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Key Technology has introduced its range of stainless-steel crush pad equipment designed to enable wineries to improve their product quality while redirecting labour to other tasks.

Modules, which can be utilised separately or configured as an integrated system, include a receiving hopper, cluster-sorting table, post-destemmer sorting table with MOG (material other than grape) separating system, and colour sorters.

The crush pad equipment enables wineries to better control the quality of must going to their fermenting tanks by more effectively removing any unwanted objects such as insects, skins, raisins, ‘shot’ berries, stem jacks, petioles, leaves, and other MOG from the product flow.

Gentle handling and improved sanitation further enhance product quality.

The modules are available in a range of standard sizes that handle from 1-10 tons of product per hour.

The mobile modules feature locking caster wheels, levelling screws, and adjustable-height legs for easy repositioning.

Key’s grape receiving and inspection platform (GRIP) combines a receiving hopper with a vibratory cluster-sorting table, resulting in an efficient and labour-saving process.

The receiving hopper accepts the entire bin at once, unlike conventional bin tippers, which require operators to periodically actuate the tipping or manually pull product from the bin to the sorting table.

The hopper’s design allows metering of clusters without bridging or plugging, and frees the operator to handle other tasks.

The cluster-sorting table features an adjustable speed control that optimises the feed rate from the hopper to display product evenly for thorough inspection.

The uniform flow of product evenly feeds destemming equipment to further improve line performance and product quality.

Key’s cluster-sorting table is also available as a standalone sorting table for wineries that already have receiving equipment.

The post-destemmer sorting table presents fruit evenly for effective hand-sorting while its integrated MOG separation system automatically removes insects, loose skins, raisins, ‘shot’ berries, stem jacks, petioles, leaves and other MOG.

This automated size-sorting capability reduces the labour required for manual berry sorting and improves product quality.

A range of screen sizes enables this sorting table to be changed in less than one minute to effectively sort different fruit varieties.

The MOG collection tray features a perforated bottom that leads to a drain hose that allows juices to be directed to the must pump intake.

Key’s five-year limited warranty is standard with the cluster-sorting table and post-destemmer sorting table, which belong to the company’s Iso-Flo range of vibratory conveyors.

Key’s vibratory sorting tables run at high frequency – for example, 900 strokes per minute – causing product to glide smoothly and virtually eliminate eyestrain.

The company’s stainless-steel vibratory sorting tables resist bacteria growth and clean up in minutes, unlike cloth-backed belt conveying sorting tables that can harbour bacteria and be difficult to clean.

Wineries looking to maximise quality control while minimising labour would benefit from fully automating inspection with the use of optical sorting systems.

Key’s Optyx 300 features colour cameras and image-processing technology, which identifies each object’s colour, size and shape to detect and automatically remove MOG and other user-defined objects from the product stream.

The user can easily adjust the optical sorter to preserve only healthy, whole berries or also preserve crushed berries and stem jacks, as desired.

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