Predicting demand, higher labor costs and labor shortages are problems that fresh food packers face on a daily basis. Thanks to the application of the right technological solutions, blueberry growers can now more easily meet the changing requirements of their customers and process orders even faster and more efficiently.
AirJet Blueberry Grader was developed by the Australian company GP Graders and is designed to meet the changing needs of customers in the industry. Using an innovative feeding method, the blueberries are correctly placed on the conveyor belt, after which they are carefully sorted based on real-time feedback from the gpVision cameras.
The sorting system is equipped with three full HD cameras per. line: for shrinkage detection, color and NIR cameras. The sorter takes 30 pictures of the surface of each berry so that the fruit can be inspected in detail from all sides. Based on the available images, the software is able to sort the berries by size, firmness, defects, color and internal and external quality problems. A unique feature of this system is that it allows the user to push out all the dried out and shriveled berries. AirJet Blueberry Grader sorts the blueberries at a rate of 45 units per second. second per line, giving users high throughput without compromising the sort result.
The color camera inspects the color of the fruit and determines if the stem has visible defects. This makes it possible to push out red, green and unripe berries. In addition, this camera is capable of sorting the berries based on the presence of a white wax layer. The camera detects berries that have shrunk or are no longer good. This can happen after transport over long distances. The berries are then still hard and firm, but no longer look attractive. The NIR camera sorts the fruit according to its shape and firmness and can also be used to determine the diameter or sizes of the blueberries. The software makes it possible to divide the berries into five hardness categories, from soft to firm. In addition, gpVision technology is capable of detecting internal and external abnormalities such as bruising, discoloration and dehydration.
The cameras used in this machine are of the highest quality and can detect even the smallest details. They have perfect color reproduction and high resolution. Deviations are only visible on razor-sharp images. This solution was developed to detect all possible defects without sacrificing efficiency and productivity.
The software is developed by operators for operators, so it is simple and user-friendly. By using the new user-friendly user interface (GUI), a user can learn to operate the system within a few hours. The software is also able to identify possible new defects that may occur as a result of changing weather patterns and growth conditions. The open design of the software makes it adaptable to different quality requirements and deviations, which makes it possible to sort the fruit according to quality criteria at different customers.
AirJet Blueberry Grader is designed according to the strictest hygiene and cleaning requirements. The design of the machine is solid, but at the same time it can be easily cleaned thanks to the pipe construction and the fact that the machine has no flat surfaces. In light of today’s hygiene requirements, it is crucial that a machine is easy to clean and maintain without the risk of food contamination.
The designers of AirJet Blueberry Grader wanted to develop a machine that is easy to maintain. The sorting machine therefore has an open construction so that all possible problems can be quickly identified. Other systems usually have a closed construction, which can make maintenance difficult.
In addition, the design of the machine significantly reduces the time required for cleaning. The whole machine is made of stainless steel and plastic components. There are no flat surfaces where water can collect. Due to the absence of horizontal surfaces, the water can easily run off after the washing process and the fruit does not collect. The machine is designed for intensive use. Another feature that makes cleaning easier is that all wires are hidden in stainless steel pipes.
Reducing costs for sorting and packaging blueberries
AirJet Blueberry Grader is a new concept of a machine that has been specially developed for sorting blueberries and responds to changing customer requirements. The strong growth in blueberry consumption in Europe and the increasing demands from the retail chains mean that growers and processors must constantly adapt to new trends if they are to remain competitive. An investment in new technology can increase the efficiency of all production processes, contribute to cost reduction and eliminate some of the existing problems.
AirJet Blueberry Grader is designed by GP Graders in Australia. This company has been providing cherry and blueberry sorting solutions to customers in Europe, Chile and North America for many years. Milbor PMC is the exclusive distributor of these machines in Europe. The company provides high quality technological solutions and a maintenance service that is available 24/7.