Stockton, Calif.-based O-G Packing & Cold Storage Co. has upgraded one of its three cherry packing lines with the installation of a Unitech optical sorter and other changes.
The line started production May 5, plant manager Tom Gotelli said.
It sorts dark red cherries and automatically removes debris and defects. Sorting equipment, cameras and lasers inspect each cherry’s size, color, shape and structural properties. The system removes scarred fruit, doubles, spurs, soft fruit and other types of damage.
“We’re hoping it adds to our capacity,” Gotelli said. “When we have damaged fruit, we can still run it at a consistent speed.”
The company expects the technology to offset labor shortages and costs.
Besides the Unitech sorter, the upgraded line has improvements to flumes and other features, all designed by O-G Packing staff before the season began.
O-G Packing also grows blueberries, apricots and walnuts. All items are sold by Grower Direct Marketing LLC.