Key Technology recently introduced new, artificial intelligence- (AI-) driven Sort-to-Grade® (STG) software for Key digital sorters. STG’s advanced AI algorithms for potato strips enable the technology to digitally resolve clumps of overlapping product and better identify individual pieces, maximizing the sorter’s precision in measuring the length of each strip on the production line.

Employing STG software on a Key digital sorter—such as VERYX®—enables potato processors to eliminate the use of traditional mechanical length graders, which may require offline strip length analysis. The software also provides access to real-time length profile data to control upstream processes and better maintain final product specifications. STG can reduce costs, maintenance, and floor space requirements while improving product quality and increasing yields.

STG recognizes and categorizes every surface defect and the length of every individual strip to make each accept or reject decision based on how it will impact the product’s final, ‘in-the-bag’ grade, which is defined by the processor. STG automatically ensures that sophisticated length profile requirements are met while removing the least amount of product possible. AI-enhanced STG increases yields by up to one percent more than the previous generation STG feature and generates a fast return-on-investment while helping the processor make grade.

STG can be programmed to ensure that strips meet exact specifications to reduce the amount of rejected product. For example, processors can establish that at least 20 percent of strips are longer than a certain length, down to the millimeter (mm); that at least 30 percent of strips are longer than a specified mm; or that no strips are shorter than a specified mm, and so on. Length profiles can be changed in seconds via the sorter’s intuitive, touchscreen user interface.

Additionally, the length data collected by AI-enhanced STG can be used to improve line performance and generate reports that verify the length profile of each batch. With Key’s Discovery™ suite of software capabilities, the sorter can collect, analyze and share data to reveal patterns and trends that help control upstream and downstream processes.

The new, AI-driven STG is an option available on every new Key digital sorter for potato strips including VERYX, and it is available as a field upgrade for most installed Key potato strip sorters.

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