ADR4 Automatic Defect Removal System for French Fries
    Quality is a top priority at Frigemo, the Swiss food processor that manufactures french fries for McDonald’s. To consistently match product quality to specifications, Frigemo relies on ADR® 4, an automatic defect removal system for potato strips from Key Technology. ADR 4 inspects Frigemo’s french fries and automatically cuts out defects, optimizing quality and productivity.

    “At Frigemo, we have very high standards and a long standing reputation for quality,"noted Jürg Habegger, Frigemo Board Member.

    Combining high-resolution Vis/IR cameras, a patented belt conveyor, a patented rotary cutter, and Iso-Flo® high-speed vibratory conveyors, ADR 4 aligns, singulates, inspects, and trims potato strips with unparalleled precision at the rate of 13,500 pounds (6 metric tons) per hour. It eliminates manual inspection and trimming, and improves cutting accuracy and good product recovery, which has led Frigemo to experience an impressive 12-month payback on ADR 4.

    Leveraging Key’s G6 electro-optical foundation, ADR 4 offers the most sophisticated image processing in the industry. A powerful new controller, modular vision engine, and trichromatic cameras combine more pixels and faster scan rates to achieve more complex and robust inspections, which is important to Frigemo. Operating five production facilities, including the largest potato processing plant in Switzerland, Frigemo produces over 45,000 metric tons of product per year and has earned a 58 percent market share of the Swiss french fry market.

    At Frigemo, ADR 4 handles potato strips from thin shoestring to thicker (12mm+) fries, minimizing white cuts and maximizing recovery. High-performance trichromatic Vis/IR cameras with red, green and infrared channels accurately identify green defects based on visible light and differentiate between potato peel and brown defects such as bruises and rot using infrared sensors. These Vis/IR cameras enable the ADR 4 to detect and remove a wide range of defects on both peeled and peel-on potato strips.

    With its LED light source and air-actuated knives, ADR 4 enhances performance and reduces maintenance. Compared to fluorescent lights used on other defect removal systems, LEDs produce a more stable light over a much longer period of time. This consistent light source improves inspection accuracy while the LED’s longevity nearly eliminates lighting maintenance. Compared to water-activated knife systems that produce considerable wear on the valves, the air-activated knife actuation on the ADR 5 cutter-wheel improves cutting accuracy while enhancing reliability and further reducing maintenance.