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16 May 2024

"Fewer forklift movements means more peace of mind and better overview"


In the Zeeland village of ’s-Gravenpolder lies TOP The Onion Group’s head office . The business is run by the Murre family. Cultivation takes place at farms worldwide. Onions grown on Dutch and French soil are mainly used for processing in the Netherlands. The onions are further processed in Zeeland into packaged onions for consumption, shallots, onion sets, fried onions, and peeled onions. Together with its partners, TOP is building the future. And with VHM, work is being done to improve box logistics.

The ambition

Managing Director Benny Murre: “Our strategy focused on scale and supply chain management in order to meet the needs of customers worldwide. But growth meant we were increasingly dependent on forklift drivers. In 2018, we switched from bulk to crate storage for our onions. Now, we have some 45,000 crates and every week at least 4,000 are filled and emptied. That's a lot of forklift hours and kilometres, given the great distances involved. Moreover, forklifts cost a lot of money, drivers are increasingly hard to find, and human errors cannot be prevented. There was real need to professionalize our box logistics! We invited specialists from VHM to help us achieve that."

The challenge

“With smart box logistics, we want to automate our business processes as much as possible and make them more efficient. This has many advantages. First of all, automation means we need fewer forklift drivers. Especially in the harvest season, finding enough good drivers is a real challenge. By using VHM machines, we can reduce the number of drivers and forklifts required, which leads to higher productivity and lower costs. Of course, that's a big win!"

About TOP The Onion Group

Top’s motto: Let’s grow together. On the one hand as a dedicated grower of onions, on the other as a partner for food manufacturers. Over more than 30 years, the company has expanded into a large group of companies. In addition to supplying and processing onions, TOP offers a wide and varied range of preserved vegetables, from pickles and pearl onions to cauliflower and courgettes. TOP's market includes retail, food companies and wholesalers in over 100 different countries.


The solution

"Our solution for working more efficiently does not only encompass orange VHM machines. The people at VHM are highly innovative and think along with us. Not only about how we can introduce their machines, but in a much broader sense. That’s a real help to us. They can see beyond the VHM machines’ processes. This brings significant improvements, often in the long term.

We have equipped all reception positions in 's-Gravenpolder with VHM box fillers so that the trucks can be unloaded quickly. This has enabled us to significantly reduce the number of forklift movements. The approach provides extra overview and peace of mind in our company. As the machines are modular, we can deploy them in different places depending on the time of year. In northern France, we have a storage location where 15,000 crates are filled with the VHM machines every year.

  • Onion-logistics.
  • Onion-inspection.
  • Onion-filling-principle.
  • TOP-Onions.
  • kistendraaier.
  • packing-onions.
  • kistenleger.
  • kistenleger-automatisch.
  • filling-boxes-automatic.

At the beginning of 2023, we put a new supply and packaging line into operation with infeed bunkers, dosing bunkers, weighing units and a box turning shuttle from VHM. In this way, we receive our desired volume weighed and delivered to the packaging machines. If, at a later date, we want to further automate this installation in terms of box supply and removal, this can be added in no time. That's what I like about VHM machines. They just keep growing with our company."


"The VHM machines just keep growing with our company."

Benny Murre, Managing Director TOP The Onion Group


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