Editor’s pickCompac’s New Sizer Simulator Improves Productivity of Packhouses by Using Virtual Fresh Fruit

08-10-2018
Digital,Innovation,Virtual,Fresh Fruit

Auckland, New Zealand, October 4, 2018 – Compac has launched the Sizer Simulator, a unique simulation tool which enables fruit and vegetable packhouses to upskill operators and prepare for incoming fresh produce batches. Sizer Simulator also enables users to optimize packing efficiency by extracting maximum performance from existing equipment.

This innovation means that Compac, part of TOMRA Food, is the first to offer packers a virtual environment for running produce. Sizer Simulator makes it possible to experiment offline with the advanced functions of Sizer, the software at the heart of the company’s industry-leading sorting and packline equipment, without posing any risk to production.

Sizer Simulator creates a digital replica of the existing packhouse infrastructure allowing optimization of machine set-up and processes in a virtual environment. Known as a “digital twin,” this technology comes from the aerospace and energy industries.

Packhouses traditionally apply the same software parameters for each variety as they did in the previous season, fearing that if they alter any settings from the status quo, this may lead to inefficiencies for production. This prevents making continuous improvements whose cumulative value can be significant. The Sizer Simulator tackles this challenge head-on, allowing operators to run no-risk trials of new setups to analyze opportunities for improving yield and packing efficiency.

 As a starting point, Sizer Simulator can use real fresh produce data recorded from the sorter during previous runs. Simulator users can re-run the same “virtualised’ fresh produce as many times as they like to assess the impact of adjustments made to the software.

Initial trials indicate that Sizer Simulator can also help predict bottlenecks in the sorting process, and can reduce overall downtime by enhancing knowledge of line speed management.

Sizer Simulator complements Compac’s existing training offerings, meaning that new operators have a shorter on-boarding time, and that experienced operators can further develop their abilities to extract full value from the Sizer software.

Gopi Ravi, Product Manager at Compac, commented: “Nothing like the Sizer Simulator currently exists in the fresh produce sorting industry. The Sizer Simulator eliminates the risks of tweaking software on a live production run, empowering operators to experiment with settings until they’ve truly optimized equipment performance. In an industry where success depends on the ability to manage margins, this provides a unique competitive advantage.”

Sizer Simulator will be demonstrated publicly at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit (PMA) at Orlando, Florida, on October 18-20, where Compac will promote its ongoing initiatives to drive digital innovation in the post-harvest industry. (Booth number 759) Sizer Simulator is available as part of the Compac Software Assurance Program– CSAP, a comprehensive software service package offered by Compac.