Konya Seker, the innovative Turkish processor, decided to try something different on their potato strip production line. Unlike other potato processors that use optical sorters to remove defects on their primary lines, Konya Seker relies on an ADR®5 Automatic Defect Removal System from Key Technology. This new application, called the ADR®First solution, maximizes product quality and increases yields at Konya Seker.
"Thanks to our state-of-the-art equipment and our know-how, we're able to produce high quality product. Because the quality of our product is so high, McDonald's is working work with us. Having equipment from Key Technology helped us win that important account," noted Ilker Cabukol, the factory manager at Konya Seker responsible for the company's potato operations. "Our production line is the highest capacity potato processing line in Turkey and the most modern."
The ADR 5 identifies the same kinds of defects on potato strips as many optical sorters but the removal of these defects are handled differently. Sorters remove the entire strip that has a defect while ADR cuts the defect from the strip and removes only the defect. Compared to lines with only a sorter, ADR®First achieves the same defect removal rate while reducing by-product yield loss by 75 to 80 percent.
Currently, most potato processors use a sorter on the primary line and an ADR on the sorter's reject stream to reclaim good product. This traditional configuration typically achieves a 64 percent defect removal rate. ADR®First enables a processor to achieve an 80-95 percent defect removal rate while eliminating the capital cost associated with the sorter.
"The raw product quality in Turkey is limited. When I compare the crop here to what I see in the U.S. or Holland, we have a long way to go. We needed to solve this defect problem so that we could deliver world-class product to our customers. With ADR, we're hitting our specifications while we're also maximizing yield," said Cabukol.
Key's ADR®First solution is equally effective for companies like Konya Seker that must overcome poor raw product quality as it is for companies with typical raw product quality that are looking to satisfy upscale customers by producing the highest product quality. In addition to its high defect removal rate, ADR®First allows processors to control the length of strips, which reduces bag seal failures, improves line flow at gates, and reduces product breakage, all while meeting product specifications.
The ADR®First at Konya Seker is part of an integrated solution from Key that extends from the cutters to the blancher. The Key-supplied equipment includes a dewatering shaker, sliver sizer remover (SSR), nubbin grader, Iso-Flo® infeed shaker, ADR 5, a second nubbin grader, and pump tank. This line produces peeled and peel-on straight cuts and crinkle cuts from 7 to 18 mm in size.
"From the beginning, I wanted to have equipment from Key Technology on the line at Konya Seker because I've had so many great experiences with Key in the past. I know their equipment is accurate, reliable, and low maintenance, and their support makes them a great partner. We needed a partner that we could talk with and solve problems with together. I wanted Key on board as we put this new line together," noted Cabukol.
The ADR 5 features high-resolution Vis/IR (visible infrared) cameras, a special belt conveyor, a rotary cutter, and Iso-Flo vibratory conveyors that align, singulate, inspect, and trim potato strips at production rates of up to 9.5 metric tons (20,900 lbs) per hour. The ADR 5's LED light source produces a more stable light over a much longer period than fluorescent lights, which improves inspection accuracy and reduces lighting maintenance. The air-actuated knife system on the ADR 5 cutter-wheel improves cutting accuracy and equipment reliability compared to water-activated knife systems.
"When we compared what we could achieve with the ADR®First solution to all the other alternatives, it was clear to us that the ADR®First solution was right for us," concluded Cabukol. "We've gotten everything we expected from this system and having Key as a partner has been invaluable."
About Key Technology, Inc.
Key Technology, an ISO-9001 certified company, is a leading designer and manufacturer of process automation systems, integrated electro-optical inspection and sorting systems, and processing systems. Key® systems help processors to improve quality, increase yield, and reduce cost. With worldwide sales representation, the company maintains demonstration and testing facilities at its headquarters and manufacturing divisions in Walla Walla, Washington, USA, and at Key Technology BV in Beusichem, the Netherlands. The company's common stock trades on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol: KTEC.
Key Technology, Inc.
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Walla Walla, WA 99362 USA
Tel: 509 529 2161
Fax: 509 527 1331