Key Technology, Inc., Walla Walla, Wash., and Visys NV, a Belgium-based provider of chute-fed in-air sorters used by food processors and waste recyclers, entered into a merger agreement. The combination of Key Technology and Visys creates the single most complete source of high-performance, digital sorting technologies available for food processing markets.

“This partnership with Visys creates a value proposition that is unmatched in the industry. Through a single supplier, customers will have access to the highest performing chute-fed and belt-fed sorters available, along with our industry-leading processing systems and unparalleled support to satisfy needs in all steps of the processing line,” says Jack Ehren, president and CEO of Key Technology. “Given this unprecedented mix of product solutions and services, we’re well positioned to improve customers’ operational efficiencies and maximize their competitive advantages. Furthermore, by consolidating our intellectual property and innovations, we expect to accelerate the development of next-generation sorting technology.”

Visys will continue to operate in Hasselt, Belgium, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Key Technology. Frank Zwerts will assume the position of president of EMEIA for Key Technology and will play a prominent role in Key’s global strategy and corporate development.

“With this merger, the combined entity is at the forefront of vision inspection technology, analytics and intelligence. Key’s focus on sales, service and customer relationships worldwide will enable us to deliver the most value to our customers going forward,” says Zwerts. “The Visys team believes in the holistic benefits of combining the two companies, and we are excited to work with Key to accelerate our potential and growth prospects.”