Compac Secures Multi-Million Dollar Contract
Compac Secures Multi-Million Dollar Contract with One of the Largest US Fruit Growers
NZ produce sorting specialist Compac Sorting Equipment has won a multi-million dollar contract to supply the new pack line solution for Limoneira Company, one of the largest growers of lemons and avocados in the United States. Limoneira’s challenge was to implement a pack line that was expandable, flexible and gentle on produce. Such a line would require leading-edge engineering of multiple sorting systems to meet the rigorous quality selection standards of fruit for both export and domestic markets. Limoneira turned to NZ manufacturer Compac, with their proven track record in the Californian citrus market, to develop and manufacture the best solution to answer their project brief.
“After more than a year of research and visiting citrus and stone fruit houses in California, Argentina and Mexico, Compac's sorting solutions stood out as the best choice for Limoneira,” said Stewart Lockwood, Director of Packing, Lemon Operations at Limoneira. “They offer the ideal combination of cutting-edge technology, superb manufacturing quality, excellent service and technical support and non-stop research and development. We carefully studied, tested and compared the optical graders and sorters of six different vendors and I truly believe that Compac's blemish-detection technology is at least a generation ahead of everyone else.”
The new Limoneira line features Compac’s advanced InVision software, which has set the industry standard for machine vision technology. InVision uses digital cameras to scan produce, taking up to 30 images of every piece as it passes along the line. InVision then builds a complete 3D model at a rate of 12 fruit per second and then assigns it to the correct packing destination. “InVision has been built on a philosophy of balancing ease of use with power and flexibility and we believe it’s this philosophy that has allowed our equipment to outperform all other solutions on the market” says Ken Moynihan, Vision Systems Program Manager for Compac. Freezing temperatures during the citrus season can result in a large amount of damaged crop. InVision software enables density sorting, even on irregular and flat shaped produce, easily detecting frozen fruit and ensuring packing consistency.
“Our primary goal was to make our new pack line both faster and gentler than our current line,” added Lockwood. “InVision’s ability to grade fruit quickly without sacrificing accuracy, is very impressive. Their Gentle Box Filler, originally designed for apples and kiwifruit, is amazingly gentle with the fruit. When you are sending your citrus on a 10 to 30 day boat ride to overseas customers, this gentle handling makes a big difference at the other end.”