Production line innovative product realised
Family business Bart’s Potato Company was founded in 1966 by José Lamaire. For some years now, his sons Bart and Bram have been passionately running the company, which focuses on 3 pillars: potato trading (with its own logistics), potato processing and a fermentation plant.
Bart’s Potato Company invested in a production line for frozen French fries. In addition to the traditional pre-fried frozen French fries, the brothers Bram and Bart also wanted to launch a new product on the worldwide growing French fries market: iFRY, non-baked deep fried French fries. In this project, Uticon advised Bart’s Potato Company and took care of the engineering and project management.
In order to come to iFRY, Bart’s Potato Company has gone through several tests. Bart: “Testing without pre-baking gave problems; the crispness was difficult. In the end, we combined two tests that resulted in iFRY: non pre-baked deep-frozen fries, grown in this region. French fries that taste much better and are healthier. The influence on taste, which can be caused by the customer deep-frying in different fat than the French fries producer, is omitted.
Bart’s Potato Company was aware that they obviously needed expertise to realise their ideas, but had many questions about how to approach them. Uticon came into contact with Bart’s Potato Company at the right time. Bart Lamaire (managing director Bart’s Potato Company): “We were ready, machines had been purchased, and permits had just been granted; in other words, construction could begin. Uticon then made an inventory of the purchased machines and took care of the engineering. Because we saw our first production line as a start-up line, we bought a lot of existing machines for it. Uticon figured out how we could turn it into a complete line and which new machines were needed.
"We obviously needed expertise to realise our ideas, but how could we do that? Uticon came at the right time. The way how they communicate is positive, alternatives are put forward, everything is presented and not imposed. The speed of response, for example, was also very good. We have experienced this cooperation as very positive. And I dare to say: if Uticon had not been involved, we would certainly have only started a few months later".