Enhanced Optical Sorter Finds and Remove Potatoes with Defects

Sorter reduces labor requirements and achieves consistent line capacity despite fluctuations in incoming raw product quality

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

January 25, 2023

2 Min Read
Key Technology introduces an enhanced Herbert Oculus optical sorter for whole potatoes. Image courtesy of Key Technology Inc.

Key Technology introduces an enhanced Herbert Oculus optical sorter for whole potatoes.

Ideal for fresh market potatoes or whole potatoes prior to processing, this enhanced system improves performance to better find and remove potatoes with defects. Its superior sorting capabilities help ensure product quality, while reducing labor requirements and achieving consistent line capacity despite fluctuations in incoming raw product quality.

“The value of Herbert Oculus for the potato industry has never been greater. With extreme weather impacting the quality and quantity of harvested crops worldwide and labor availability at an all-time low, automating inspection with Oculus helps customers achieve grade specifications while maximizing yield and profitability,” said Antoine van Bree, president, Key Technology – EMEA and Asia. “Driven by continuous improvement, we upgraded Oculus to offer our customers a more innovative, effective, and reliable solution for the changing market.”

The enhanced Herbert Oculus features new cameras that offer twice the resolution of the previous generation cameras to identify smaller, harder-to-detect defects. A more advanced 64-bit operating system replaces the previous 32-bit system to achieve a more sophisticated analysis of each tuber. New longer-lasting air cylinders with better seals run at a lower pressure to minimize energy usage, reduce maintenance and lessen operating noise while maintaining high performance. Lighter reject fingers move faster to improve reject accuracy.

Herbert Oculus conveys the potatoes over a series of rollers to present a complete 360-degree view of each tuber to the digital infrared color cameras. Compared to traditional cascade sorters, this unique method of sorting offers gentler handling and provides 20% more surface inspection to maximize defect removal.

Available in multiple sizes for a range of capacities up to 88,000 lb/hr, the sorter recognizes size, shape, color, and texture. Its advanced detection capabilities enable the sorter to remove a range of color defects, diseases, and surface abnormalities including skin discoloration, green and dark colors, bruising, mechanical damage, blackleg, and silver scurf.

Key Technology, Walla Walla, WA 509-540-7415 www.key.net


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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