CHICAGO — Key Technology Inc., Walla Walla, Wash., used Pack Expo 2012 Oct. 28-31 at McCormick Place to showcase its new camera/laser Manta sorter and optional three-way sorting capability, of which Marco Azzaretti, optical product manager, says green bean and potato processors are already making use.

The technology is designed to increase production, reduce risk of foreign material and reduce labor costs.

“The advantages of Manta, with its three-way sorting capability, have been proven for a variety of applications at more than 20 installations worldwide,” Azzaretti said. “Green bean processors are using Manta’s three-way sort to remove foreign material with the first ejector and remove beans with remaining stems, which are subsequently re-snipped, with the second ejector. Potato processors are using the three-way sort to remove foreign material and control for length, while walnut processors are using it to eliminate foreign material or separate multiple grades in one pass.”

Using a pair of ejector systems, Manta’s three-way sorting allows food processors to automatically eject product that can be reworked and recovered separately from material ejected as waste, according to a company news release.

Manta, Key’s highest-capacity sorter, performs high-resolution imaging to detect and remove small defects and foreign material via both camera and laser sorting.