the combination scale has to be extremely accurate and consistent in every single weighing action and stay that way over a long period of time. Moreover, the machine’s speed and short changeover time are important advantages that made Bowa choose Eqraft: this allows the company to respond quickly and flexibly to their customers’ demands.
Flexible changing of packaging types:
The combination of the roll stock bagger and Baxmatic is the ideal set-up for Bowa: seeing as their customers come from all over the world, they work with many types of packaging. Jozé: “In our previous set-up, we only had two Baxmatics, which packed onions in separate bags. With our new roll stock bagger, we can switch faster and more flexibly: we can now pack in separate bags as well as in net packaging from the roll, and both at the same time.” The Baxmatic can stock four different bags simultaneously. Changing can be done with the push of a button. This way, the line doesn’t ever have to stand still.
“Eqraft’s quick and good service and top quality machines are worth it” — Jozé Boone, Bowa.
Jozé is happy with how the installation went: “Eqraft’s mechanics are clearly professionals. Steven, Han, and Remko really thought along with us.” Bowa did experience some delay due to unplanned circumstances: after the installation, the brothers realized the new line had been positioned a little too close to the wall. “We realized this wasn’t very convenient, as we weren’t able to walk around the machine. These are things you realize once the machine is installed: we didn’t notice the inconvenience when we approved the drawings,” explains Jozé. “Fortunately, Eqraft was able to move the entire line during the installation of a Modesta filter system, during which we couldn’t work anyway.” Eqraft did everything they could to get the adjustment done as quickly as possible, and in the end, Bowa was able to start running right after the filter installation was in place. A good air filter is crucial to enable the machines to keep working optimally: dust, for example, can block the sensors. That’s why it was important for both installations to be ready for use.
The new line has been running for a while and Jozé is pleased with the results so far. “Everything is running as it should and if there’s a small problem, Eqraft’s service team helps me immediately. For example, this morning I had to switch from 9 kg bags to 10 kg bags and I couldn’t get the scale to work. I called service and support engineer Jacob-Jan, who logged into our system remotely and five minutes later, the machine was up and running again.” What he would like to say to his competitor colleagues? “I can’t think of a reason not to invest in Eqraft machinery. Sure, they may not be the cheapest on the market, but their quick and good service and top quality machines are worth it.”