This project is made possible by the European Fund for Regional Development in the context of OPZuid.

TrueSort – dynamic scan sorting system for high quality fruit & vegetables

The method of quality assessment within the fruit and vegetable processing industry currently consists of an internal quality assessment e.g. an internal scanning system that can look into the product and an external quality assessment by cameras or employees. Due to the high processing speeds and the structure of the products, external defects such as rotten spots or cracks are getting more difficult to detect. As a result, millions of products worldwide are assessed incorrectly every day.

Through this OPZuid project, Ellips BV (expert in the development of optical assessment and sorting technology) would like to develop a total solution that can combat food waste and achieve high-quality products at a good price.

The intended development is a dynamic scan sorting system that can reduce the incorrect assessment of products by at least 33%. This includes the following concrete developments:

  • Development of a new scanning system for the external quality (weight, size, appearance, damage) of the products;
  • Development of a dynamic gripping arm which offers the product to the scanning system in such a way that a complete quality check can be carried out. This makes it possible to also assess products with a pit.

The above developments may seem relatively simple, but are a major innovation for the sector, especially with low-yield crops such as apples and pears. The products will not only translate, but also rotate. The high speed, very small error margins, vulnerable products in very large numbers make it technically challenging, whereby the cost price is also decisive for a successful machine. The fruit and vegetable processing industry works with minimal margins and is a fairly conserved industry that requires proven technology with very high reliability. This means that here is a big challenge for Ellips, but with great potential.

Ellips is located in the Eindhoven region, where developments within this project will also take place. The future picture is that this newly developed scan-sorting system can be used at every fruit and vegetable processor, large and small.