Improved cameras and artificial intelligence support the newest cherry sorting technology from Compac.
End View, which will debut at Fresh Summit, allows for the identification and grading of stem and nose defects like mildew and rain cracks.
“One bad cherry can ruin a box,” Compac CEO Mike Riley said in a news release. “Our customers rely on our technology to maintain the quality of their product and protect their reputation and brand.
“We’re always striving to be on the cutting edge of grading and sorting technology development,” Riley said. “As the fresh produce and agriculture sector continues to evolve, keeping up with demand and expectation will be key.”
For existing customers, End View will be available as a modular upgrade, according to the release. It is part of the larger InVision 7-View system.
“It’s a radical step forward,” digital marketing manager Matt Stillwell said. “Nose cracks were previously undetectable. Now they can be detected.”
Better cameras are integral to the technology, according to the company.
“The key improvement is the addition of new viewing angles to get clearer images of the end of each cherry,” Stillwell said. “This means we now see the whole cherry comfortably. These new cameras are also higher resolution with better color fidelity and lower signal-to-noise ratio, so we get much higher quality images of the end of each cherry.”
In addition, artificial intelligence software programs SmartSkin and SmartMap allow workers to teach the technology how to recognize and classify defects, respectively.
“The operator teaches the (SmartSkin) system which parts of the surface are good and bad skin areas with a simple click-and-drag interface,” Stillwell said. “SmartSkin targets hard-to-detect defects and greatly simplifies defect detection and improves accuracy.
“With a simple point-and-click interface, (SmartMap) is able to learn and classify different defect types,” Stillwell said. “This enables the operator to tune the system and create sophisticated pack grades with ease.
In its news release, Compac expressed optimism about the technology given the reviews it has received from companies in New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. that have tested the End View prototype.
“We were receiving such strong global demand for a next generation cherry-grading solution that we decided to accelerate our Inspection Systems roadmap to focus on this,” Riley said in the release. “We’re absolutely thrilled with the result, and feedback from our development customers has been superb. We can’t wait to see this product in packhouses across the world.”