Glei’s Orchards and Greenhouses in Michigan is utilizing the latest technology in apple sorting. The new technology is revolutionizing the industry with its ability to detect external and internal defects in the produce. The Spectrim does external defect sorting, taking hundreds of pictures of one individual apple.
“The Spectrim works with nine cameras that take 300 pictures of each apple,” packing house manager Mark Seely said. “It gives it a grade based on what I’ve taught it is a good spot or bad spot on the apple.”
Glei’s new machines, the Spectrim and the Inspectra2, are streamlining Glei’s apple production process. The Inspectra2 is the only machine of its kind in use outside of New Zealand. Glei’s acquired the machines from Compac, a crop-sorting company based out of New Zealand.
Seely teaches the machine to detect many different kinds of defects: “I’m looking for rotting, bruising, limb-marks from where an apple grew into a tree and the limb indented it. Sometimes the apple, as it’s blowing in the wind, is kind of rubbing, so we call that a limb rub. That leaves a brown mark on the side of the apple. We cut out anything that gives it cosmetic damage.”
According to hillsdalecollegian.com, the employees love the new machinery. Supervisor Kendra Webb has been at Glei’s for three seasons: “It’s running a lot smoother now with the newer machine. We can tell what the apples are inside and out. It’s 100 percent better. It’s faster and more productive.”