JBT Corporation (NYSE: JBT), technology solutions provider to the global food and beverage industry, has announced the commercial introduction of the FTNON CoreTakr. An innovative robotic system, the CoreTakr uses advanced 3D camera technology to accurately and speedily remove unwanted cores from lettuce heads used in the fresh-cut and ready-to-eat segments. The Series 3 Coretakr units are the ﬁrst to be made widely commercially available following extensive production testing with customers in the Netherlands and the UK.
Capable of handling 1500 heads of lettuce per hour, the CoreTakr, which decores automatically with no employee interaction necessary other than a single operator, typically increases yield by between 3-9%, while at the same time signiﬁcantly improving factory safety and forming an extra barrier against diseased produce.
“The machine works by using 3D cameras and advanced robotic technology,” said Wilco Fauth, Global Product Line Director for FTNON. “Iceberg lettuces drop automatically into the system with no people involved. A 3D camera will take a look at the lettuce and determine where the core is and its size. The lettuce then moves into the decorer which is extremely accurate in removing the core.
Once inside the machine, the system uses two sharp clinical knives to make sure only the undesired part of the lettuce is removed. Hygiene is another key element of the CoreTakr, with the machinery designed for daily cleaning in accordance with stringent food safety standards (CE 2004/1935).
A further advantage, according to Fauth, is the CoreTakr’s capacity to identify and remove diseased products. “The moment the CoreTakr encounters a lettuce that is contaminated, this is removed to prevent it going through the system,” he said. “This enormously improves food safety across the whole factory and allows customers to build up a full picture across the whole year, enabling them to provide feedback to the grower or seed company.”