Key Technology

January 2013

Based on feedback from our readers, we are changing the frequency and format of the PROliance Service Advisor to provide better, more timely information to you. Rather than sending it once per quarter, we will send it monthly and reduce the information to only one or two items of interest. By keeping it short and sending more frequently, we believe we can provide more focused, better quality information, more often. As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Six Keys to Sorting

There are six keys to optical sorting: singulation, acceleration, presentation, evaluation, separation and deceleration. While each is important, Presentation is arguably the most critical. If the sorter’s camera(s) and/or laser(s) cannot see the product, the sorter cannot effectively remove foreign material and defects.
Here are a few tips to help ensure that your sorter’s product presentation is not compromised.
Window Maintenance:
  1.  Routinely check for cracks and stains in the window. Replace, if necessary.
  2. Clean the windows regularly to ensure water and product build up does not cause staining.  
Product Stability:
  1. If your sorter is equipped with a product stabilizer, check to ensure that the height is properly set for your product.
  2. If you do not have a stabilizer, and you are experiencing instability, check the infeed to ensure it is properly adjusted.
  3. Check the belt speed to ensure it matches the specifications for your product.
 If you are unsure of how to perform any of the above activities or need information on the settings, our Service Team is ready to support you.  

FMAlert Saves the Day!

I was reading an article recently about food being the new target for consumer lawsuits. While the article was about the claims, promotions, and marketing of food products, it made me stop and think about the impact of a consumer finding foreign material (FM) in their purchased product. At a minimum, it could be a public relations nightmare! It reminds me of a close call that one of our green bean processing customers recently experienced.
The processor uses a Key Technology Manta™ digital sorter to separate defects and foreign material from the good green beans in their line. The Manta sorter is equipped with KeyWare® featuring FMAlert™, which captures an image of any foreign material detected by the sorter and marks the image with a time stamp. This image can then be used to verify that the FM was removed from the good product stream.
During the last processing season, an operator checking on the Manta noticed that the sorter had taken the FM image shown below. As a result of the time stamp and Three-Way sorting capability of the Manta, the customer was then able to confirm that the FM detected by the machine was actually ejected. This was critical because the FM was… a three-legged frog!
The Three Legged Frog!
Do you have any noteworthy sorting experiences? We want to hear them! Send your sorting success story to, and if we use it we will send you a $25 gift card. Stories published will be anonymous unless you provide express permission to use your name and company based on your company’s policies.

Thank You!

Our global services team is here to assist you with all of your training, service and parts needs.

Contact us at: 

Europe, Middle East, India & Africa +31 (0)345 509900

Australia & New Zealand +61 3 9552 9200

North America and other regions +1.877.UPTIME1


Your Service Team
Key Technology, Inc.

Key Technology 150 Avery Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362 USA | +1 509.529.2161 |

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