Produce Processing

July/August 2020

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5 P R O D U C E P R O C E S S I N G X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X By Melanie Epp Contributing Writer ALTHOUGH SORTING EQUIPMENT is capable of collecting an incredible amount of data, most of that data goes unused. But that data can be extremely valuable, which is why sorting equipment manufacturers, like Key Technology, TOMRA and Newtec, are helping customers use it to improve production, efficiency and quality both up- and downstream. Key looks beyond safety and quality For the most part, processors have used sorting equipment to improve safety and safeguard quality. Now, though, they're using it to optimize their line, going even as far as the farmer, said Karel Van Velthoven, Advanced Inspection Systems Product Marketing Manager, Key Technology. Key Technology's most advanced sorter, VERYX, has been equipped with Information Analytics to do just that. VERYX is a digital sorting platform with both belt-fed and chute-fed models in different widths. "One huge side benefit of using a digital sorter comes from leveraging the technology as a data center," said Van Velthoven. "When equipped with an 'Information Analytics' capability, a sorter can collect and analyze big data to reveal patterns, trends and associations that can be acted on to enhance operations." In one case, a VERYX user asked Key Technology to create an advanced analytics package to analyze its leaf- to-stem ratio in spinach. "The end-goals include optimizing raw material utilization to increase yields, improving line efficiencies to reduce costs and eliminating product quality and food safety problems," said Van Velthoven. Sorting equipment can also be used to do predictive maintenance on other equipment. For example, a walnut processor uses data from VERYX to quickly determine when equipment is malfunctioning earlier in the line. Walnuts are a high-value product, said Van Velthoven. Being able to quickly assess when the cracker is damaging Potatoes run through TOMRA's 5A sorting machine. Photo: TOMRA Food Leveraging data from sorting equipment PRODUCERS ARE USING DATA TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE FIELD E F F I C I E N C Y O P ER AT I O NS

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