11 September 2018
Latest defect sorting technology launched
EQM has been busy travelling with UNITEC representatives recently to introduce the latest technology in defect sorting to New Zealand.
Unisorting, a division of UNITEC, was formed two years ago after UNITEC acquired the assets of Longabardi, a well-known fruit packing equipment supplier based in Italy. At Fruit Logistica in Berlin earlier in the year, the UNICAL 8.0 for apple and the UNICAL 9.0 for pear defect sorting systems were launched internationally.
Following the rise in overseas demand for apples, growers across the country are in the midst of planting one million new trees a year. Consequently, in a few of years’ time, there will be a lot of pressure on existing pack houses to sort, pack and export the best quality apples that New Zealand is known for.
Anthony Bloxham on the future of defect sorting
“Due to this anticipated growth in production, pack-house operators will be looking to technology to increase productivity and improve efficiencies. There is also a labour shortage. Hence that compounds on the pressure to effectively operate typical packing lines which require a lot of people to effectively pack fruit. That’s where the UNICAL defect sorting systems will provide the greatest benefits and deliver many unique points of difference. The system has a range of patented features. It is the first machine in the world designed to be 100% sanitized. This avoids contamination to fruit and taking food safety in the pack-house to the highest level.
With the UNICAL 8.0 maximum reliability in the classification of apples is now possible. The Apples Sort 3 technology makes use of high-resolution cameras for the selection and classification of external and internal quality with maximum efficiency and accuracy. UNICAL 8.0 and Apples Sort 3 technologies allow pack-houses to combine high processing volumes with maximum flexibility, gentleness and reliability when selecting and classifying the quality of apples, thus improving business and revenue. The equipment is exactly what New Zealand pack-houses need to take fruit sorting and sizing to the next level.”
Increased capacity and speed
If space is an issue with a facility, a 12 lane UNICAL 8.0 sorter system can operate in the same space that a conventional 6 lane system occupied previously.
UNITEC are specialists in fruit and vegetable packing solutions having systems for 35 different fruit and are proud of the fact that they make equipment in house from the fruit arriving and being automatically unloaded onto the packing line through to stacking and palletizing with traceability.