Leo Dunne Ltd
For nearly a century, the Dunne family has grown and supplied premium Irish vegetables. Leo Dunne Ltd is based right on the River Nore in Durrow, Co. Laois. Surrounded by some of the best agricultural land in the Irish midlands, they provide carrots, (both organic and conventional) to some of Ireland’s’ largest retail multiples.
Leo Dunne Ltd had been supplying fresh Irish products to the retail sector for generations. In recent years, they assessed the demand for processed carrots and identified it as a market they could both access, and thrive in. Oversized or irregular carrots that were not suitable for the prepared carrot market, but were still high quality products were not being utilised in the best way possible however processing offered the company an opportunity to use all of this valuable stock And processing offered the company an opportunity to use all of this valuable stock. More specifically, after winning a major contract with one of Ireland’s largest multiples they needed to develop a first-class processing facility in less than two months. After reviewing the options with their new retail partner, it became clear that SF Engineering was the only provider capable of taking on this challenge.
SF Engineering visited the Durrow facility and along with senior management in Leo Dunne Ltd, discussed the specific requirements and outlined how they saw the project developing.
The proposed solution comprised of a swingloader, bespoke sorting table, elevating conveyor and support platform feeding into an Ishida multihead weigher which would accurately weigh the carrots into bags. Preventing contamination is a crucial aspect of modern food processing and to ensure this, the market-leading Ceia metal detector with multi-spectrum technology was selected to work as part of the overall solution.
After an initial site visit, the SF Engineering team produced 3D drawings illustrating how the solution would work in Leo Dunne’s facility. This drawing was approved by all parties and all target speeds, efficiency criteria and other technical information was gathered to ensure the solution would deliver on all fronts as required.
“SF took a load off my mind. From the first meeting, I knew we were in safe hands. They were highly professional, flexible and very competitive on price too.”
Emmet Dunne, Manager, Leo Dunne Ltd
Professionalism And Flexibility Assured
The project itself ran very smoothly and following the seamless installation a full training programme was undertaken. Viewed by SF as a major element of the overall solution, the staff were coached on every aspect of machinery operation and how to maintain and maximise their investment. A full technical pack including manual and other training material was also provided. And when you consider that this focus on training was backed up by 24/7 support, it’s clear to see that SF were on hand at every stage to ensure Leo Dunne Ltd had a thorough understanding of the all the components of what was a unique engineering solution.
Shortly after installation, the team returned to review and assess the system with a number of weeks’ operation under its belt. Throughout the installation and indeed since, the team at Leo Dunne have been in constant contact with SF engineering, tweaking and making adjustments as they need to, demonstrating true flexibility, one of the hallmarks of the SF name. As Emmet Dunne, Manager said, “SF took a load off my mind. From the first moment, I knew we were in safe hands”.
Setting up a first-class processing solution put Leo Dunne Ltd in prime position to not just fulfill it’s new contract but make a real statement as to their future plans. It is expected that investment in the new facility will pay off within three years and this new process capability has given all at Leo Dunne Ltd the opportunity to truly meet their potential. While the system was designed with carrots in mind, it can also be used for other products and gives the company enormous flexibility and an ability to react to market trends and developments and diversify if necessary. Leo Dunne Ltd is now the only home-grown 100% Irish carrot processor operating in the Irish market.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages has been that Leo Dunne can now use all of their surplus stock, resulting in major efficiency gains and a significant reduction in their carbon footprint. Surplus product can now be redirected through the system and turned into first-class processed food for dinner tables all over Ireland.
More specifically, using the Ceia metal detector removes the possibility of ‘false rejects’ and that maximises throughput. And as a result, downtime is reduced as operators don’t have to review those rejects.
“SF gave us everything we needed, and more. They were thorough professionals in every aspect of their approach and consulted with us at every stage. The fact that they could deliver this solution on time and still stay very competitive on price, says it all really. In fact, I’ve already recommended them to another processor.”
Emmet Dunne, Manager, Leo Dunne Ltd
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