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Operations

Key Technology Introduces Integrated Hyperspectral Sorting System for Bacon Bits

Bringing home the quality bacon

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - 11:58

(Key Technology: Walla Walla, WA) -- Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, has introduced its new integrated hyperspectral sorting system for chilled bacon bits. As the world’s only sorter that can combine near infrared (NIR) hyperspectral detection with color cameras, Key’s VERYX BioPrint analyzes a richer set of data about the materials it is sorting to remove the smallest bone fragments and other difficult-to-detect foreign material (FM) and product defects. When integrated with Key’s vibratory conveyors, this new bacon-bit sorting line improves food safety and product quality while maximizing efficiencies, improving yield, and reducing labor.

“Bacon-bit processors have extremely high product quality standards. Ninety-nine percent removal simply isn’t good enough—they want zero FM and defects,” says Jack Lee, president of Key Technology-Americas. “In the past, bacon-bit processors relied heavily on laser sorters without hyperspectral. This required multiple passes through a sorter, followed by manual inspection, to get anywhere near their quality goals. Now, with our hyperspectral sorting system, processors can run a single pass with virtually no manual inspection to achieve a sort accuracy that was previously unheard of.”

To identify and remove light and dark bone, interleaving paper, L board, grease-soaked cardboard, plastics in various colors, and more, VERYX BioPrint sorters detect every object’s color, size, shape, and structure, as well as the chemometric and biologic properties. Key’s Pixel Fusion detection technology combines pixel-level data from the hyperspectral sensors and color cameras to produce a unique “signature” associated with each material substance that passes through the sorter. This enables VERYX BioPrint to remove the widest variety of hard-to-detect FM and defects without false rejects.

Key customizes each integrated bacon-bit sorting line with equipment to optimize overall system performance and meet the customer’s unique production objectives. Iso-Flo and Impulse vibratory conveyors can be configured to transfer, scalp, size grade, distribute, feed scales, and other processing-line equipment.

The integrated VERYX BioPrint sorting system can virtually eliminate the need for manual inspection, which decreases labor costs and improves the consistency of FM and defect removal. Recipe-driven operation ensures customers can count on optimal performance every day. To ease use and simplify operator training, a highly intuitive user interface provides different views to users of various levels, depending on their needs.

Key manufactures equipment in both the U.S. and Europe, supports customers worldwide through its extensive sales and SupportPro service network, and offers integration services from pre-engineering to line startup. 

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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.