Eqraft (Austria) - Bauer Agrar is an agricultural business in Austria. They grow, sort, pack, and ship mainly potatoes and onions to several European countries. In 2021, owner Reinhard Bauer decided to opt for an Eqraft packing line. He never looked back.
Reinhard Bauer and his business partner Karl Nägerl run an agricultural business between Vienna and Bratislava. They grow crops and also sort, package, and ship them to European clients. Bauer started his farm in 1990. ‘Our business is located in a very fertile region: because it’s mostly flat, we’re able to irrigate the crops easily and grow high-quality onions and potatoes with a steady quantity,’ he explains. The company values sustainability and is quite future-forward in the way they implement ecological thinking: for example, they were the first farm in Austria to use drip irrigation on a large scale. This technique saves water and energy. Bauer Agrar also has their green waste composted and then uses it as nutrient-rich soil on their fields.
Together with his partner, Bauer now grows his crops on about 150 hectares of land, out of which 30 hectares of onions and 25 of potatoes. ‘Those are our most important products, but we also grow some soybeans and green peas,’ says Bauer. ‘We send out about 450 000 bags a year,’ he continues. Bauer works mostly with bags from 10 to 25 kg, which they send to clients all over the continent, but mainly Eastern Europe.
Time for something new:
In 2000, Bauer decided to invest in some simple machinery: a weigher and a sewing machine. About a decade later, the company made another leap forward: adding a new packing hall and new, more professional machines, among which his first palletizer and a Baxmatic and onion topper from Eqraft. When he needed a new packing line two years ago, his friend Bauke Schreuder from dealer Agrirootz recommended opting for Eqraft again. ‘Our onion topper had been running perfectly well for over a decade, so it wasn’t a hard choice,’ he recalls. ‘Together with Rutger and Tiemen from Eqraft, we came up with a plan. I opted for a complete, new line: an Exigo Combination Scale, a new Baxmatic, a sewing lane, and a label printer.’
After planning out the new set-up to the smallest detail, installation took place. Bauer was surprised by how fast the new line was running well. ‘After a week, it was already running at 90%. I honestly did not expect that,’ he recalls. The new line has been up and running for about a year now and Bauer couldn’t be happier. ‘The transition between the Exigo Scale, the Baxmatic, and the sewing lane is seamless. The combination of those three machines works very well for our business: we can weigh and package our produce in less time than ever before.’ Now, Bauer can pack one truck in three hours, which is an hour faster than in the previous set-up. Plus, the new situation requires less manual labour: ‘We can now send out three or four trucks a day with only one worker, where in the past, we needed two people at least.’
Finally, Bauer points out that his new machines rarely have any problems, but even if they do, any issue is quickly solved thanks to Eqraft’s remote service. To sum it all up, he says: ‘We now have more capacity with less manual work, which saves us time and money. I would definitely recommend Eqraft: both their machines and their support are great.’