Key to Spotlight VERYX  Digital Sorters at Kortrijk Xpo

Key Technology’s new VERYX digital sorters for potato strips and specialty potato products will demonstrated November 27-29 during the Interpom-Primeurs international potato trade fair and international trade show for fruit and vegetables at Kortrijk Xpo in West Flanders, Belgium.

Presented as “ideal for wet and frozen french fries as well as specialty potato products,” they maximize removal of foreign material and defects to enhance product quality while virtually eliminating false rejects to ensure maximum yield.

VERYX offers in-air inspection and the ability to view all sides of scrutinized product, with no blind spots. This is sustained throughout the production cycle, because the design has positioned sensor surfaces, light sources and backgrounds strategically away from product splatter and contamination zones.

For sorting frozen potato products prior to packaging, Key Technology says that its advanced Pixel Fusion detection module provides the highest level of contrast and clear separation between good product, defects and foreign material. The module synchronizes and combines channel input from multiple camera and laser sensors at the pixel level. Digital information gathered from this inspection technique allows VERYX to reliably sort difficult-to-detect defects and foreign material such as glass, metal, rubber, paperboard, foam and plastics of different colors.

Configurable in four different widths, VERYX sorters satisfy a wide range of capacity requirements, including extremely high throughputs on the 2.1-meter-wide belt model, the highest capacity digital sorter on the market.

“Our VERYX family of sorters introduces many state-of-the-art features and advanced functionality. After two years of extensive field testing, covering both wet and frozen sorting at potato processing plants in North America and Europe, we’ve proven that VERYX delivers new standards of performance,” said Marco Azzaretti, the company’s advanced inspection systems product manager.

Key VERYX Potatoes

With Key’s Sort-to-Grade™ software for potato strips, VERYX can automatically perform length grading and optimize defect removal to deliver the desired product grade while minimizing good product loss to increase yields. Accurately profiling the dimension of each strip and managing to a target length profile electronically means traditional mechanical length graders are no longer needed on the line. By eliminating mechanical length graders, VERYX reduces operating costs and sanitation requirements, frees up floor space and minimizes the risk of foreign material introduction. Production flexibility is maximized because length-profiling criteria are easily managed and adjusted on the sorter’s intuitive user interface (UI).

To further ease use and simplify operator training, Key developed an intuitive new UI, which provides different views to users of various levels, depending on their needs. Recipe-driven operation and repeatable calibration ensure customers can count on consistent performance from their VERYX sorter day in, day out, including running the same product across multiple sorters in different locations. For customers running multiple product types on the same system, the ergonomic VERYX UI enables the sorter to run a new product or grade at the touch of a button. Operator qualification requirements are reduced, making it much faster and easier for lesser skilled operators to become proficient users of the equipment.

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

VERYX sorters leverage Key’s specialized product handling solutions to optimally convey and control each object through the sort process. Improved stabilization of the product creates a more consistent trajectory through the inspection and ejection zones, which ensures ultimate accuracy in sorting out every foreign material and defective product while avoiding the inadvertent removal of good product in the process.

Walla Walla, Washington-headquartered Key Technology manufactures VERYX digital sorting platforms in the USA and Europe to support customers worldwide.

Meanwhile, the company recently opened a state-of-the-art innovation and solutions center in Hasselt, Belgium, to better serve food processors in Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa. The 2,500-square-meter facility enables customers and prospective clients to participate in equipment demonstrations, application tests and training – both in person and remotely via a live video interface. It complements other such centers in the USA and Australia.