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Americas: Sorting fresh-cut leafy greens

Key Technology introduces VERYX digital sorters for fresh-cut leafy greens.

The belt-fed sorter that can inspect product entirely in-air with top and bottom sensors in order to detect and eliminate all foreign material (FM) and product defects.

“Leafy greens present a sorting challenge because of the way leaves can overlap or clump as they are conveyed through the sorter,” said Marco Azzaretti, advanced inspection systems product manager.

“The fatal flaw of other sorting systems, in addition to having less effective product handling, is that their top sensors inspect product on the belt.”

“If FM is sandwiched between layers of leaves, it’s easily missed because these top sensors won’t be able to effectively see through the leaves.”

Detecting color, size, shape and structural properties of every object, including the presence or absence of chlorophyll, VERYX removes insects and animal parts, paperboard, wood, rocks, plastics, glass, as well as defects and blemishes including leaf discoloration, tipburn and leaves that are decayed, wilted or broken.

The sorting systems can be configured to handle iceberg, romaine, leafy spinach, cabbage, arugula, frisée, escarole, radicchio, Belgian endive, mache greens, watercress and various salad mixes.

They contain four-channel cameras and laser scanners to offer twice the resolution of previous sensor technology.

For lines that process a variety of leafy greens and salad mixes, fast and accurate recipe-driven changeovers maximize production flexibility and uptime while ensuring repeatable results.

VERYX is available in multiple sizes to satisfy the requirements of every leafy green processor, from small to large operations, with the highest volume system sorting up to 8.2 mt of fresh-cut leafy greens per hour. With an inspection zone that is 15% wider than similarly sized sorters, every sorter offers 10-15% greater capacity within a similar footprint.

Application-specific infeeds and collection shakers can serve additional functions, like dewatering and mechanically screening out FM.

Optional three-way sorting enables VERYX to optically separate good product into two grades while removing FM and defective product into a reject stream.

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