Customer Application

24 January, 2019
From the Country to Cutting-Edge Research

What does a bundle of asparagus have in common with a pineapple? At first glance: nothing. But HEPRO, which develops peeling machines for elongated vegetables and fruits, sees the commonality. Strawberries, asparagus, potatoes – there’s plenty of those in the rural town of Verlar near Salzkotten. But the little town has much more to offer than you’d expect at first glance. SIPRO supplies intelligent controllers from Verlar for HEPRO – equipped with WAGO smart automation technology and WAGO’s new TOPJOB® S Rail-Mount Terminal Blocks with levers.

Intelligent Controllers for Asparagus Peeling Machines

Greenery as far as the eye can see – not much really happens in Verlar, a small town near Salzkotten in North Rhine-Westphalia. But at SIPRO, big things are afoot. Here Franz Mielemeier, managing director of SIPRO, and his employees produce controllers for mechanical engineers. One of their customers is HEPRO, a produce peeling technology specialist. “At SIPRO, we combine agriculture and cutting-edge research. We supply our asparagus controller all around the word: from Europe, to Peru, to China,” says Mielemeier with pride. The company also maintains good relationships with renowned research institutions to help optimize control systems. WAGO supplies the control technology. “As engineers, we obviously considered cobbling a controller together ourselves. But that costs time and money. WAGO makes our work easier,” says Mielemeier. But how exactly?

WAGO makes our work easier.

Lift the Lever, Insert the Supply Line

“I went into engineering, not telecommunications, so that I could use my hands and eyes instead of just sitting in front of a computer,” says Mielemeier about his career choice. In practice, two key concepts matter to SIPRO: simplicity and speed. That also applies to SIPRO service technicians, especially during system commissioning and maintenance. Björn Kexel, an e-workshop employee at SIPRO, has recently been using the new WAGO TOPJOB® S Rail-Mount Terminal Blocks with levers:

“Our service technicians can work significantly more quickly: Lift the lever, remove the supply line, and the electronics can be detached in a short time. In the end, what matters is customer satisfaction,” says Kexel in summary.

During asparagus season, every minute matters for peeling machines. The machines must be able to withstand continuous operation. In the event of a breakdown, WAGO’s new TOPJOB® S Rail-Mount Terminal Blocks with levers allow components to be replaced quickly – without any tools. This helps service technicians prevent more serious machine failures quickly and easily. And questions about where the screwdriver goes don’t even come up.

» Our service technicians can work significantly more quickly: Lift the lever, remove the supply line, and the electronics can be detached in a short time. In the End, What Matters Is Customer Satisfaction «

Björn Kexel, E-Workshop Employee at SIPRO

Mechanical Engineering Meets Fresh Vegetables

The history of HEPRO, the peeling technology specialist from Rheda-Wiedenbrück in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, started with a unique question: “Why aren’t there any asparagus peeling machines?” Two farmers posed this very question to HEPRO®’s founders Siegfried Hennemeier and Christoph Protte. The two mechanical engineers immediately recognized an opportunity to apply their inventive talent. They now run a company with about 50 employees that confronts the daily challenge of supplying farmers with peeling machines for asparagus and other elongated vegetables. “We develop, manufacture and sell professional asparagus and vegetable peeling machines that meet the most demanding requirements,” says Jens Frommann, managing director of HEPRO. This development has made the company a global leader in the area of blade peeling technology for elongated vegetables. The WAGO controller has been used for over 10 years.

» We want to make the operator’s job as easy as possible. The innovative WAGO controller helps us do that. «

Jens Frommann, Managing Director of HEPRO

Pineapples Ready to Go in 25 Seconds

“We want to make the operator’s job as easy as possible. The innovative WAGO controller helps us do that,” says Frommann. The latest innovation is a pineapple peeling machine that includes WAGO components. The ability to innovate is important to HEPRO: “We have great in-house developers who help our products get even better,” adds Frommann. For the pineapple peeling machine, convenience was the key issue, because people’s time is increasingly limited, and they want things to be as easy as possible – even at dinnertime. “Consumers no longer want to peel things. Now, within 25 seconds, the pineapple is ready to eat,” says Frommann, speaking from experience.

As a “hidden champion,” HEPRO® has the goal of continuous further development. “Even after vacation, people are excited to come back to work here,” says Frommann. And what’s next after pineapples? Frommann definitely already has an answer to this question – we’re excited to see what the next development from Rheda-Wiedenbrück will be.

Author: Lena Kalmer, Communication Manager, WAGO

World Champion Asparagus Peelers – Using the WAGO TOPJOB® S Rail-Mount Terminal Blocks with Levers