Compac Founder Takes Top Business – Engineering Award
The New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards were recently held in Auckland. We are very proud to say that our founder, Hamish Kennedy, recently took top honours as the 2012 Engineering Entrepreneur of the Year. This is fantastic recognition of his achievements and a great honour for Compac.
Initiated in 2005, the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards are the premier awards for the engineering professionals of New Zealand. The Entrepreneurship Award recognises an engineer who has created or developed a business opportunity. This award is recognition of how Compac has grown from an initial sorter, built for the family orchard to the global company we know today.
It has been a stellar year for Compac, whilst it has been a challenging year globally for most business, Compac has taken out a number of prestigious awards.
Recapping the awards for 2012:
- PwC Hi-Tech Company of the year – 2012 NZ Hi-Tech Awards
- Endace Hi-Tech Exporter of the year (Over $5M) – 2012 NZ Hi-Tech Awards
- BDO Deal of the Year- NZ Exporters Awards
- Finalist – Exporter of the Year – NZ Exporters Awards
- Highly commended – Bayer NZ Innovators Awards – Agritech
Citrus Clear-Rot Grading
Compac has released new grading abilities for the InVision system – citrus clear-rot grading. Clear-rot, sometimes known as blue-green mould or soft-rot can be a major issue for packhouses. Being both difficult to sort and with the ability to spoil other fruit in the pack, this new solution from Compac will give InVision operators the ability to significantly reduce fruit losses and labour involved with the sorting of clear-rot.
The InVision system, when spec’d for clear-rot detection has the ability to detect 100% of the fruit which have any fluorescing features. Separating the good from the bad with effective clear-rot grading contributes to the bottom line and stops spoiled fruit arriving on the supermarket shelf.
New Washington State Installations
It’s been a busy period for Compac in Washington State, with a number of installs just wrapping up for the year. At Zirkle Fruit a 10 lane MLS with Compac InVision 9000 for blemish grading has been installed. This sorter is working in conjunction with their main grading line and is using a new Compac software feature, Variety by Lane, allowing for the pre-grader to function as two independent machines, increasing the flexibility of the packhouse. Peripherals have been provided by Compac partner, Van Doren Sales.
At Price Cool Store and Packing an 8 lane Compac MLS with InVision 9000 blemish sorting has been installed with peripherals and bin filling provided by Van Doren Sales.
Lastly, Compac has just completed the installation and commissioning of a new apple project for Kershaw Fruit & Cold Storage, featuring a 6-Lane Compac MLS with InVision 9000 blemish grading with peripherals from Compac-Partner Van Doren Sales.
Mango Blemish Grading
Compac has successfully installed the first Compac Large Fruit Sorter for mango grading in Australia’s Northern Territory. Using Compac’s new larger K-Carrier, the sorter provides the same functionality as the other Compac sorters but for larger fruit.
It has completed its first season and has been performing well, it has increased the client’s throughput and reduced their labor requirements. The Compac Large Fruit Sorter (LFS) allows for the sorting of mangoes by weight, size, shape, color and surface blemishes (when fitted with Compac InVision 9000).
The LFS is based on Compac’s Multi-Lane Sorter platform (MLS), which allows for dual-side tipping for packing from both sides of the sorter, a smaller packhouse footprint and smart distribution strategies for the sorted mangoes.
The LFS makes use of Compac’s roller-carrier which rotates the mangoes as they pass under the InVision inspection cabinet, allowing the system to analyse the entire surface area of the fruit to make the most accurate and consistent grading decisions.
Small Fruit Sorter In Central Otago
Two additional Compac Small Fruit Sorters are set to be installed into New Zealand’s largest cherry growing region, Central Otago. The two new sorters cap off a year of increasing adoption rates of electronic grading and come on the back of the largest ever electronic cherry sorter (36 lanes) soon to be installed at Prima Frutta, California.
Some of the benefits of the Compac SFS are:
- Carrier design allows for rotation of produce for InVision inspection
- Standard connections allowing for easy connection of water flumes headers and outfeeds
- Uses Compac InVision system to accurately grade produce by size, shape, diameter, softness, bruising and colour
- Air ejection ensures gentle handling of delicate produce
The Compac Small Fruit Sorter has also been adapted for use with cherry tomatoes, the water flumes used for cherry sorting can be easily replaced with a dry infeed and cross-belt system.
World’s Largest Sorter Operational
One of the world’s largest and most advanced sorting and packing facilities, based at the new Paramount Citrus plant in Delano, California is now operational sorting fruit at a rate of 30 million mandarins a day.
Compac was the key supplier of automated sorting and packing equipment for the multimillion dollar project, providing a number of sorting and packing lines, automation and software for traceability & food safety to Paramount Citrus, the largest integrated grower, packer and marketer of fresh citrus in the United States.
The Compac solution comprises the world’s largest ever sorting machine at around 97m (319ft) by 40 lanes, sorting each individual mandarin for its weight, size, shape, colour and external defects, autonomous robotic bin stacking robots and five packaging lines to feed mandarins into automated bagging and palletizing machines.
The significant size of the project, as well as a global boom in automation solutions for the primary sector means Compac has had to take on staff in key areas such as software engineering, mechanical design and project management.
The world’s largest citrus packing plant is now up and running in the South Valley, bringing 500 new jobs with it.