Case Study Overview
Heron Valley Cider has been making juices and cider for generations. Natasha's production aims were ...
- An efficient pressing system
- Reduce labour costs
- Improve bottle presentation with ROPP caps
We supplied and installed a Voran automatic milling/pressing system and a semi-automatic ROPP capper.
Heron Valley has been making juices and cider for generations on their family farm in Devon. They also produce carbonated soft drinks with natural ingredients, cocktail mixers and cider vinegar. Awards include Taste of the West Gold for their Still Dry & Medium Devon Cider. The farm was featured on Kate Humble's 'Back to the Land' on BBC2.
Co-owner, Natasha, approached Vigo with a requirement to improve the flexibility and efficiency of the farm's pressing equipment, to replace their existing hydraulic rack and cloth press. She wanted to increase production without impacting on their labour costs. She also wanted the capability of applying aluminium ROPP caps to their bottles, to allow them to expand their product range and improve bottle presentation.
Vigo supplied, installed and commissioned a complete automatic pressing line and capping machine, which included a Voran WALC elevator/mill, an EBP500 continuous belt press, a level controller, and a semi automatic ROPP capping machine.
The pressing system allows Heron Valley to press a greater quantity of fruit in a shorter period of time, with flexibility to switch pressing between cider and juicing varieties quickly and easily. The system gives these benefits whilst reducing labour costs.
'We chose Vigo partly because we have a long standing relationship with them. They offer good advice and provide high quality equipment, which is well supported by their engineering team.
As a small business, we couldn’t have uncertainty about how the equipment works and how it is serviced. Vigo gave us the confidence that the equipment would be appropriate to our needs, and that it would be installed and commissioned by Vigo engineers, ensuring that the line would be working perfectly from day one, and our staff would be fully trained in using the equipment.
The equipment has allowed us to increase production by over 30%, whilst making immediate savings on labour costs. Cleaning the equipment is fast and easy. I did have concerns about the effect of using a belt press on the quality of the juice, as I had heard that juice quality can be affected by belt pressing, but these fears were unfounded – the juice tastes great!
I have had excellent service from Vigo, and the equipment has revolutionised the way we run our business.'
Natasha Green, Heron Valley Cider Ltd