Sorting for citrus quality — and saving your operation precious time and overhead — has never been more sleek, sophisticated, or effective, all thanks to the Google-powered RTS Sunsort AI. This new machine runs on the latest imaging and Artificial Intelligence technology offered by Google’s advanced software. It also features side lighting and cameras to get the most crystal-clear impressions of product appearance as it sorts.

Sunkist Research and Technical Services (RTS) has mastered the machine’s function and technology over multiple years, making final touches to ready the Sunsort for wider commercial use after successful installations in Spain and Argentina. Already in use at Sunkist packing houses, these machines are now available for businesses and the greater public.

Will the new RTS Sunsort AI be a good fit for your operation? Here are some of the innovative details behind this advanced machine, as well as the benefits it could bring to your citrus-sorting business.

Sophisticated imaging technology to help with the sorting process

The RTS Sunsort AI saves you manpower, labor hours, and costly inaccuracies with help from internal imaging technology that does the sorting for you. With a quick scan from the machine’s automated imaging, each fruit is examined for characteristics like disease, misshapenness, decay, blemishes, defects, weight, cankers, and greening. Sunsort AI adapts to the shape, color, and composition of all types of citrus, as well, including lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and mandarins. Its internal cameras, side lighting, and imaging advancements help the Sunset AI obtain accurate visuals while still sorting with impressive speed.

The Sunsort AI can even catch blemishes that are invisible to the human eye, such as issues existing below the citrus’ skin. Its visual technology runs on a highly sensitive color gradient that compares “normal” fruit coloring with colors that indicate rot, blemishes, and the smallest imperfections. The machine then sorts out the defected citrus, ensuring that only the best-looking product makes it to sale.

Designed to adapt to many different types of operations or packhouses

Concerned that the RTS Sunsort AI may not be a good fit for your packhouse? Sunkist Research and Technical Services designed the Sunsort AI to be highly adaptable to all outfits and machinery, making its installation simple, effortless, and well-suited to the sorting setup that you already have in place. There’s no need to overhaul your entire packing area to prepare for this new addition. In fact, the machine adapts to you, not the other way around. The Sunsort AI is built to be customizable to your conveyer systems, belts, table heights, and more, saving you a temporary loss of effectiveness and efficiency. 

Ability to learn more as it sorts

The Sunset AI can learn new techniques and further perfect its citrus sorting parameters over time, thanks to its artificial intelligence software. Because Sunkist and RTS have utilized Google’s latest technology to obtain the best in AI capabilities, this highly efficient sorting machine learns more and more as it operates. 

It gradually compiles a program that helps differentiate quality-degrading blemishes and other unwanted citrus marks from harmless characteristics like stems or flowers. The machinery can even program names for common defects, diseases, and other imperfections into its own database to make them more easily identifiable, and to ease future use.

The more you use the Sunsort AI, the more tailor-made it becomes for your practice. Says Aaron Gorsky, General Manager of RTS, “Through repetition, the sorter learns to distinguish a defect’s appearance from normal anomalous features like blossoms and stems. This happens in one pass, so it eliminates the need for special lines, manned by separate sorting specialists, who focus on specific blemishes. It’s a huge time saver.”

Boost the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of your sorting operation

This is, of course, what matters the most to growers: saving time and money while still maintaining accuracy and quality control. By exchanging machine power for manual labor, you get quicker sorting for more pristine product, while slashing your overhead and labor costs. You’ll see it in the profits, too, as the Sunsort AI eventually pays itself off. You’ll see more economic reward, better product, and time-saving practices.

The Sunsort is designed to handle product not only quickly and efficiently, but gently, too. This means you won’t have sorting machinery that contributes to the compromised quality of your citrus product. From large grapefruit to small clementines, the Sunsort AI adapts its handling to any product you choose to grow.

Think the new RTS Sunsort AI is a solution for you? Get in touch today.


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