West Sacramento, Calif.-based Odenberg Inc. has a new sensor-based optical sorter, Halo.

Halo has 100 times greater processing power than Odenberg’s earlier Titan sorting system. The new machine also has about 10 times the resolution and 50% more wavelengths of visible and infrared light, according to the company.

“The system typically reduces manual labor requirements by 80%, increases capacity by 10% and enhances yield (from 2% to 4%),” said Sean Slevin, marketing and business development manager.

The Halo sorter has a variety of sorting applications, including washed, unwashed, peeled, unpeeled and cut produce.

According to company, Halo’s ability to gently handle product allows it to sort a large variety of produce, including potatoes, carrots, parsnips, peaches, tomatoes, onions and citrus.

Advanced sorting sytem

Halo’s vision unit, which integrates near infrared spectrometry, charge-couple device camera sensors and light-emitting diode illumination allows the machine to sort based on defects, size, shape and color.

This vision unit is mounted above and below the conveyor belt, providing greater accuracy, delivering a 1-millimeter resolution.

“It is the latest and most advanced addition to our sorting systems, which include the best-selling Titan potato sorter and our Sentinel functional sorter for foreign material and gross defect removal,” Slevin said.

The machine features an intuitive touch screen that allows operators to set up the search criteria.

The screen also provides a detailed view of reject rates and product specifications of the sort.

The development of such a high-precision machine was not without challenges.

Maintaining consistency, performance and simplicity, among other qualifications, while incorporating illumination and sensor-based technology into a machine with 1-millimeter resolution proved a challenge, according to the company.

Good feedback

Reviews of the new machine have proven the results were well worth the effort.

“The feedback we have been receiving is extraordinary. Its performance has allowed us to establish new customers in the U.S., Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy,” Slevin said.

The new technology allows even more applications for the machine, including dried fruit and specialty potatoes, and expanded capabilities for other products such as cucumbers and green beans, among others.