Defect removal system for potato strips ups production capacity

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Key technology Lighting

An automatic defect removal system for potato strips helps
processors increase production capacity, its manufacturer claims.

Key Technology's ADR 5 combines the wide footprint of the company's ADR III model with the high speed accuracy of its ADR 4; increasing capacity by about 20 per cent.

ADR 5 automatically cuts out defects at production rates of up to 16,200 pounds (7.4 tonnes) per hour. It can handle strips ranging from thin shoestring to thick steak-cut fries.

"This increase in throughput, coupled with the advanced inspection capabilities of Key's powerful G6 electro-optical platform, offers new capabilities to processors looking to optimise the balance between quality and productivity,"​ the company stated. "ADR 5 enables processors to more accurately match product quality to specifications, maximising product yield and profits."

The system includes high-resolution cameras, a belt conveyor, a rotary cutter, and vibratory conveyors to align, inspect, and trim potato strips. It eliminates manual inspection and trimming, and improves cutting accuracy and product recovery, the company claims.

The electro-optical system features a new controller, modular vision engine, and trichromatic cameras for inspecting the strips. The system is designed as a modular one to allow processors to make future upgrades as the technology advances.

ADR 5 has a LED light source and air-actuated knives. Compared to the fluorescent lights used on other competing defect removal systems, LEDs produce a more stable light over a longer period of time, Key Technology claims.

"This consistent light source improves inspection accuracy while the LED's longevity nearly eliminates lighting maintenance,"​ the company stated. "Compared to water-activated knife systems that produce considerable wear on the valves, the air-activated knife actuation on the ADR 5 cutter-wheel improves cutting accuracy while enhancing reliability and further reducing maintenance."

The trichromatic cameras use red, green and infrared channels to identify green defects based on visible light. This allows the system to differentiate between potato peel and brown defects such as bruises and rot. The cameras enable the ADR 5 to detect and remove a wide range of defects on both peeled and peel-on potato strips.

A "bed shift" feature allows lane widths to be adjusted.

Key Technology has its headquarters and manufacturing divisions in Walla, Washington. It also has demonstration and testing facilities in Beusichem, the Netherlands.

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