Key Technology Introduces Sort-to-Grade with AI

The new AI-driven STG is an option for every new Key digital sorter for potato strips

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

September 13, 2022

2 Min Read
Key Technology introduces Sort-to-Grade with artificail intelligence. Image courtesy of Key Technology Inc.

Advanced AI algorithms allow the AI-driven Sort-to-Grade (STG) for potato strips to digitally resolve clumps of overlapping product and better identify the individual strips, which maximizes its precision in measuring the length of each strip on the production line.

Leveraging this powerful software on a digital sorter enables potato processors to eliminate traditional mechanical length graders to reduce capital costs, maintenance, and floorspace requirements, while improving product quality and increasing yields.

“The next-level accuracy achieved with AI-enhanced STG facilitates new automation. Now, processors can eliminate mechanical length grading. They can also stop analyzing strip length off-line for QA purposes. And they have access to real-time length profile data to control upstream processes and better maintain final product specifications,” said Jack Lee, president of Key. “At Key, we’re continually developing next-generation automation that helps food processors reduce labor and increase profits. Artificial intelligence introduces many new opportunities to add value.”

STG recognizes and categorizes every surface defect and the length of every individual strip to make each accept/reject decision based on how it will impact the “in the bag” grade, as defined by the processor. STG automatically ensures the most sophisticated length profile requirements are met while removing the least amount of product possible. For example, STG can be programmed to ensure that at least 20% of strips are longer than X mm, at least 30% of strips are longer than Y mm, no strips are shorter than Z mm, etc. Length profiles can be changed in seconds via the sorter’s intuitive touchscreen UI.

Dynamically managing length profiles with intelligent accept/reject decisions based on how each strip will affect the “in the bag” grade, AI-enhanced STG increases yields by up to 1% more than the previous generation STG feature and generates a fast return-on-investment while helping the processor make grade.

By digitally monitoring the length of every strip on the line, processors can rely on an AI-driven STG-enabled sorter to analyze the length profile of potato strips immediately prior to packaging and forgo taking physical samples off the line for length analysis using a separate device.

Additionally, the length data collected by AI-enhanced STG can be used to improve line performance and/or generate reports that verify the length profile of each batch. With Key’s Discovery suite of software capabilities, the sorter can collect, analyze, and share data to reveal patterns and trends that help control upstream and downstream processes.

The new AI-driven STG is an option available on every new Key digital sorter for potato strips including Veryx, and it is available as a field upgrade for most installed Key potato strip sorters.

Key Technology, Walla Walla, WA 509-540-7415

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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