The sorter is designed to identify and remove foreign material and product defects to eliminate cross-contamination, improve product quality and safety, and minimize labor.

The solution can be configured for various pet food formats and products, including kibble, chews and treats that are dried, dehydrated or freeze-dried. The VERYX sorter can be installed at the end of a production line to ensure final product quality, or upstream near raw receiving to inspect ingredients for a wide range of products, including wet pet food formulas.

The VERYX sorter can detect color, size, shape and structural properties, with the capability of removing defective products or ingredients, plastics, glass, paper and other foreign materials.

'Our vibratory conveyors and mechanical grading systems have had a strong presence in this industry for a long time – almost every leading pet food brand around the world relies on our equipment, and we understand their unique needs,' said Marco Azzaretti, director of marketing at Key Technology. 'Now that these processors are seeing the value of digital sorting, we've leveraged our pet food application expertise to develop VERYX for these applications. Consumers are demanding higher and higher quality pet food, and VERYX can help manufacturers elevate their product quality to the level of human grade while improving the efficiency of their operation.'

VERYX sorters are equipped with optimal cameras, laser scanners, lighting, ejection systems, product handling and software tailored to each customer's needs. The laser scanners and cameras provide images that are twice the resolution of previous sensor technology, which increases its ability to find small foreign material or defects. The solution also offers a 360-degree view of each piece of product.

The sorter can also be fitted with proprietary Pixel Fusion™ technology by Key Technologies, which can combine data from multiple cameras and laser scanners to provide a clear identification of difficult materials or products. This tool also enables the company's FMAlert™ tool to notify operators of critical quality problems so corrective action can be taken quickly. It also helps with documentation of quality events.

Key Technology includes its Discovery™ software suite with every VERYX sorter, which collects, keeps and analyzes data in real-time. This software can help manufacturers identify patterns and trends to improve operations from raw materials to sorting.

VERYX can be integrated with Key Technology's vibratory and mechanical grading solutions applicable in pet food processing environments. The company's material handling solutions are designed for sanitation with fully-welded frames, nickel-plated finishes, oil-free drives, optional pan covers and other hygienic features.

By Jordan Tyler Pet Food Processing

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