Key Technology, Walla Walla, Wash., added a Sort-to-Grade feature to all of its belt-driven G6 optical sorters—Manta, Optyx and Tegra. This patented, advanced software-driven intelligence enables sorters to grade by count, accepting or rejecting each defective piece to control the quality of output to a defined grade as defined by the processor.
This Sort-to-Grade capability allows the sorter to control the quality of its output to a defined grade, objectively sorting by count in real-time with 100% inspection, thus increasing yield by reducing unnecessary rejects while improving the consistency of final product quality and dramatically simplifying the operator’s experience.
With the Sort-to-Grade software installed and running, the customer simply sets the sorter to achieve the desired target grade and sets the desired sample size. The software then controls the mass flow of product by making logical piece-by-piece decisions to determine which are passed and which are rejected. If a product piece contains an allowable defect, the sorter adds it to the product flow by allowing it to pass. If a piece would result in product out of grade, the piece is rejected. Thus, accept/reject decisions are based on the sorter’s calculated output.
Target grade can be defined by the user as a percentage of tolerable defects in the bag or a percentage removal of incoming defects. The sample size is also user-defined, according to the grading practice used in the processing plant.