Sorters aid in product quality assurance.

Press Release Summary:

Able to automatically detect and remove defects and foreign materials from product stream, Optyx® G6 3000 Series features modular vision engine and can be equipped with color, Vis/IR, and monochromatic cameras as well as Raptor Laser Technology. Modular unit employs HID illumination system and G6 CCD-based camera technology as well as icon-based GUI and 24 in. wide scan width. Infeed belt moves at 3 m/sec and sorter achieves 4000 scans/sec.

Original Press Release:

Fresh-Cut Processors Maximize Product Quality with Optyx® G6 Sorters from Key Technology

June 2, 2005 - Key Technology's Optyx® G6 3000 Series Sorter automatically detects and removes defects and foreign materials from the product stream, improving product quality and optimizing food safety while reducing labor costs. When located immediately upstream of the packaging operation, the new Optyx G6 assures processors and their customers that packaged products meet specifications.

Optyx G6 features an advanced, modular vision engine and can be equipped with an array of high-performance color, Vis/IR (visible infrared), and monochromatic cameras as well as Key's new Raptor Laser Technology, depending on the needs of each application. Offering the highest resolution scanning and the most advanced image processing in the industry, Optyx G6 reliably identifies the smallest defects and foreign material to enhance product quality while maximizing yields.

With Key's high intensity discharge (HID) illumination system and G6 CCD-based camera technology, Optyx analyzes size and shape as well as millions of subtle color differences. Optional Vis/IR technology maximizes the recognition and removal of protein-based animal matter such as grasshoppers and moths, even when their color is identical to the product stream. Optyx G6 can also be equipped with Key's new Raptor Laser Technology to maximize the removal of foreign material based on differences in the optical properties of the material. As the only Class I laser sorter in the food industry, Key's Optyx G6 Sorter with Raptor Laser Technology sets a new standard in inspection performance and safety.

Optyx G6 3000 is ideal for fresh-cut food processors handling up to two tons of product per hour. With superior detection of defects and foreign material, Optyx eliminates costly hand-sorting labor and offers rapid payback. Featuring a modular design and proven, high-performance connectivity standards such as Camera Link(TM), FireWire®, and Ethernet, Key's new Optyx G6 offers flexibility that ensures forward compatibility to maximize a food processor's long-term return on investment.

The Optyx G6 3000 Series Sorter features a 24-inch wide scan width and up to three sensors located above and/or below the product stream, depending on the application. As product passes through the sorter, it is launched off the end of the Optyx belt for in-air viewing by the sensors. Using Key's proprietary image processing technology, the sorter quickly analyses the images, comparing each object to previously defined accept/reject standards. When defective product or foreign material is identified, the system activates the close-coupled high-speed ejector system, which is made up of a series of air jets spaced 6 mm apart that span the width of the system. While the defective object is still air-borne, the air jets pinpoint the object to reject and remove it from the acceptable product stream. The Optyx infeed belt moves at a rate of 3 meters per second and the sorter achieves 4000 scans per second.

The compact, self-contained unit slips easily into the processing line - connect to air, power, and water, and start sorting. Optyx features a flat belt with air-tensioning for consistent tracking and minimal maintenance. The quick-release feature and easy-access cantilever design make belt replacement fast and simple.

The patented, icon-based graphical user interface (GUI) is easy to learn and use, reducing operator training and simplifying optimum operation. Product settings can be stored and retrieved for fast product changeover. The GUI can reside locally on the sorter and can be accessed remotely via network or Internet, enhancing the flexibility in the operating environment and easing access for remote factory troubleshooting and application assistance. Sophisticated real-time and on-demand diagnostics help minimize and avoid costly downtime, and detect conditions that could compromise inspection.

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 National Market tier of The NASDAQ Stock MarketSM under the symbol: KTEC.

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