Frozen potato product sorter

Friday, 28 August, 2009 | Supplied by: Key Technology Australia Pty Ltd



The Key Technology Manta for frozen potato products features visible/infrared cameras and Raptor laser technology along with high-intensity LED lighting, high-flow ejector valves and three-way ejection capability.

This large-capacity sorter, located immediately prior to packaging, assures final product is free of foreign material and objectionable process-generated material. With this new application, potato processors can now automate inspection of frozen product at the end of the production line to improve food safety and product quality while reducing labour costs.

Connecting Manta with a plant-wide network and using the data collected to control the sorter as well as upstream processes extends the value of the sorter by increasing yields, cutting costs and controlling quality. By monitoring product size, shape and colour, Manta can tally specific product characteristics and trigger an alarm or process adjustment if out-of-tolerance conditions are detected or anticipated.

Adding Key’s optional three-way sorting capability to Manta allows processors to produce a higher quality product without losing valuable product to the waste stream or requiring additional sorting for rework product. With three-way sorting, processors can send foreign material and critical defects to the first reject stream and convey this to waste without re-sorting or losing valuable yield.

The second reject stream can receive short pieces and non-critical defects that can be reworked and recovered while the pass stream accepts only good product that matches production specifications.

Unlike mechanical shakers and screen traditionally used for size grading, using Manta with three-way sorting at the end of the line to control length allows processors to easily set and change the acceptable length threshold in seconds.

Featuring a 2 m wide scan area, Manta handles up to 23 metric tons of frozen potato strips per hour, based on 7 mm wide cuts. Manta is suitable for sorting all types of potato products on frozen and refrigerated processing lines including: strips, steak cuts, wedges, spirals, waffle cuts and small whole potatoes.

Using proprietary trichromatic Vis/IR cameras, Manta recognises each object’s size and shape as well as millions of subtle colour differences. The infrared sensors differentiate between potato peel and brown defects such as bruises and rot, which allows the sorter to detect and remove a wide range of defects on both peeled and peel-on potato products. Integrating Key’s Raptor laser technology allows Manta to inspect objects’ structural properties, which maximises the detection and removal of foreign material. In addition to defects and foreign material, Manta, when located at the end of the production line, removes problematic process-generated material such as burn strips and starch blocks to maximise the quality of final product.

Online: www.key.net
Phone: 03 8710 8200
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