Improve your pear grading results with Ellips' TrueSort
Technological advancements (i.e., HD cameras, LED lighting, increased processing speed, etc.) have enabled a dramatic improvement in the pear grading technology over the past 25 years. This applies especially to external defect capabilities. Being highly sensitive to mechanical handling pears have always been graded better by camera technology. They even helped Ellips to start this successful company.
Weight can be measured of every single pear on a cup system or roller system with a built-in weighing system. Accurate weights (less than 1 gram) are possible, even at high speed. The system automatically corrects the weight by taking into account factors such as temperature differences and dust accumulation throughout the day.
The sizing module measures the diameter, length, ratio and curvature of the pear, for which the contour and stalk of the product are used. The measurements are made more reliable when the product is gently rotated under the camera and multiple images are taken of the same product. Double detection is there to check if the singulation process of the fruit is working properly. For pears, the ratio measurement is a good indication of the shape. For instance, a pear without a core can be graded in another class. Also, the curvature of a pear is measured, typically useful for the varieties with a long and slender neck. In the Ellips TrueSort software, imperial units or metric units can be selected for weight and size classes. Diameters are calculated with an accuracy of 0.1mm.
The color of the fruit is highly representative of the quality and ripeness of the fruit. Using the color module, you can – based on live feedback from the cameras – determine the color on which you want to grade the fruit. Fine color separations are obtained through TrueSorts intuitive software that enables operators to quickly create or modify color profiles. Yellow, green and dark products can easily be graded in multiple color classes. The color module can also be used – based on live feedback from the cameras – to determine the russet color and area on which you want to grade the pears.
In order to determine some properties of the fruit, the color module alone is not enough. Shape and context are important for determining and distinguishing characteristics such as the crown, stem, molds, bruises and scratches. For external quality, Ellips incorporated HD cameras and LED lighting into our TrueSort Vision System years ago while some competitive solutions have only recently begun to utilize these advanced technologies. While the use of HD cameras enables better visual identification of defect, it also creates massive amounts of data which needs to be addressed with increased processing power and more sophisticated software algorithms in order to be beneficial. Ellips has developed and refined the processing and software capabilities necessary to utilize these advanced technologies while the competition is still working to develop the use of this advanced technology. Ellips customers can quickly establish “variety specific” grading parameters that provide consistent detection of the most prevalent external defects (i.e., bruises, russet, birds peck and punctures). Once the defects are identified, TrueSort software sorts the pears into various grades (i.e., premium, second, cull, etc.) based upon threshold values established for defect severity, count or area.
The external quality system is able to detect and sort on most common defects with unmatched sorting capabilities, the Ellips TrueSort system has set a standard for pear packers. When it comes to defect sorting, Ellips leads the industry with its ability to identify defects including rust, hail damage, scratches, misshaped and other blemishes. Once the defects are identified, TrueSort software sorts the pears into various classes based on thresholds established for defect severity or defect area.
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Our system will provide great opportunities to improve overall operating efficiencies while achieving significant ROI. This payback can be achieved within 3 to 4 years through operational efficiency and reductions in food waste and labour costs. Most customers have earned their investment back in less than 15 months!