Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, introduces its VERYX digital sorters for fresh cut, hydroponically-grown leafy greens. Combining Key’s expertise in sorting and conveying, VERYX sorters integrate with Iso-Flo vibratory conveyors to find and remove defective product, as well as foreign material (FM), to improve product quality while simultaneously increasing yield.
“Demand for hydroponic leafy greens is skyrocketing for a variety of reasons – superior taste, minimal water usage, zero pesticides and production location flexibility, since environmentally-controlled greenhouses can be built virtually anywhere,” said Marco Azzaretti, Director of Marketing at Key. “Hydroponic greens are a premium product, typically costing two or three times the price of traditional, field-raised greens. Hydroponic growers must consistently achieve the best quality to meet their customers’ high expectations. They want every single leaf to be perfect. This is why they partner with Key.”
VERYX is the only belt-fed leafy greens sorter that can inspect product entirely in-air with top and bottom sensors to see all sides of the product with no blind spots, enabling VERYX to eliminate more FM and defects. Analyzing the color, size and shape of every object in the product stream, VERYX removes imperfect, misshapen, discolored, bruised, broken or torn greens. To better identify difficult-to-detect FM and defects, VERYX can be equipped with Key’s proprietary Pixel Fusion™ technology, which combines pixel-level input from multiple cameras and laser scanners to create a unique, unambiguous ‘signature’ for each type of substance in the product stream.
Engineered from the ground up to maximize sanitation and ease of cleaning, VERYX features an open design, sloped surfaces, and minimal exposed fastener threads. Fast and accurate recipe-driven changeovers maximize production versatility and uptime while ensuring repeatable results.
Key equips VERYX with their Discovery suite of software capabilities, which enables the sorter to collect, analyze and share data to reveal patterns and trends that improve sorting and help control upstream and downstream processes. For example, this information can help growers of hydroponic greens better understand the performance of different growing panels and how various growing practices affect final product quality.
Key can integrate VERYX with Iso-Flo infeed and collection conveyors to gently move product and preserve its integrity while maximizing sort accuracy. Since greens tend to overlap and clump, the specialized infeed monolayers the product stream to effectively present it to the sorter’s inspection zone and enhance system performance. VERYX can also be integrated with application-specific Iso-Flo vibratory conveyors that dewater, transfer, or separate hydroponic greens by density prior to sorting or with belt feed conveyors to move product downstream to packaging.
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