Company: Key Technology
Equipment Snapshot: Key Technology has introduced the highest capacity digital sorter in the food processing industry: the new VERYX B210. With an inspection area over 2 meters (80 inches) wide, the belt-fed VERYX B210 maximizes throughput on high-capacity lines. Like all sorters in the VERYX family, the new B210 features advanced detection technology and an innovative system architecture that improve sorting accuracy. Recognizing objects’ color, size, shape and/or structural properties, VERYX sorters remove foreign material (FM) and product defects to improve product quality while virtually eliminating false rejects to increase yields.
Featuring a 2100-mm wide inspection zone, VERYX B210 offers a production capacity in excess of 23 metric tons (50,000 lb.) of product per hour, depending on the application. With an inspection area more than 10 percent wider than other sorters with a similar footprint, VERYX optimally singulates product on the belt to improve sorting accuracy and enables processors to increase their throughputs by up to 15 percent while conserving floor space.
“In many food processing plants, there is a trend toward new, higher capacity production lines, as well as efforts to maximize throughput on existing line installations. Our VERYX B210 supports both of these scenarios. In some layouts, the B210 is capable of replacing two smaller capacity sorters to make the line flow more efficient,” said Marco Azzaretti, advanced inspection systems product manager at Key.
The VERYX B210 complements Key’s other belt- and chute-fed VERYX sorters of various widths, enabling the VERYX family to meet the needs of production lines at any capacity requirement. The B210 and other belt-fed VERYX sorters are ideal for wet and frozen potato strips and specialty potato products as well as fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, potato chips and other snack foods, confections, seafood and more. Chute-fed VERYX sorters are optimal for sorting nuts, dried fruits, IQF products and other free-flowing and bulk particulate foods.
Key tailors each VERYX sorter with the ideal sensor types, sensor positions, lighting, ejection system, product handling and software to meet each processor’s product requirements, including handling multiple product types and frequent changeovers. The system includes specialized infeed and collection shakers designed specifically for each application in order to maximize sorting performance. All VERYX sorters can be upgraded in the field with additional or different sensors, as customer requirements evolve over time.
VERYX is the only belt-fed sorter on the market that can be configured to inspect product entirely in-air, with both top- and bottom-mounted sensors for food processors that require all-sided surface inspection with no blind spots to maximize defect detection and removal. Compared to on-belt sorters, where belt sanitation issues can interfere over time with sensor detection, VERYX’s in-air inspection ensures consistent sort performance and minimizes sanitation requirements.
As the only sorter on the market designed with bottom sensors positioned away from product splatter, VERYX ensures lower sensor windows will not be obstructed by contamination buildup over time. Eliminating this previously common performance degradation issue keeps the bottom sensors operating at their peak and makes VERYX the first digital sorter to deliver 100 percent surface inspection that can be sustained throughout the production cycle.
VERYX is also the only sorter with multi-sensor Pixel Fusion. This advanced detection 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.
The next-generation cameras and laser sensors on VERYX offer twice the resolution of previous generation sorters to detect smaller FM and more subtle product defects. With up to 4 channels of information from cameras and up to 8 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 match the customer’s sort requirements, from basic to the most complex.
VERYX’s separation/ejection system is also tailored to each product application with configurable air nozzles with respect to their pitch and power. The air nozzles’ actuation is controlled by intelligent software to strategically suit the size, shape and weight of each object targeted for separation. These features allow VERYX to remove from the product stream only objects that have been targeted for ejection, either because they are a contaminant or present quality defects, without disturbing good product.
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 is designed to operate unattended during normal production operation.
The highly 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 sorter day in, day out, including running the same product across multiple sorters using the same sort recipe for repeatable results. VERYX is easily setup by the operator to run a new product or grade at the touch of a button. Operator qualification requirements are dramatically reduced, allowing a minimally skilled operator to become a proficient user of the system in less than one hour.
VERYX features Key’s Information Analytics, a set of data acquisition and connectivity capabilities that allow users to extract a broad range of product and operational data from the sorter. Data of interest 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.
For more information on Key’s VERYX, visit www.key.net/products/veryx.