Sorting technology enhances quality, reduces waste

Friday, 12 June, 2015 | Supplied by: Heat and Control Pty Ltd

Sun valley raisin 2

Over the past 70 years, Sun Valley Raisins has become one of the largest growers and processors of California raisins, processing a wide range of raisin varieties that are primarily supplied to bakeries, cereal companies and health/snack food companies. Sun Valley Raisins processes 27-32 million kg of raisins each year, exporting 45-55% of its product to Europe and Asia.

In 2009, the family built a state-of-the-art processing facility in the San Joaquin Valley in California, comprising over 9000 m2 of warehouse, processing and packing facilities.

Control over raisin quality

Being both grower and processor enables the company to have more control over its product quality. The company aims to invest to provide better quality product, grow its customer base and meet increasing demands, while lowering labour costs.

“We have learned that you must have a long-term plan and continuously invest wisely into your business in order to stay ahead of the industry demands,” said Doug Moles, CEO, Sun Valley Raisins.

TOMRA equipment has helped us achieve a level of standard that is above the market demand and our customers appreciate our attention to quality.”

In 2009, Sun Valley Raisins started off with a single Helius laser sorter. Two years later it was ready to expand its processing line and include a second Helius sorting machine and also an Ixus Bulk 800 sorter to help improve on their dense foreign materials such as rocks, glass and metal.

The Ixus sorting machine also provides the ability to find embedded glass and stones that are completely surrounded by good product.

Reduce good product loss

Sun Valley Raisins, Valley Machine and TOMRA Sorting Solutions have also designed a recovery line to continuously source the good product from that initially rejected, while the main line continues to sort. This has reduced the good product loss, saving Sun Valley Raisins tons of good product while also reducing the labour that would be required to monitor the good product loss.

Recently, Sun Valley Raisins installed a new series of TOMRA sorting machines, consisting of Nimbus free fall laser sorters with double-sided lasers, including an advanced foreign material detection (AFMD) system that achieves even higher detection results on difficult defects such as cap stems, stems, stalks, stones, plastic and discolourations.

“The equipment is easy to operate and the different levels of operator access allow us to restrict the operator controls to their level of expertise,” said Doug Moles.

Phone: 07 3877 6333
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