Innovation as a guideline

“The distinction between a leader and a follower is innovation.”

In the more than 70 years that Marcelissen has existed, the concept of food processing has undergone drastic changes. In the 1950s, food processing was mainly conducted locally and on a smaller scale. However, with post-war reconstruction and globalization in the subsequent decades, the food processing industry also experienced significant growth. Not only in size but also in diversity and geographical reach. Through our innovations, we have been able to anticipate societal and industry-specific changes over the years and maintain our position as a market leader in terms of innovation and quality. In this blog, we’ll delve into how we’ve achieved this.

The Sliver Remover: removing waste

Innovations in the manufacturing industry seldom arise from a “Eureka!” moment. New developments often evolve through listening to the customer and keeping abreast of the latest market trends.

The Sliver Remover is a prime example of how a customer’s request was transformed into a successful machine that remains a global success even after many years. The customer’s request originated in the 1960s when our customer, De Fritesspecialist in Lomm (now Aviko), sought an improvement in the peeling machines we had supplied. They were looking for a sorting process to remove potato trimmings from the process quickly and automatically. The solution was the first version of the Sliver Remover, which was installed at the customer’s facility.

Nearly sixty years later, this Marcelissen innovation remains one of our bestsellers, utilized worldwide. Originally designed for potato products such as fries, potato slices, cubes, and wedges, it is now also used for cherries, peaches, berries, tomatoes, baby carrots, and garlic cloves.

Marcelissen’s engineers have continuously improved the Sliver Remover over the years to meet customer needs and regulations. An additional benefit is that not only has the processing efficiency improved, but the quality of the end product has also significantly increased. The quality consumers now expect and is standard (such as nice fries in supermarket bags, cans with peach slices, and no small trimmings) has been achieved in part due to the introduction of our Sliver Removers decades ago.

Optical sorting: advancing efficiency

While some developments stem from specific customer needs, other innovations are shaped by market trends and inquiries from various customers.

The Optical Sorting Machine was developed approximately 15 years ago because our customers desired to automate their sorting processes, but the machines available at that time did not meet their high standards for quality and efficiency.

As an optical sorting machine for whole potatoes represented a significant investment for our partners, who hoped to save on labor costs, it was crucial for the machine to outperform human labor.

After a development process spanning several years, we were able to introduce a sorting machine to the market that was the most precise (and still is). Through a specific design and a combination of camera and software technology, our customers can not only achieve significant savings on manual sorting but also notably improve quality.

Innovation is a continuous process

Innovation is characterized by its evolutionary nature. The development of our machines never stops, as we closely monitor market trends and technological advancements to incorporate them into our machines.

Through innovations such as the Sliver Remover and Optical Sorting Machine, as well as our proprietary developments like the Slitmaster Cutting Machine and Drum Knife Peeler, we have not only offered the best solutions to our customers but also strengthened our position as a market leader.

We continue to develop new machines and improve existing ones. For example, we aim to further expand our Optical Sorting Machines to accommodate various root vegetables, not just potatoes.

Collaboration with customers leads to success

The common thread linking our innovations is collaboration with our customers to bring developments to the market. We work with large multinational companies operating internationally, as well as local SMEs. It is our specialized innovations for SMEs that often set us apart.

Understanding our customers’ needs allows us to meet their specific requirements. The often specialized work they do necessitates unique adaptations to our machines, which our engineers execute and extensively test. This often provides small and medium business owners with a unique advantage to strengthen their competitive position in a challenging market. Not only are they better positioned now, but our innovations also make them future-proof.

A specific example is how, in collaboration with Farm Frites, we made our Drum Knife Peeler more efficient, simplified maintenance, and significantly extended the lifespan of the parts.

In conclusion, the success of innovation lies in collaboration.

Taking your time

Good development takes time. The customer’s needs, market demands, initial drawings, iterations, and testing… Often, multiple prototypes are needed to achieve the desired end result. But experience shows that innovations that have been meticulously developed also become machines that are still sold years later.

The Sliver Remover has been part of our portfolio for almost 60 years. We are appropriately proud of all the machines we install for our customers. By continually innovating and optimizing, we stay ahead in the market, ensuring that our machines will likely remain the gold standard in the market for decades to come.