Sorma speeds up the post-harvest thanks to AI

Designed to make fruit processing more efficient, the latest innovations from Sorma meet demands for automation, speed and quality standardisation.
sorter sorma group

This year Sorma Group will once again be exhibiting at Fruit Attraction, the major international meeting-place with fruit and vegetable sector professionals (Madrid, 4-6 October 2022). The company comes to the Spanish show with three big innovations for post-harvest fruit processing: the InstanDefect-AI Artificial Intelligence vision software, the Sormatech M optical sorter machine specifically for avocados and mangos and the Sormatech Z carrier.  


InstanDefect-AI is the latest version of the Sorma vision software: based entirely on Artificial Intelligence and deep learning systems, it provides unprecedented grading of fruit calyxes/peduncles together with excellent detection of external and ripeness defects. This software thus incorporates the latest state-of-the-art technologies available on the market: operating at the cutting edge of Industry 4.0, with the use of self-learning systems, the machines on which it is installed become more and more precise and “skilled” in flaw detection and sorting. 


What’s more, InstanDefect-AI is intended for use at various levels, thanks to its two interfaces, the standard “Edit-Base” and the more advanced “Edit-Pro”. “Through its two interface modes,” explains Daniele Severi, Director of the Technology Division at Sorma Iberica, “InstanDefect-AI enables customers to modify and/or fine tune working programs over time, whenever necessary; in fact, the software keeps adapting to new fruit varieties or new defects caused by diseases or weather which may occur in the future, ensuring that user companies can respond to the global market’s changing demands. Another of the system’s strengths is its great user-friendliness: no particular staff training is required for the standard interface. Users can update the machine’s existing programs exactly as they wish, by a simple procedure: they “train” the machine by scanning fruit samples and with the aid of just two buttons (e.g. defect/healthy skin), and it will respond with more and more efficient quality sorting. This is made possible by the practical application of the foundations of Artificial Intelligence and of deep learning principles.” 


The second innovation exhibited at the show is dedicated to the mango and avocado industry, which has grown strongly in recent years. It is Sormatech M, a high performance optical sorter machine specifically for these two types of fruit. Sormatech M stands out amongst the systems on the market due to its extremely high productivity (up to 8 fruits/second per lane) together with an innovative fruit feeding system using V-belts with independent, automatic speed setting, which guarantees a high carrier filling percentage. Compared to the competition and Sorma’s previous solutions, carriers are now able to transport even large avocados, and mangos, and to turn fruit to enable complete inspection through 360° and not just on the upward-facing side. Sormatech M is available in versions with 1, 2 or 4 lanes and processes an extended range of medium/small and medium/large size products. In addition to its outstanding speed, it also features a high precision weighing system (2 load cells/lane with simultaneous contact). Moreover, it is designed to be completed with both the new InstanDefect-AI software and HyperVision, Sorma’s latest optical inspection platform for the control of fruits’ external quality and ripeness. 


The last of the innovations which the Group unveils in Madrid is the new Sormatech Z carrier, with extended fruit diameter range enabling multiple types of fruit, of different sizes, to be processed with the same optical sorter machine. Sormatech Z features rotation from a minimum of 38 mm to a maximum of 110 mm and a processing capacity of up to 15 fruits/second. The carrier also permits a significant reduction in the product offload distance on the outlets, making the sorting machine more compact but retaining the key characteristics of all Sormatech products. In fact, the exclusive drive chain coupling/release system provides both the high-precision fruit weight checking and the rapid maintenance of this component also achieved on previous machines. 


“With these continual investments in research and development and in technological innovation, Sorma Group aims to constantly improve the performance of our solutions,” explains Mario Mercadini, Marketing Manager of Sorma Group. “We are determined to provide those in the industry with the very best support as they increase the automation of their processes and the efficiency of their warehouse procedures. What’s more, given the market’s fast-changing demands it is essential to adapt quickly to the requirements of retailers, wholesalers and importers. And we respond with reliability, precision and speed, the three distinguishing features of these new machines, which place them far ahead of anything on the market today.” 

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