Oct 18, 2019Compac, BBC Technologies show off high-tech fruit sorters
A trio of sorting technologies are new at PMA Fresh Summit this year.
Compac’s new UltraView inspection module maximizes Spectrim’s grading performance, according to a press release from TOMRA, and BBC Technologies introduces LUCAi software, bringing sophisticated artificial intelligence to fresh blueberry sorting.
Compac launches UltraView
UltraView is a new inspection module that integrates with the Compac Spectrim cabinet to provide ultimate detection of defects located in the critical stem bowl and tip areas of the fruit – defects that can be difficult to detect due to their shape and location, according to the press release.
The UltraView module contains a dedicated set of high-resolution multi-spectral (color and infrared) cameras and LED lights which are located ideally close to the fruit, parallel to its direction of travel, according to the press release. In this unique position, the UltraView cameras generate superior quality images for accurate inspection of the fruit’s stem bowl and tip regions.
UltraView was field validated in trials run through full pack seasons at sites in the USA and New Zealand, according to the press release. UltraView reduces the need for manual checking of difficult defects which causes line slow-downs, resulting in improved line efficiency and lower packhouse labor requirements, as well as increasing opportunities to adopt tray-filling automation.
BBC Technologies’ releases LUCAi
By employing the latest powerful software and hardware LUCAi artificial intelligence takes blueberry grading to an unprecedented level, according to the press release.
LUCAi uses artificial intelligence techniques to classify and grade fruit to precise market demands, according to the press release. The classification is derived from a learning set generated by more than a quarter-million individually classified images over the last five years. And as part of BBC Technologies’ ongoing Berry Science Program, LUCAi will continue to increase its knowledge base as more and more variety-specific and seasonal-specific images become available.
As fruit passes along a grading line, each piece of fruit is photographed by multiple cameras. LUCAi then identifies and instructs how each individual berry is to be classified, according to the press release. LUCAi can process up to 2,400 individual images of fruit each second. This impressive speed and accuracy are achieved by employing 17,408 graphics processors capable of 304 trillion RTX operations per second. LUCAi is also able to view fruit in wavelengths not visible to the human eye, further enhancing sorting accuracy.
BBC Technologies has initially made LUCAi available as an add-on for its KATO260 optical blueberry grader, according to the press release. LUCAi has been validated in packhouses, processing a wide range of blueberries and thousands of tons of fruit at customer locations in Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and the USA. In these real-world trials LUCAi proved easy to use and sensitive to subtle defects in the fruit, such as dehydration, bruising, and early anthracnose.
These advantages help packhouses reduce waste, sell at higher values, and confidently sort fruit which may require a longer shelf life to allow greater travel time to the point-of-sale.
For further information about TOMRA, please see www.tomra.com.
Above, New UltraView from Compac Photo: TOMRA