Company: Key Technology


Equipment Snapshot: Key Technology expands its VERYX family of digital sorters with the addition of the new VERYX C70. This small chute-fed sorter is ideal for low- to mid-capacity production lines. With advanced inspection technology tailored to the exact needs of each application, VERYX sorters maximize the accuracy of defect and foreign material (FM) removal and/or product grading based on objects’ color, size, shape and/or structural properties. This extreme precision enables food processors to achieve their product quality specifications while virtually eliminating false rejects to increase yields.

The VERYX C70 is designed to sort line capacities ranging from less than one metric ton (2,220 lbs.) up to five metric tons (11,000 lbs.) of product per hour. Its 700-mm wide inspection zone is more than 10 percent wider than other sorters in its size category. This wider inspection zone enables VERYX to maintain a higher throughput within a similar footprint and better singulation of product to improve sorting accuracy.

Like the high capacity VERYX C140 sorter, VERYX C70 sorts free-flowing foods such as nuts, dried fruit and IQF products including fruit, vegetables, seafood and more. These two chute-fed sorters complement Key’s belt-fed VERYX sorters, which can be configured for wet and frozen potato strips and specialty potato products, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, potato chips and other snack foods, confections and more.

Chute-fed VERYX sorters feature Key’s patented Chycane chute, a unique concave-shaped slide that stabilizes product as it enters the inspection and ejection zones to produce a consistent trajectory that improves sorting accuracy. The systems include specialized infeed and collection shakers designed specifically for each application to maximize sorting performance. Extremely gentle handling minimizes product breakage and degradation, which is especially important for fragile, high-value products.

Featuring a highly customizable modular design that is scalable, Key tailors each VERYX system around the product characteristics and production objectives of each processor with the ideal sensor types, sensor positions, lighting, ejection system, product handling, software and more. VERYX can be easily upgraded in the field with additional or different sensors, as customer requirements evolve over time.

The next-generation cameras and laser sensors on VERYX offer twice the resolution of previous generation sorters to detect smaller FM and product defects. With up to four channels of information from cameras and up to eight channels of information from the laser scanner, combined with advanced LED lighting that operates at optimal frequencies in relation to each sensor, every VERYX sorter is designed to perfectly match the customer’s application requirements, from basic to the most complex.

VERYX is the only chute-fed sorter that can be equipped with both front- and rear-mounted laser sensors and cameras to achieve total product surface inspection for FM and defects. The combination of VERYX sensors achieves superior FM detection through near-infrared (NIR) inspection as well as accurate color, size and shape recognition.

VERYX is the only sorter with multi-sensor Pixel Fusion. This innovative feature combines pixel-level input from multiple cameras and laser sensors sharing the same line of sight to more clearly differentiate good product, defects and FM. With Pixel Fusion, VERYX consistently removes the most difficult-to-detect FM and defects, without false rejects.

Key tailors the VERYX separation/ejection system for each application with configurable distances between air nozzles. Ejectors as close as 5 mm apart – the highest resolution in the industry – offer the greatest precision for the smallest products. Intelligent ejection software includes object-based processing capabilities to manage the actuation of each valve for optimal separation of the sort streams. The air nozzles’ actuation is intelligently controlled to suit the size, shape and weight of each object targeted for separation. Together, VERYX high-resolution detection and ejection systems help achieve the processor’s quality specifications while maximizing good product recovery for higher yield

Designed for extreme ease-of-use, VERYX includes smart features that enable it to adapt to normal changes in the product and environment without operator intervention. With auto-learning, self-adjustment algorithms, predictive system diagnostics, smart alarms and FMAlert, VERYX can operate unattended during normal production.

The simple and intuitive VERYX UI provides different views to users of various levels, depending on their needs. Recipe-driven operation and repeatable system calibration ensure customers can count on consistent performance from their VERYX sorters day in, day out, including running the same product across multiple sorters using the same sort recipe for repeatable results. For customers running multiple products on the same system with frequent changeovers, VERYX is easily setup to run a new product or product grade at the touch of a button. Operator qualification requirements are dramatically reduced, allowing a minimally skilled individual to become a proficient user of the sorter in less than one hour.

VERYX features Key’s Information Analytics, a set of data acquisition and connectivity capabilities that allow users to benefit from a broad range of product and operational data from the sorter. Data can be shared for off-line analysis, integrated with other equipment on the line, or exchanged directly with a customer’s SCADA, Manufacturing Execution System or PLC network.

Key manufactures VERYX sorters in both the U.S. and Europe, and supports customers worldwide through its global sales and service network.