High Volume Sorter Is Designed for Potato Chips/Crisps

Jan. 14, 2009

Key Technology introduces Manta for potato chips/crisps. This high volume sorter features a two-meter-wide scan area that increases throughput within a space-saving footprint. Handling up to 3.5 metric tons (7,700 pounds) of potato chips per hour, Manta maximizes production capacity while optimizing product quality to help processors match final product specifications.

With its high intensity discharge (HID) illumination system and Key’s proprietary color cameras, Manta recognizes millions of subtle color differences, easily identifying the green, purple and blue defects that are important to potato chip processors. The highest resolution scanning allows Manta to detect and remove even the smallest defects.

A specialized, proprietary infeed system gently accelerates potato chips into the sorter, reducing sliding to maximize defect removal accuracy and minimize good product going to the reject stream. To further improve defect removal accuracy, Manta executes chip ejection with its SmartSorting technique. Air ejectors are tuned to efficiently remove defective potato chips while maintaining gentle handling of the pass stream to minimize product breakage.

Based on Key’s G6 electro-optical platform, Manta offers advanced image processing. Featuring a modular design and high performance connectivity standards such as Camera Link, FireWire and Ethernet, Manta ensures forward compatibility to maximize a food processor’s long-term return on investment.

Simplicity is a guiding principle in the design of Manta. To ease installation, Key designed Manta to be self-contained and complete. Unlike other sorters that require additional elements such as separate cooling systems, water filters and air dryers, Manta incorporates all the necessary components in one system. Simply connect air, water, power and start

Ease of use, despite the sophistication of the underlying technology, sets Manta apart from other sorters on the market. The icon-based graphical user interface (GUI) is easy to learn and use, reducing operator training and simplifying optimum operation. Product settings can be stored and retrieved for fast product changeover. The GUI resides locally, and its settings can be viewed and modified via its OPC-compliant communication tags from a factory SCADA system. This capability reduces dependence on manual procedures and labor, while easing access for remote factory troubleshooting and application assistance. Real-time and on-demand diagnostics help avoid costly downtime and detect conditions immediately that could compromise inspection.

To ease maintenance, Manta features an open design and fewer, larger cabinet doors that provide greater access to the sorter’s electronics and hardware. Quick release components allow Manta’s belt to be changed quickly and easily.

Sanitary design concepts are incorporated in the design and construction of Manta. Key has eliminated horizontal surfaces where debris could build up as well as overlapping surfaces that can trap bacteria, making Manta less susceptible to sanitation problems. With stainless steel construction, watertight double-gaskets on doors, a sealed control panel and easy access to areas needing periodic cleaning, Manta is designed to operate reliably in the harshest environments and easily withstand high pressure washdowns.