Compac's New Optical Sorting Platform Delivers Leap Forward in Efficiency and Quality at Washington Fruit & Produce Co.

Ground-breaking SpectrimTM Platform Enables Faster, Consistent Grading and Lower Operating Costs

Jan 20, 2016, 17:31 ET from Compac

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Compac, a world leader in post-harvest integrated solutions and services to the fresh produce industry, announced the successful operational deployment of its SpectrimTM optical sorting platform at Washington Fruit and Produce Company.

Spectrim is Compac's revolutionary new modular and upgradeable optical sorting platform, incorporating break-through advances in defect detection, classification and operator ease of use. Through advanced machine-learning algorithms, Spectrim automates complex tasks operators normally have to conduct manually, and reduces the need for many labor-intensive defect-related processes. Machine learning technology also helps eliminate variations in grading outcomes caused by inconsistent approaches traditionally associated with differing human operators.

With the ability to take up to 500 high definition images of a single piece of fruit as it passes through the machine at a rate of 12 pieces of fruit a second, Spectrim detects the hardest to find, external blemishes on fruit, delivering unrivalled grading accuracy and consistency.

The Spectrim cabinet has also been designed with the latest food hygiene standards in mind, using the latest materials and industrial design to enable ease of cleaning and ongoing maintenance.

Commenting on the installation and Washington Fruit's role as launch customer, Mikey Hanks, System Operator, said: "We've been working with Compac for more than 15 years now and were excited to agree to be the launch customer for the world's first deployment of Spectrim. We run high volumes of fruit at great efficiency, where downtime is unacceptable, and Compac has come through for us again with a smooth start up of their latest technology. Spectrim is a great leap forward in grading capability, we have seen major improvements in both accuracy and throughput and a more consistent pack compared to our other line without Spectrim. With Spectrim we are able to run without manually sorting - something we've never been able to do before, giving us a huge competitive edge. We packed Braeburns for the first time this week and started without any sorters. How's that for confidence? Spectrim enables us to focus on removing previously hard to grade defects and as a result, consistently deliver a great product to our markets."

Compac's Chief Executive Officer, Mike Riley, commented, "Producers face ever growing demands for consistency, traceability and packaging variations from global retailers. Spectrim represents the culmination of years of global market experience and a six year research and development investment by Compac on behalf of the industry. By harnessing the full potential of optical sorting technology and machine learning, Spectrim possesses the accuracy, power and flexibility to address our customers' most demanding challenges now and into the future. I am so proud of the results we are achieving at Washington Fruit."

Riley went on to comment, "Compac's Spectrim program has involved our Research & Development team of optics and mechatronics specialists, computer vision and machine learning developers, industrial designers and hygiene specialists, application software and electronics experts, and our great team of field applications engineers. Its design principles have also benefited from crucial input from lead customers around the world, and external research authorities in New Zealand's world-class Horticultural Crown Research program. It has been a monumental team effort, and I want to acknowledge and thank everyone involved, not least Mikey, Tommy and the Washington Fruit team for being such a great launch partner."

Compac will be presenting its Spectrim platform at Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Germany from February 3rd-5th and will be located at Hall 5.1 – Stand A11.

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About Compac

Compac provides integrated post-harvest solutions and services to the global fresh produce industry. The company's mission is to enable its customers improve returns, gain operational efficiencies and ensure a safe food supply via the application of smart, useable technologies. To achieve this Compac operates a number of centers of excellence, regional offices and manufacturing locations within the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia. 

About Washington Fruit & Produce Co.

Washington Fruit & Produce was incorporated in 1916 to grow, pack and ship apples, pears and peaches from the Yakima Valley. In the 1950s it started growing cherries for fresh packing. Today the company is still family owned and operated and grows apples, cherries and wine grapes throughout Eastern Washington.

Washington Fruit also sells apples, pears and cherries for Underwood Fruit, located in Bingen, WA and Hansen Fruit & Cold Storage Co. of Yakima, WA.

Washington Fruit's long and successful history is based on a commitment to quality, integrity and hard work day in and day out.

For more information please contact:

Nathan Soich – Marketing Manager
P: +64 27 808 2196

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