TOMRA Sorting Food will showcase its innovative Halo sorting system at the largest potato industry conference and trade show in North America, Potato Expo 2015.
Potato Expo 2015 takes place 7-9 January 2015 at Rosen Shingle Creek, Florida, US, and will bring together more than 1,900 growers, researchers and industry partners.
TOMRA Sorting Food will be at booth 215, where its team will showcase the capabilities of the Halo sensor-based optical food sorter and its new user interface design by sorting a variety of potatoes.
The Halo sorter generates significant savings in labour costs for customers, averaging above 80%. Other benefits include yield increases of up to 2%; low operational costs; up to 25% faster throughput; improved produce quality and a quick return on investment (RoI).
The Halo uses top and bottom sensor banks to view each individual object ‘in flight’ using a combination of LED, CCD camera and NIR to perform targeted spectroscopy with 1mm precision. The advanced system views and analyses visible attributes such as colour, shape, blemish and foreign material, as well as invisible defects to the products’ composition.
The intelligent user interface makes sorting adjustments simple and predictable, giving the operator full control. Each user can define their own sorting criteria by changing the settings in relation to how the machine identifies defects and other product features.
TOMRA Sorting Food market unit manager Jim Frost: "As sort requirements become more complex and with customers using the sorter for multiple varieties of potatoes, washed, packed or processed on a daily basis, the job for the user controlling the sorter has become more challenging. Our new user interface allows operators to apply their own defect levels against the different types, colours and sizes of potatoes in order to process more and reduce food waste.
"Using the new interface, operators will also be able to set up a combined sort, which moves a potato that would ordinarily be classified as waste to a separate process where it still has a marketable grade. A small colour defect on a small potato, for example, will be streamed as waste, but that same small defect on a bigger potato will still be within the grade."
The system uses a touchscreen drag-and-drop feature, which enables operators to choose and set the quality of potatoes to pass through individual sorting streams, while an on-screen dashboard feeds data back for users to see quickly and easily information about size and defect profiles. This data can also be used at a later date for further product analysis and traceability.
Mr Frost added: "Many months of research, creative design work and customer engagement has resulted in an iconic look and feel to TOMRA’s new user interface with unification of the user experience across the range of TOMRA sorters."
Fresh pack Halo applications include all sizes and types of potatoes and processor applications both peeled and unpeeled potatoes. In addition, the system can sort carrots, apricots, peaches, pear halves, tomatoes, green beans, citrus products, onions, pickles and cucumbers.