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Exeter Engineering Installs Upgraded Version of ID Technology; Boomer Batchman and Matt Lonczynski Comment

Exeter Engineering Installs Upgraded Version of ID Technology; Boomer Batchman and Matt Lonczynski Comment



EXETER, CA - Technological advancements are coming down the pike for suppliers as Exeter Engineering has installed an upgraded version of its proprietary ID Technology system, optimizing artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically grade and sort bell peppers.

“By upgrading to an AI-powered system, packing houses can save both time and money,” said Boomer Batchman, President. “For quality produce, you really need to have reliable, consistent grading. ID Technology provides that reliability and consistency quicker and more efficiently than older systems, which relied more on the skill and experience of the operator. Our potato clients are looking at returns on their investment in a year, a year-and-a-half. We think that will be a similar result for bell peppers, cucumbers, and other produce types we have in the pipeline.”

Exeter Engineering has installed an upgraded version of its proprietary ID Technology system, optimizing artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically grade and sort bell peppers

According to a press release, this innovative system utilizes an integrated suite of cameras, lighting, and software to size and grade bell peppers for color, size, weight, and even shape defects. The system also transmits live images of every bell pepper passing through the sorter to operators, thus allowing them to adjust on the fly, or see the effects of adjustments they are considering.

Matt Lonczynski, Sales Engineer, Exeter Engineering“It’s a game changer,” said Matt Lonczynski, Sales Engineer. “AI-powered grading gives packers some amazing gains in terms of speed and accuracy, especially compared to older systems. We are already seeing impressive accuracy rates of 90 percent.”

The bell pepper capability is one part of the upgrades made to ID Technology in its second major release, which includes a new camera hood and upgraded lighting.

“The new lighting was crucial for getting imagery of sufficient quality to successfully size and grade bell peppers,” said Batchman. “With better imagery in both visible and infrared light spectrums, the AI gives more accurate results.”

The ID Technology system has been applied to potatoes for over a year, with accuracy rates of 95 percent on some customers’ packing lines. The version 2.0 hardware, along with a software upgrade, now allows potato packers to use the AI to differentiate between three or more grades; they can also use the new “severity classification” feature to adjust for the severity of a variety of defects to move products from one category to another.

This innovative system utilizes an integrated suite of cameras, lighting, and software to size and grade bell peppers for color, size, weight, and even shape defects

“With ‘severity classification,’ ID Technology is coming out with another unique feature,” said Lonczynski. “It really allows the sort of granular control that used to come only after an operator had years of experience. Now it’s automatic, the changes are made faster, and even a novice can achieve great results. That’s the power of AI.”

Currently, Exeter Engineering is testing a new version of ID Technology’s software suite, which will add the ability to sort sweet potatoes.

“Progress is good so far,” said Batchman. “Sweet potatoes present several unique challenges. We hope to have that capability by fall of 2022.”

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Exeter Engineering

Designs and supplies handling systems for the agricultural, fresh pack and food processing industries. Specializing in...