Washington State company Mount Adams Fruit is using a mix of automation to take the fore in the apple and pear industry. The firm’s new, highly automated distribution center is really a finished-goods warehouse, receiving and storing fresh fruit.
Prior to fruit arriving at Mount Adams Fruit from the fields, an estimate of what will arrive is entered into Salesforce.com, which is used for production planning. Fruit arrives from the fields in bins that are stored in temperature-controlled rooms that control ripening until fruit is ready to be packed.
Once the fruit is ready to be packed, it is cleaned in water, dried and conveyed to a defect sorter, which includes a vision system that can evaluate the fruit internally and externally. Mount Adams Fruit uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine what kind of box the fruit will go into based on grading and size.