Preparing for the future, getting a better grip and saving costs with smart sorting system
Using measurement data from sorting line to adjust processes in greenhouse
All data is available for analysis purposes. For example, the information can be used to determine where products in greenhouses grow faster and where Agricrux Robotics grows less hard. The product data from the sorting line can thus be used to adjust settings in greenhouses. "With the data from our SortiPack system we can analyze the conditions in greenhouses," Jannes clarifies. "The crates come in in a specific order. We know from each part of the greenhouse whether there are larger or smaller tomatoes coming in. If we compare that with other data, such as on temperature and nutrition, we can learn more about the growing conditions and the grower can make adjustments." Crux Agribotics, along with Beltech, Smart Vision Center, Vimec Applied Vision Technology and KOAT, form the One of a Kind Technologies group. Within these companies, more than 130 engineers and technicians work on products for specific niches within the food, pharma and agriculture markets.
Sorting line supports business drivers growers
The fruit and vegetable trade has roughly two business drivers: weight and quality. In the market for beef tomatoes, for example, customers pay per box, agreeing on the price per class. If the content is superior in shape with the perfect color, then the fruit and vegetable store will pay the most euros for it. The agreements in the trade are therefore quite simple: the seller promises a specific class and he promises to fill the boxes with a minimum number of kilos. The seller also gives a weight guarantee. He always delivers "a little more" and never "a little less.
Sortipack helps to not overshoot the minimum value. The sorting process proceeds at an impressive speed. Boxes of fresh material from the greenhouses first pass through a vision system that takes a 2D and 3D scan of each individual tomato. This scan is sufficient to classify the vegetables individually by color, size, weight and quality. In the next step, the actual sorting takes place at a rate of 20 thousand pieces per hour. In this process, delta robots pick up each beef tomato and transfer it to crates placed next to the lane. The destination crates contain each meat tomato of one specific class, with a weight that exceeds the minimum value as little as possible. This savings in give-away and labor provides an attractive return on investment.