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Conveyor Design for Apple Orientation

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  036123,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14205) @2003
Authors:   J. A. Throop, D. J. Aneshansley, W. C. Anger, D. L. Peterson
Keywords:   Apples, Apple Grading, Automated Inspection, Apple Sorting, Apple X-ray, X-ray Sorting, Conveying, Apple Conveyor, Apple Orientation, Orienting

Two conveyor designs, one for capturing x-ray images for internal defects and a second for capturing images of surface defects on apples, that placed the stem/calyx in a known position are presented. The same basic principle of a small wheel protruding 1.2mm up through the center of a small ring contacted the apple surface rotating the apple until the concave stem or calyx moved over the wheel causing the wheel to lose contact.

A test using a model of the surface defect flight and using seven different cultivars found that 95% of all apples except the Granny Smith oriented after 6-7 seconds. Fourteen cultivars were tested on the conveyor built for surface defects with 97.6% of 1201 apples orienting correctly. Of the 28 apples that failed to orient, 20 of the 28 oriented on a second pass.

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