Aug 18, 2011

Daifuku Supplies JA Kumamoto City
with Industry-Leading Fruit Sorting System

August 11, 2011

Daifuku Co. Ltd. (“Daifuku”) is pleased to announce that it has supplied Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Kumamoto City (JA Kumamoto City is headquartered in Minami-Kumamoto, Kumamoto City, Japan) with a fruit sorting system for its citrus sorting center. The system is one of the largest of its kind in Japan and is capable of processing 260 tons of Satsuma oranges per day (approx. 2.5 million fruit), or 22,000 tons a year (approx. 220 million fruit).

Extensive renovations at the sorting center began in March 2010 and were completed in September that year. The goal was to improve the quality of outgoing shipments and streamline the sorting process, using sensors to measure the external and internal quality of Satsumas and by installing a combination of 28 sorters*1 (to sort fruit according to class based on measurement results), high-speed automated sorting equipment*2 (to sort boxes according to class for shipping), and unit load*3 and mini load*4 automated storage and retrieval systems (to properly store products). In January 2011, the center also started operating a sorter for high-end Dekopon oranges*5 that is capable of processing 30 tons of Dekopon per day (approx. 120,000 fruit), or 1,000 tons a year (approx. 4 million fruit).

JA Kumamoto City intends to put its sorting center to good use and further enhance its reputation and branding by promoting reliable, safe and high-quality fruit production, which is one of the cornerstones of the food industry.

  • *1 Product name: Finger Domino Sorter (see additional product information)
  • *2 Product name: Surfing Sorter
  • *3 Product name: Unit Load AS/RS
  • *4 Product name: Mini Load AS/RS
  • *5 Product name: Fruit Pot Sorter (see additional product information)

Additional Information

Finger Domino Sorter main features

Compatibility: Citrus fruit, potatoes, persimmons, etc.

Fruit are automatically lined up in rows and directed into attachments called “fingers.” They are then checked for shape, color, damage, and size by an external quality sensor (see below). They are also measured for sugar content, acidity, and internal damage by an internal quality sensor (see below). Based on the results, the fingers direct each fruit onto individual chutes, which are configured according to class. This enables the fruit to be sorted quickly and carefully.

Sorting lines at JA Kumamoto City

Sorting lines at JA Kumamoto City

Fruit Pot Sorter main features

Compatibility: Melons, apples, peaches, Asian pears (nashi), tomatoes, etc.

Easily damaged fruit are individually placed into round containers called “pots” and checked for shape, color, damage, and size by an external quality sensor before being measured for sugar content, acidity, and internal damage by an internal quality sensor. Based on the results, pots are diverted onto individual chutes, which are configured according to class, for sorting. Using pots enables fruit to be sorted carefully without causing any damage.

  • Pot lines at JA Kumamoto City

    Pot lines at JA Kumamoto City

  • Sorting lines at JA Kumamoto City

    Sorting lines at JA Kumamoto City

External quality sensor

Fruit are photographed and instantly analyzed to check for shape, color, damage, and size.

  • External quality sensor
  • External quality sensor

Internal quality sensor

Light is passed through the fruit and analyzed, to measure sugar content, acidity, and internal damage.

  • Internal quality sensor
  • Internal quality sensor