Eqraft, a leading developer of factory automation, will be among the onion industry companies exhibiting at Fruit Logistica in Berlin Feb. 7-9.
According to a release sent to OnionBusiness, the huge European show will provide opportunities for the industry to see “the latest solutions and projects from Eqraft for complete factory automation.”
The release said, “In ‘smart factories’ machines take over labor-intensive activities, communicate with each other, and can be controlled and monitored anytime and anywhere,” and Eqraft is providing a preview of its most current equipment.
That includes improving the Eqrader for optimal onion sorting.
“The Eqrader can sort onions quickly and automatically by internal and external inspection of quality, shape, weight, and color – it can even detect rot. Over the past year, the first advancements have been made: mechanical improvements, such as a more streamlined V-band and tilt section, but also developments in the neural network. This self-learning system classifies onions according to quality characteristics. The first test results were positive and Eqraft is currently further improving the software.”
In addition, maximum flexibility for MPS Onions with Eqontrol will be demonstrated. “At this moment, Eqraft and the other Onion Tech Alliance members are realizing a brand new, innovative and fully sustainable onion factory from the ground up for MSP Onions at the Dutch coast. MSP wanted a significant quality improvement of their onions without increasing the costs per kilo, full traceability of their products, and workflow automation,” the release stated. “Thanks to the overarching software layer that lets all machines communicate (Eqontrol), a single click is enough to rebuild an entire production line. Because of the modular set-up, production can be easily adapted according to demand. Furthermore, the factory will be fully CO2 neutral.”
Laser printing will be demonstrated as well. “Traditionally, labeling bags is a process that needs lots of manual labor, from hanging the bags on the machine to be filled to changing tapes. This leads to unnecessary delay. Also, the tickets attached to the bag can easily tear off, causing logistical problems. Together with LC Packaging, Eqraft developed a flexible bag printing system that lets you print contactless and directly onto the bag without needing to change tape, tickets or ink ribbons. Changes can be made real-time in a user-friendly interface.”
Eqraft will be exhibiting together with its partners from the Onion Tech Alliance, including Modesta (air filtering), Deprez (product handling) and Symach (palletizers). The group will be Hall 7.1A, booth A-04.