4 Aug, 2015

DAIFUKU implements sortation process for Oranges

In logistics, anything is possible. Even, it seems, a sortation system specifically for citrus fruits. Kumamoto City is the central area for the cultivation of oranges in Japan with approximately 260 tonnes of oranges being sorted and shipped from here every day.

In operation since 2010, the Kumamoto City Agricultural Cooperative Association has created the largest modern fruit sorting facility to date. At the heart of its efficient logistics operation is the fruit sorting technology of DAIFUKU. Oranges are first sorted manually as they are received from the adjacent DAIFUKU pallet warehouse, before being waxed and dried. They then continue through the Finger Domino Sorter where they are checked and tested in many different ways. The surface of the fruit is checked using sensors to detect its size and colour and for any signs of damage. Internal sensors are able to test how sweet, or sour, the fruit is. Then, depending on the classification of the fruit as determined by these checks, The Finger Domino Sorter from DAIFUKU is used to softly and smoothly sort oranges into their respective packing boxes.

The process has been carefully developed by DAIFUKU: After sorting, the oranges are stored in their boxes in an automated warehouse before being placed onto pallets using robotic palletizers. Pallets are then buffered in the shipping area according to the classification of the goods. The results of the project are faster work processes, significantly less product damage and a constant high throughput of 2.5 million oranges per day.