The English company’s viewing system (Vision Recognition System – VRS) is increasing its accuracy in fruit labelling and it is providing improved options.
Phil Holland, Engineering Manager at Sinclair, explains the new developments of this system to us.
As Sinclair prepares for the launch of the new CPL +VRS, Fruitnet talks to Phil Holland, Engineering Manager to understand the development of the Sinclair Vision Recognition System (VRS) RS and why the CPL +VRS is an exciting product launch.
What is a Vision Recognition System?
The Sinclair Vision Recognition System intelligently identifies the pattern of a tray locating the fruit or vegetable to optimize labeling efficiency and accuracy. Standard Sinclair labeler technology is proven to be reliable and efficient but with VRS technology it provides more advanced labeling options and increases the labeling accuracy, particularly on randomly positioned fruit and awkward shapes such as tomatoes-on-the-vine and pears.
Sinclair VRS has been available since 1999 and has evolved with available technologies as well as advances in automation in packinghouses. Initially VRS required a large footprint so was available on the high-end Sinclair labelers. As technology has advanced so has the VRS to become more compact. The current of version of the VRS was launched earlier this year and is available on the Sinclair PL4 high-throughput labeler.
How does it work?
Using the latest imaging technology the Sinclair Vision Recognition system uses 3D imaging to create a depth map of the tray passing under its camera. The depth map is used to detect the produce contained in the tray which, in comparison to its 2D imaging predecessor, is not affected by color.
This results in a system that can work with any color of produce, inner (including clear) or box and at any height up to 300mm.
What are the main benefits?
The system allows for different tray and pattern types to be combined onto a single packing line automating the labelling and removing the need for operator intervention.
A tray-masking feature allows the user to be selective over which fruit within a tray are labeled and product settings enable the system to be set up for awkward fruit shapes. Both masks and product settings can be selected by the operator via a simple pull-down menu.
VRS also removes the need for manual pattern programming reducing machine downtime due to programming and provides automatic adjustment for different tray patterns and fresh produce on the same packing line therefore requiring less operator intervention.
Why is the launch of the CPL +VRS important?
The VRS has previously only been available with the Sinclair PL4 tray labeling solution, which is a high-throughput, large labeling machine which is not suitable for all packinghouses. The latest version of the Sinclair VRS coupled with the CPL uses the latest technology to enable a much more compact system The CPL+VRS delivers the advanced tray labeling options and benefits of the PL4 +VRS integration but allows installation and integration in smaller packinghouses.