January 25, 2023

Key Technology introduces advanced potato sorter

Key Technology has introduced an enhanced sorter for whole potatoes that the company says helps achieve grade specifications while maximizing yield.

The enhanced Herbert OCULUS optical sorter, designed for fresh market potatoes or whole potatoes prior to processing, better finds and removes potatoes with defects, ensuring quality while reducing labor and achieving consistent line capacity.

The enhanced Herbert OCULUS optical sorter, designed for fresh market potatoes or whole potatoes prior to processing, better finds and removes potatoes with defects. Photo: Provided

“The value of Herbert OCULUS for the potato industry has never been greater,” Antoine van Bree, president of Key Technology – EMEA and Asia, said in a news release. “With extreme weather impacting the quality and quantity of harvested crops worldwide and labor availability at an all-time low, automating inspection with OCULUS helps customers achieve grade specifications while maximizing yield and profitability.”

The Herbert OCULUS features new cameras that offer twice the resolution of the previous generation to identify smaller defects. A more advanced 64-bit operating system replaces the previous 32-bit system, while longer-lasting air cylinders with better seals run at a lower pressure to minimize energy usage, reduce maintenance and lessen operating noise while maintaining high performance. Lighter reject fingers move faster to improve reject accuracy.

Herbert OCULUS conveys the potatoes over a series of rollers to present a complete 360-degree view of each tuber to the digital infrared color cameras. Compared to traditional cascade sorters, this sorting method offers gentler handling and provides 20% more surface inspection.

Available in multiple sizes for a range of capacities up to 40 metric tons of product per hour (88,000 pounds per hour), Herbert OCULUS enables the sorter to remove a wide range of color defects, diseases and surface abnormalities including skin discoloration, green and dark colors, bruising, mechanical damage, blackleg and silver scurf.

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, manufactures automation systems including digital sorters, conveyors and other processing equipment in Walla Walla, Washington; Redmond, Oregon; and Beusichem, Netherlands.




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