Greefa celebrates two anniversaries

This year Greefa celebrates two anniversaries: one is the cooperation with the VIP Group from Italy since 1960 (nearly 60 years!). The second one is the 20th birthday of their iQS measuring system for external quality detection.

VIP Val Venosta Group & Greefa
Recently, six apple pack houses of the VIP Group have updated their GeoSort grading machines with the latest version of iQS which has new features for external defect sorting for their high quality apples. 

Better advanced algorithms enable the on-screen creation of a three-dimensional geomodel showing a high-precision ‘map’ of visual defects, such as bruising, hail, russetting, stem and calyx cracks, minimal scarring and sun burn.

The iQS system is the most precise measuring system for external quality detection. Thanks to the close cooperation with the operators of the VIP Group, Greefa have been able to develop iQS into today’s state of the art technology. VIP and Greefa are constantly improving their technology systems.

The 6 high tech pack houses of VIP Group are handling nearly 400.000 tons of apples per year (that is 1,2 million bins or 22 million bushel cartons) from more than 1.700 growers. 

The excellent quality of Val Venosta apples is not the result of pure chance, but of decade-long efforts. Already in the 1950s, the Val Venosta farmers discovered the natural richness of their valley and decided to take advantage of it in a sensitive and natural way. Their dedication to both cultivation and harvest has been maintained until this day. 

The VIP Group produces a wide range of varieties, such as Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Kanzi, Pinova, Braeburn, Red Delicious and Morgenduft, which are known as high quality club varieties worldwide.

1996-2016: 20 years of external quality detection
In 1996 Greefa started with the development of a system for the automatic quality detection of fruits. Before 1996 the operators used wands to assign the fruits with external defects. These fruits were mainly sorted to quality class 2 or 3. 

An Italian client was the first to be interested in a measuring system for the automatic detection of the external quality of apples. It took Greefa another year before they were able to run the apples at high speed over the sorting machine. The system could now actually see many defects, including the smaller ones. Everything went really fast from then. Busloads of interested people for other Italian cooperations wanted to see the automatic quality measuring system. Guided tours were given. 

After the pioneer installation, other customers followed and many upgrades of existing machines were completed all over the world. The accuracy of the system was unprecedented when you compared it to the manual sorting with the wands. 

The system defeated human quality assessment from the beginning. The cameras saw the entire fruit, the system was always consistent and the difference in rating between one and the other operator played no role.

In the meantime the developments and technologies went on; quicker machines, high speed camera’s and much more defects. A team of 22 people is constantly working on the further development of the system. 

Meanwhile defects are projected on a geomodel for even more precise quality determination. Their system can also recognize many more defects and they can even be uploaded to Greefa, so that these new defects can be sorted out by the system within a few hours.

Are you interested in the introduction of a new packing solution? Please visit the Greefa stand at the Interpoma (C18/40).

For more information, please contact Greefa, Monique Verrips (Assistant Marketing & Sales) at

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