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Key Technology is introducing new Sort-to-Grade (STG) software for VRYX digital sorters that will expand its current food sorting capabilities.

The new patented STG software was field proven for potato strips and is now available for other food sorting applications including processed and fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts.

In traditional sorting processes, a series of one-off accept/reject decisions are made based on fixed selection criteria while a STG-enabled sorter dynamically evaluates each decision based on the impact on the aggregate ‘in the bag’ grade, defined by the processor.

Heat and Control represents and has a strategic partnership with Key Technology in the Australia, New Zealand and India markets.

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, says STG can increase yields by one to three percent as it accurately delivers complex final product specifications without operator intervention.

STG is designed to recognise and categorise the visual and structural characteristics of individual objects in the product stream, allowing a specified amount of low- and middle-severity defects to pass, while ejecting all high-severity defects and foreign material (FM).

“Our powerful Sort-to-Grade software can evaluate multiple criteria at once,” Key Technology advanced inspection systems product manager Marco Azzaretti said. “For example, a discolouration may be considered a defect only if it exceeds a certain absolute or relative dimension or if it occurs in combination with other defects on the same object.”

“Processors can eliminate mechanical size grading equipment by using a STG-enabled sorter to control products’ dimensional characteristics. The possibilities of Sort-to-Grade are endless,” Azzaretti said.

“The value of VERYX with Sort-to-Grade is threefold. It enables processors to address complex product specs to guarantee their quality objectives are met,” Azzarett said.

“At the same time, it maximises yields by passing the ideal amount of acceptable defects, colours, sizes and shapes, all while minimising operator intervention for better profitability,”

Key Technology’s family of VERYX sorters includes belt- and chute-fed systems in various widths to satisfy a wide range of applications and capacity requirements.