A maker of belt-fed sorters and conveyors used in the fresh produce industry has merged with a Belgian chute-fed sorter specialist.

Under the deal, Hasselt, Belgium-based Visys NV will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walla Walla, Wash.-based Key Technology Inc., according to a Key Technology news release.

The merger is a perfect marriage of Key Technology’s and Visys’ different strengths, Jack Ehren, Key’s president and chief executive officer, said in the release.

“This partnership creates a value proposition that is unmatched in the industry,” Ehren said in the release. “Through a single supplier, customers will have access to the highest performing chute-fed and belt-fed sorters available, along with our industry-leading processing systems and unparalleled support to satisfy needs in all steps of the processing line.”

With what he called an unprecedented mix of product solutions and services, Ehren said Key and Visys are positioned to improve customers’ operational efficiencies and maximize competitive advantages.

“Furthermore, by consolidating our intellectual property and innovations, we expect to accelerate the development of next-generation sorting technology,” Ehren said.