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'A flying start in our first cherry season'

Established in June 2019, Turkish packer and exporter Perla Fruit is well on the way to completing successfully its first cherry season. This result is all the more remarkable for having been achieved at a time when the world was rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic. This positive outcome is down in great part to the extensive experience and dynamism of President Kerim Taner and General Manager Murat Hamdi Taner, who steered the company through the many hurdles of this first year of activity. One of their decisions, which was critical to this success, was the choice of Compac as a partner for its automated sorting technology.

Compac pulled out all the stops to overcome the unprecedented situation of travel restrictions and lockdowns, and completed the on-time installation of a new turnkey cherry grading and packing line equipped with Compac InVision2 electronic grading platform. The system was up and running for the beginning of the cherry season and is delivering on its promise of excellent grading accuracy and outstanding defect and color selection. Perla Fruit fully expects to close its first season with a result that will place the company among the top cherry packers and exporters in Turkey.

When they established Perla Fruit in June 2019, President Kerim Taner and General Manager Murat Hamdi Taner knew that they needed to hit the ground running if they were to be ready for the beginning of their first cherry season in April 2020. They very quickly made the strategic decision to choose Compac’s automated sorting technology for their new plant and wasted no time in contacting Mustafa Sakarya, Senior Director of Sardas, Compac agent in Turkey.

“It was our first season, so it was critical that we deliver on our promise to growers, to customers and to our team,” explains Hamdi Taner. “We had limited time to make all the preparations, and one of the most important elements was the sorting machine. One reason for choosing Compac was the technology, but more important was the fact that we felt safe working with Compac. I have known Mustafa and Roberto [Ricci, Compac Regional Director EMENA] for many years, and I knew we could trust them and be 100% sure that they would support us. I knew we would have the machine on time and that it would be ready to start for the season. This is the main reason why we wanted to work with Compac – and we made the right decision!”

“In our first season, we made the most of openings in the UK, German and Scandinavian markets, explains Kerim Taner. “We also export by air to Far Eastern and Middle Eastern markets, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Bahrein and Qatar. We serve a wide variety of customers, each with very specific requirements.” 

In order to meet these demands and deliver on their promise of consistently high quality, Perla Fruit turned to Compac for a reliable complete turnkey solution: “We wanted the most advanced technology for accurate grading and gentle handling, and a high packing capacity above 10 tonnes/hour,” says Kerim Taner. “The quality of service
support that Compac offer was also a key deciding factor in our choice.”

A tailor-made solution to meet the specific requirements of Perla Fruit
Compac worked closely with its partners ICOEL and Sardas to identify the best solution and design a customized layout to fit the dimensions of the packhouse. The teams conducted multiple site visits and discussed the options in detail with the Perla Fruit team. The solution offered by Compac as a result of this analysis is a full Compac InVision2 grading system and 16L Small Fruit Sorter (SFS) with 27 packing outlets. 

The Compac Small Fruit Sorter singulates the fruit onto lanes where every individual fruit is rotated under the InVision2 cameras, which take more than 70 photos of each cherry to grade color, softness and quality. The cherries are then distributed to flumes that convey them to manual grading tables and then ICOEL box fillers. Throughout the packing process quality control staff are continuously checking the quality of the fruit being packed and adjusting the system’s settings to ensure the cherries meet the specific requirements of the customers.
A final quality check is conducted on the boxes before they are  palletized and placed in cold storage until they are loaded for shipping.

Accurate and consistent grading for size, shape, color and blemishes The InVision2 platform achieves extremely accurate and consistent grading for size, shape, color and blemishes through a combination of powerful imaging using color and infrared technologies, controlled lighting and cherry rotation. “This is very important for us,” explains Hamdi Taner, “because some days we pack for 10 different customers, 15 different types of packaging, different colors, different sizes – even different customer specifications, as some have zero tolerance while for others it can be 3% or 5%. This machine allows us to make all kinds of combinations.”

For more information:
Marijke Bellemans
TOMRA Food, Compac, and BBC Technologies
Tel: +32 (0)16 74 28 17

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