Large Capacity Sorter Helps Potato Processors Automate Frozen Product Inspection

Key Technology introduces Manta for frozen potato products. Featuring Vis/IR (visible infrared) cameras and Raptor laser technology along with new, proprietary high intensity LED lighting, high flow ejector valves, and three-way ejection capability, this large capacity sorter, located immediately prior to packaging, assures final product is free of foreign material (FM) and objectionable process-generated material. With this new application, potato processors can now automate inspection of frozen product at the end of the production line to improve food safety and product quality while reducing labor costs.

Historically, potato processors have relied on automated sorters to remove foreign material and defects from wet product after the cutter, upstream of the fryer and freezer. While these sorters are highly effective in helping to make grade, they leave a processor vulnerable to quality problems that may arise downstream. Potato processors have traditionally relied on costly, inconsistent, and unsanitary hand sorting to inspect frozen product at the end of the production line. Now, with Manta for frozen potato strips, processors can automate this end-of-line inspection.

Locating Manta at the end of the potato processing line helps assure the safety and quality of final product while simultaneously achieving additional benefits associated with improved process control and length control.

Connecting Manta with a plant-wide network and using the data collected to control the sorter as well as upstream processes extends the value of the sorter by increasing yields, cutting costs, and controlling quality in ways that have, until recently, been unattainable. By monitoring product size, shape, and color, Manta can tally specific product characteristics and trigger an alarm or process adjustment if out-of-tolerance conditions are detected or anticipated.

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