On the 23rd of March, Prime Minister Bill English officially opened EastPack’s new ‘super grader’ in Te Puke, New Zealand ahead of the start of this year’s kiwifruit harvest. The Washer Road site now has the largest automated kiwifruit grading and sorting line in the world, with 14 lanes and the ability to pack 100,000 trays per shift. This provides EastPack with capacity to pack more than 40 million trays of fruit across the business.
The fresh produce industry is facing challenges that only technology can help resolve. In an age where we’re all technology adopters, we barely bat an eyelid at the incredible technological achievements humans are making globally. But when we stop to take a look, we’re making huge advancements in all areas and the fresh produce industry is certainly no exception.
I’ve never been a fan of being told that our software needs to be more ‘simple’. This hasn't been the main goal – we’ve always focused on providing the maximum functionality and then, on working out how to make that both usable and flexible. Einstein has been attributed as saying “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” I’ve always read that as ‘maximize simplicity without compromising performance; make it do what you want and then make it simple’. I think of this in three logical steps: making the system fully functional, ensuring it is completely usable, and then maximizing flexibility.
We all know that skilled labor is becoming more difficult to find and increasingly expensive to keep. This is a particular concern in America where a labor shortage means that packhouses are competing for staff by accommodating, transporting and feeding workers, and yet there’s still no guarantee they’ll show up for work. Labor is one of a packhouse’s largest overheads and leveraging technology can reduce this number and make the packhouse more efficient. Automating tasks with machinery allows you to be more flexible and accurate, positively affecting the bottom line.
PRESS RELEASE – December 7, 2016 Compac is set to retrofit Spectrim™ optical fruit grading platform on competitor machinery following its world-wide product success.
Our industry is currently experiencing a high rate of development and what is available now will soon be yesterday’s technology. Because technology is moving faster than ever, we designed Spectrim as a future-proof platform
In our recent customer survey on what packhouse managers care about, the most important factor was ‘quality and consistency of packed produce’.
It’s been almost a year since Spectrim was launched in the market and in that time we’ve seen real success from our customers who have invested in the platform.
Spectrim’s ability to “grade above the line” is where the operator and packhouse are seeing business value. What is the line? The line is the grade which the packhouse is looking to reach. This grade could be the minimum USDA standard required for packhouses, or it can be the grade their customer's demand – the standard in which their brand promises and their consumers expect.
In order to get the highest return from your crop, it’s essential you separate the good from the bad. The following are 10 of the most common reasons packhouses invest in defect sorting technology.