January 12 saw the launch of the new DOWNS CropVision by manufacturer Dubrulle DOWNS. The company calls the machine “a new generation optical grader for unwashed potatoes“. Dubrulle DOWNS is a manufacturer of handling and storage solutions for potatoes based in France.
The DOWNS CropVision is fitted with the latest technological innovations that allows for high- speed and high-quality mechanical grading of unwashed potatoes before it enters storage – at a rate of up to 100 tons/h. The machine is the result of four years of intensive development, according to Dubrulle DOWNS.
The DOWNS CropVision features high-end industrial cameras that functions in unison with Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms. This is said to be a unique and patented combination. It enables the machine to scan and analyse the total product surface (360°) in order to classify it based on quality parameters such as the presence of dirt clods, stones, other waste material. Criteria for classification further include tuber specific characteristics, including good quality potatoes, green potatoes, cut potatoes, spoiled potatoes, misshapen potatoes, and cracked potatoes.
The manufacturer points to another unique feature of the DOWNS CropVision, namely that the machine is fitted with three possible exits routes for finished product. A first exit is reserved for good quality product to be stored as such; a second exit allows for waste detected; while a third exit served as passageway for second class potatoes. Based on the choices performed by the operator of the machine, mechanical “ejecting fingers” will then send products to an appropriate exit on the way out.
Thanks to the 360° scan of each potato, the operator of the machine eventually has access to very accurate information about the stored potatoes. This includes the size of the potatoes for each batch, including its quality.
Dubrulle DOWNS says this new generation optical grader is the solution to constant problems encountered by most storage managers before storage: the availability of manual labour, sorting quality, economic profitability, food safety and environmental impact.