Nick Cesare, managing director of PACE Mechanical Handling, is celebrating forty years of working in agriculture. Mr Cesare will mark the anniversary on the 30th of March, having spent four decades supplying robotic and automated packing and palletising lines.
He began his career in agricultural sales in 1983 at Darenth Automation Ltd, a company he joined in 1980. After just a year in this role, he was so convinced of the importance of automation that he joined Walthambury Agricultural Equipment in 1984, where he spent 13 years.
After leaving Walhambury, Mr Cesare established PACE Mechanical Handling which now offers three core products: the Gemini twin head weigher, Orion Weigher, Orion Weigher and sack placer and the CBC sack placer and stitcher line.
“I set out with the aim of helping improve the packing process. PACE allows growers, packers and food producers to be more efficient. Our systems allow them to pack more quickly, reliably and profitably,” he said. “We’ve seen a great deal of change over the last forty years, and we will continue to see change as we constantly seek to improve.
“I am very proud of my team and our success, it’s been a joint effort, and I would like to thank everyone who has put their faith in PACE and asked us to design and install a packing line for them.”
One farm that uses a PACE installation is OGE Chapman & Son, established in 1957 by Oliver Chapman, and now growing cereals, peas, sugar beet and potatoes, with the latter being packed on-site.
“We installed the PACE palletising system five years ago, and it was one of the best things we’ve done,” said Jamie Chapman. “We needed to reduce our labour costs, so, with Nick’s help, we installed a sack placer and stitch line.
“Our potatoes come into a hopper, over the grader, through Nick’s equipment which packs them into 25kg sacks, which are then placed on the pallet.
“By installing the sack placer, we no longer needed a man there to do the job. As that person was checking the quality of the stitching, we installed a stitch line too. Stitching can be temperamental, but the PACE machine never lets us down.
“On a good day, we can have up to 100 tonnes being packed. Before we automated the process, this would have been two days’ work! Nick’s double-headed weigher is also more accurate than our previous weigher and increases our output.”