High-volume sorter can handle 60,000 pounds of product per hour

March 26, 2008

Key Technology introduces Manta, a high-volume, high-performance sorter featuring a two-meter wide scan area that increases throughput within a space-saving footprint.

Handling up to 27 metric tons (60,000 pounds) of processed vegetables or fruit per hour, Manta offers high-resolution scanning to detect and remove the smallest defects and foreign material. In addition to processed vegetables and fruit, Manta is being developed for other industry applications.

Designed for versatility and sanitation, this sorter increases production capacity while maximizing product quality and food safety.

Manta maintains the high resolution of the finest narrow-belt sorters on its wider, higher capacity frame. Designed for flexibility, Key can configure Manta with up to eight top-mounted color or Vis/IR (visible infrared) cameras and up to two top-mounted FluoRaptor fluorescence-sensing lasers. Optional bottom-mounted sensors can be added to meet the specific needs of each application. Modularity allows Manta to be easily reconfigured in the field, which enables processors to confidently select a camera/laser arrangement today knowing that the sorting system can grow if their needs change.

Manta’s dynamic design supports on-belt viewing as well as off-belt, in-air viewing, which can also be modified in the field at a later date if needed.

Using Key’s proprietary color cameras, Manta recognizes each object’s size and shape as well as millions of subtle color differences to remove defects based on user-defined accept/reject standards. Adding FluoRaptor to Manta expands the sorter’s inspection capabilities by reliably detecting foreign material (FM) and extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) based on differing levels of chlorophyll. 

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 sorting.

State-of-the-art sanitary design concepts are incorporated in the design and construction of Manta. Fewer horizontal surfaces where debris can build up and no overlapping surfaces that can trap bacteria make Manta less susceptible to sanitation problems. With stainless steel construction, water-tight double-gaskets on doors, a sealed control panel, and easy access to areas needing cleaning, Manta is designed to operate reliably in the harshest environments and easily withstand high pressure washdowns.

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 can reside locally and can be accessed remotely via its OPC-compliant infrastructure, enhancing the flexibility in the operating environment and easing access for remote factory troubleshooting and application assistance. Sophisticated real-time and on-demand diagnostics help avoid costly downtime and detect conditions 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.