Infeed Hopper: Almonds, both kernels, and shells are fed into the machine through a hopper. The almonds are usually mixed, with kernels and shells intermingled.
Conveyor Belt or Chute: Almonds are moved along a conveyor belt or chute, where they are presented to the sorting system one by one.
Illumination: The almonds pass under a strong light source. This light source provides uniform and consistent lighting for the objects.
Detection Sensors: The key component of the color sorting machine is its sensors. It employs high-speed cameras or photodetectors to capture the images of the almonds. These cameras take multiple images of each almond as it passes under the light source.
Color Recognition and Analysis: The images captured by the cameras are analyzed in real-time. The color sorter software can distinguish between the different colors of the almond kernels and shells based on the images. It does so by comparing the color of each almond to pre-defined criteria set by the operator.
Air Ejectors or Mechanical Deflectors: When an almond is identified as a kernel or a shell, the machine activates a mechanism to separate them. Air ejectors or mechanical deflectors are commonly used. For kernels, they are directed to one outlet, and for shells, they are directed to another. The speed and precision of these mechanisms are critical to the sorter's accuracy.
Collecting Bins: Kernels and shells are separated into different collecting bins for further processing or disposal.
Feedback Loop: Some advanced color sorters have a feedback mechanism that continuously learns and updates its criteria for color separation to improve sorting accuracy over time.
The effectiveness of the sorting process depends on the accuracy and speed of the sensors, the quality of lighting, and the efficiency of the ejection system. By repeatedly analyzing and sorting almonds based on their color, the color sorter can quickly and accurately separate the desired kernels from the shells. This technology greatly improves the efficiency and quality of almond processing.
Color sorters designed for almond kernel and shell separation are equipped with various features and capabilities to ensure accurate and efficient sorting. Here are some of the key features typically found in these machines:
High-Speed Cameras or Photodetectors: These color sorters are equipped with high-resolution cameras or photodetectors that capture detailed images of almonds as they pass through the machine. These images are essential for precise color recognition.
Advanced Image Processing Software: The machines use advanced image processing software that can analyze the captured images in real-time. This software is capable of distinguishing between the colors of almond kernels and shells.
Customizable Sorting Criteria: Operators can set and customize sorting criteria based on the specific color variations between almond kernels and shells. This customization ensures flexibility in sorting and allows for adjustments based on the quality of almonds being processed.
High Throughput: Color sorters are designed for high throughput, processing a large number of almonds per minute. The exact processing speed can vary depending on the machine's model and capacity.
Multi-View Technology: Some advanced color sorters utilize multi-view technology, where multiple cameras capture images of the same almond from different angles, enhancing the accuracy of color recognition.
Automatic Calibration: Many color sorters have automatic calibration systems that ensure consistent and accurate sorting performance. They can adjust for changes in lighting conditions or variations in almond color over time.
User-Friendly Interface: The control interface is typically user-friendly, allowing operators to set sorting parameters, monitor the sorting process, and make adjustments as needed.
Remote Monitoring and Control: Techik machines can be equipped with remote monitoring and control features, allowing operators to manage the sorting process from a distance.
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