Grimme UK and Haith Group have revealed their latest major joint project – a mobile optical sorter, designed to automate the removal of stones, clods and debris from potatoes and help growers cope with labour shortages.
Demonstrations of the new PRO Sort are now being organised. At its heart is a TOMRA 3A optical sorter, which is reportedly capable of handling up to 100 tonnes per hour with a high level of accuracy.
It employs near infra-red multi-spectral sensors for an unobstructed assessment of every object, differentiating between potatoes and foreign material. As well as debris, the colour sensors can detect green potatoes, which are removed at the end of the conveyor belt by intelligent finger ejectors.
It’s a modular unit and can be used either in the field or on-farm and integrated into a new or existing grading line.
“We have developed the PRO Sort in response to the increasing number of growers who are finding it incredibly difficult to find people to sort and pick their crop before it goes into a store or is delivered to processors,” said Duane Hill, Haith’s managing director.
“We have a proven track record of developing innovative mobile washing and grading equipment and having integrated the TOMRA 3A into many of our grading projects, it was logical to put it at the heart of this unit.”
The partnership enables the PRO Sort to be used with the Grimme RH receiving hopper to transfer potatoes into the store, and the Grimme Cleanloader.
“Our collaboration with Haith is all about developing complete solutions that help our customers do things better,” said Grimme UK Ltd.’s managing director, Patrick Graf Grote.
“The PRO Sort is a perfect example of this ambition. We have developed a solution that will save growers both time and money and allow them to operate efficiently despite the widely reported labour shortage. The PRO Sort can be used as a standalone machine, combined with our receiving hopper and CleanLoader, or added easily to a Haith line. Having spoken to several customers about the PRO product line, we are confident it will be very well received and the demonstration days later in the year will be very popular.”