Friday, September 30, 2011

Citrus Packing House Processes

here's a layout for a citrus Packing house contains the steps of packing processesas we see in this layout, we can find the process will be as follwing

1- Raw entry:-

a. Raw Area: It's the area to store the bins of fruit which came from farm, and it must be isolated from the Exporting area

b. bins Dumper: Dumping fruits to processing line in a homogenized and accurate way

This unit is the start of processing line. Fruits are dumped onto the conveyors or into the water tank. Empty boxes are taken out of the dumper system. There are two different types of dumper systems. Pool dumpers for more sensitive fruits and standard dumpers are used for citrus fruits.

C. Pre-selection table: To ease selection of damaged fruits and foreign items on the line.

This unit is the previous step of washing and grading units. The main goal is to eliminate the damaged products and unwanted items from the line.

2. Sterilization, Washing, and Waxing Area: and it contains the following

a. Dump Tank: It's a tank of a circulated treated water with chemical ends by roller elevator

b. Washing Unit: Washing the fruits, elimination of dust, soil and disinfection.

Fruits follow the below path in the unit: foamed, brushed. Rinsed, and removal of water drops by latex sponges

C. Waxing Unite: Cover the fruits with fungicites and wax

Waxing not only increases the immunity of the fruit against fungus and diseases but also enhances the appearance and shines the product. Waxed products preserve their freshness much more longer than standard storage time.

There are two different types of wax applicators

- Mechanical Wax Applicators

Wax is sprayed by 4 moving nozzles. Correct nozzle selection is important for targeted dozes of wax.

- Electronical Wax Applicators

- Applied wax amount can be adjusted by controlling the speed by liter/hour.

- System reduces and optimizes the wax usage by stopping spraying when there is no fruit passing.

D. Drying Tunnels: Drying out the water and wax on the product.

There are two drying tunnels in a line. One after the washing unit and other after the waxing unit. The main purpose of these tunnels is to dry out the water (first tunnel) and wax (second tunnel) on the fruit. While the product is rotated on aluminium tubes, hot air flow is applied on the product which allows the drying process.

Tunnel Length*


Tunnel 1

(After Washing Unit)

8-10 meters

Drying out the water on washed products

Tunnel 2

(After Waxing Unit)

10-12 meters

Drying out the wax on waxed products

3. Selection, Grading, and Sizing:

a. Selection and Grading Tables: To ease selection of defective Fruits and Diseases appears after washing and waxing on the line, and to manual grad of Class A and Class B fruits before sizing

This unit is the previous step of grading and sizing units. The main goal is to eliminate these disease to reach to the final product box

b. Sizer and Grader: Grade the Fruit according to Diameter, Wight, Color, ... etc.

Types of Sizers:


- Proven mechanical system with gentle fruit handling capability!

- Adaptable to most existing conveying systems!

- The new high-speed ejection system ejects fruit with a softer/gentler action.

- HIGH PRECISION OPTICS: High-resolution state of the art optics with solid-state illumination and self-calibrating feature for improved sizing accuracy and long-term dependability.

- WINDOWS® PLATFORM: Microsoft Windows® platform for a friendlier operator interface and elaborate reporting capabilities

- MAXIMUM PRODUCTION: Maximum electronic speed for maximum production throughput.

- CUSTOM REPORTS: Custom reports using the universal Crystal Reports® data dictionary.

- Mechanical System

- Each Mechanical System consists of 4 or 6 lane modules up to a maximum of 4 per operating systems.

- weight carrier system features 4-point weighing for maximum accuracy and choice of 2.5” 3.75” and 5” spool pitch.

- The minimum system length is 27’ 10”, which has capability for up to 5 drop points.

- The system can be extended with 45”L. sections (up to 3 drop points) or with 90” L. sections (up to 5 drop points).

- Each module has a main drive motor.

- A.C. inverters and programmer unit for main drive motor.

- PLC panel assembly with warning alarm, emergency stop circuit and controls.

4. packing Area

a. Packing Tables : conveyors and tables to collect fruits from the outlets of the sizer to be packed manually by workers

after Packing the carton, the worker push it to the down convyor to go to Exporting Area.

b. Exporting Area : the last setp in the packing process, in this area the quality control worker put the stickers, and re-check the cartons , then start to lay the pallets ( manual by workers or Automatic by Palletizing Machines)

Finally, here's a Video shwoing the grading process

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