The system allows sorting and grading by husk, defect, disease and size.
The company claims it has won a 12-month $3.5m contract with a Fortune 500 provider of agricultural products to supply ZEA machines for seed corn processing plants in Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Hungary and France but would not name the firm.
“The ZEA is a flexible sorter with gentle handling assured. It contains simple controls, supplies straightforward feedback, consistent, long-life accuracy and requires low maintenance,” said Maurice Moynihan, market unit director, Tomra Sorting Food.
“Benefits the system offers customers include unrivalled husk and superior defect removal, significant labor reductions, reduced operational costs and easy installation.”
ZEA uses top-and bottom mounted color and near-infrared (NIR) optical sensors to scan the surface of each item in-flight.
The color vision sensors analyze for features such as size, shape and color, while the NIR sensors do so for gross defects and foreign materials.
A few milliseconds later, second and third grade produce is redirected into individual streams by a bank of paddle ejectors at the end of the infeed belt, while the first grade material progresses along the sorting line and through the machine.
The system’s integrated shaker and infeed belt feeding system keeps installation and running costs low and reduces the risk of stoppages. Controls and feedback are provided via a touch screen.