TOMRA Sorting Solutions is set to demonstrate the ability of its new sensor-based systems, which sort and process potato products, at Europe’s premier international industry trade fair.
The Field Potato Sorter (FPS) and the Halo sorter will be exhibited at stand ZA14 at Potato Europe, in Bockerode, near Hanover, Germany, on 3 and 4 September.
TOMRA Sorting Food market unit manager Jim Frost said of the FPS: "This is the first successful high throughput optical sorting solution in the industry for unwashed potatoes. The system enables growers, processors and packer companies to lower labour and potato storage costs significantly while raising product quality and yield.
"Utilising unique biometric signature identification technology, the FPS provides a representation of the visible and near infrared spectral zones, which allows it to analyse and identify organic characteristics and compositions of all objects. It can therefore distinguish clumps of dirt, stones, foreign material and rot from potatoes, even those with substantial soil covering."
The FPS machine can be used for different varieties and sizes of unwashed potato, while process and packer customers can use the data the machine produces for predictive analysis and to achieve purposes such as optimising production lines.
Mr Frost added: "The FPS is replacing hard-to-find man-power needed to clean the product stream going into and out of potato storage. The robust, weatherproof and user-friendly system is compact and available in various widths to fit all specific capacities up to 70,000 kilos an hour. The sorting machine is compatible with other potato grading equipment, but can also be used on its own to sort harvested potatoes, before or after storage."
The Halo system delivers top-performance sorting and grading, allowing customers to achieve high-capacity, high-quality, consistently sized and safe output. The reliable, long-life, compact sorter combines intelligence with advanced control to provide flexibility and accuracy.The Halo also provides quality control and feedback through an intuitive touchscreen.
Additional benefits the system offers users include labour reductions of up to 80%, throughput rises of potentially 25%, faster pack, yield increases that can reach 4% and low operational costs.
Explaining how the Halo works, Mr Frost said: "Using top and bottom sensor banks to view each object in flight, the machine utilises its unique pulsed LED, CCD sensor and near-infrared technology to perform targeted spectroscopy with 1mm precision. It views and analyses visible attributes, such as colour, shape, blemish, foreign material and difficult to see defects. First-grade produce gently passes through the machine while second and third grade is redirected precisely into individual streams by intelligent finger ejectors."
TOMRA Sorting Food encourages packers and processors to share their needs with its experts so they can suggest tailored solutions, directly meeting customers’ unique requirements, from its large range of product and technology offerings.