Meet the machine that color sorts tomatoes all by itself

By : |December 13, 2017 0

Time is money. The context of this quote has been beautifully implemented by Tomra, a company whose machinery sorts tomatoes at impressively fast speed and with utmost precision. In fact, a video demonstrating how the tomatoes are sorted has gone viral. Posted by @MachinePix, the video shows how the machinery flicks out the unripe tomatoes knocking the green fruit away from their red peers.

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Jim Frost, product manager at Tomra told The Verge,  “We’ve been selling these machines for 25 years now. This particular sorter is sort of the mother of all sorters. It’s quite basic, and gets used out in the field.” Tomra and many other companies have been selling these sorting machines around the world for various products. Frost indicates that 60 percent of the processed food gets sorted this way.

Frost states that the machinery may look complex but is quite simple. The decision whether or not to reject a piece of produce (or stone, or clod of earth, as often happens) is a yes/no question that can be answered without much calculation. Likewise, because the rejectors are spread out in a line, it’s just a matter of timing to pick the right one to knock out the offending article. And over the years the machines have gotten good.

Frost says, “You’re talking about each and every one of those flickers working in a window of just 30 or 40 milliseconds. It has to get out there, reject the item, then tuck back in as fast as possible so as not to hit anything else.”

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