TOMRA Food introduces KETE16, the new robotic packing machine for punnets and clamshells

TOMRA Food has showcased its new robotic case packing technology, the KETE16, at the Fruit Logistica event in Berlin, Germany, and will also do so in the South American Blueberry Convention in Mostazal, Chile.

The KETE16 automates the process of placing punnets and clamshells into cases, trays, boxes, and crates, integrating seamlessly to match the speed and capacity of the fastest filling machine, the CURO16.

Paul Slupecki, head of global sales TOMRA Fresh Food at TOMRA Food, commented: “The KETE16 is a versatile, high-capacity, end-of-line system with abilities the industry hasn’t seen before. No other robotic packing solution can accommodate a wide variety of pack designs at high speeds. This machine is flexible to punnet size, case size, and pack orientation, and makes it easy to change between different packs. This will reduce downtime, increase productivity, and deliver certainty in every pack.”

Joshua Miers-Jones, global category director for blueberries, said: “The KETE16 integrates with our CURO packing system, which is famous for its accuracy and gentle product handling, and which can switch between different packaging formats such as clamshells and punnets. This fast and consistent robotic packer will significantly improve the speed and efficiency of blueberry packing.”

The KETE16 is capable of matching the capacity of the CURO16-head Fill by Weight, and has been designed to be easily and quickly set up and change between package sizes and formats. The unique design serves to pick up and place clamshells into the tray while avoiding the risks inherent to suction methods that can open lids and compromise the product.

The robotic case packer has been released at Fruit Logistica from 5-7 Apr in Berlin, Germany. It will be showcased at the South American Blueberry Convention on 21 Apr, in Mostazal, Chile.

The KETE16 was developed at the TOMRA Field Research Centre in Hamilton, New Zealand and validated at two of the largest blueberry packing facilities in New Zealand. Manual case packing is a strain on space, lacks consistency, and requires too much labour. The KETE16 is an excellent solution for the packing industry, as it removes a contact point and provides certainty that you will deliver consistent product at speed.