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Tegra® Optical Sorter

Tegra®, the only completely “in-air” optical inspection system in Key’s sorting family, combines shape and size sorting with the industry’s best color and spatial resolution, whole-object processing, intelligent ejection, unparalleled product stability, and data reporting capabilities.

Success for Tegra® users lies in the unique integration of camera configurations and lighting technologies, and software modules paired with Key’s C-Belt® infeed conveyor, G6 Operating System, and state-of-the-art air ejectors. It is easy to use, versatile, accurate, and reliable.

Since its introduction in 1995, product refinements continue to keep Tegra® at the forefront of its class. Most of these refinements are standard on newly manufactured systems, and can be quickly retrofitted to existing Tegra® sorters. Service and training are available before, during, and after installation.

Click here to learn about our online and instructor-led training courses for Tegra® Optical Sorters.

Tegra® Optical Sorter is Available With Vis/IR, Tri-Chromatic, Monochromatic, or Ultraviolet Camera/Lighting Tegra® Optical Sorter Tegra® Optical Sorter - Subtle defect discrimination—industry’s best color/spatial resolution and repeatability

Features and Benefits of the Tegra® Optical Sorter

  • Subtle defect discrimination—industry’s best color/spatial resolution and repeatability
  • Unobstructed line of sight—top/bottom 4-camera configuration views product from all sides (economical 2-camera TopView-only systems available)
  • Uniform sorting—9 lamps (instead of the standard 2-3) flood the inspection zone with consistent lighting
  • Hands-off cleaning—CIP systems clean camera windows/backgrounds
  • Minimized downtime—electronic circuitry isolated for operation under wide range of conditions

Brilliant Illumination

  • Vis/IR, tri-chromatic, monochromatic, or ultraviolet camera/lighting options available
  • Vis/IR and UV use both multiple spectra of light to spot such hard-to-detect, same-color flaws as defects in peel-on potato products, ­Japanese beetles in blueberries, or nightshade berries in fresh peas
  • Stable, all-solid-state Vis/IR lighting means less maintenance downtime

Tri-chromatic Cameras

  • Key’s proprietary red/green/blue line scan technology
  • Pixel (individual color element) area of 0.56 mm2 for high-quality images

Monochromatic Cameras

  • Black and white vision for accurate, economical sorts
  • Useful in high-capacity operations where subtle color defects are not critical (for instance, French fry and potato chip applications)


Tegra’s C-Belt® uses gravity and centrifugal force—not friction—to move product into the inspection zone without damage, and at consistent, volumes. You get uniform tracking for successful defect removal.
  • Repeatable product trajectory and uniform tracking for consistent sorting
  • No more rolling product—even handles pearl onions and grapes
  • Maximizes good-product recovery, especially for round items such as peas and baby carrots
  • Gentle product acceleration
  • No product loss from belt stains
  • Systems for wet or dry products
  • Other infeed systems available


Tegra’s IntelliSort ejection system features 256 ejectors—almost twice as many as in conventional sorters, and spaced a mere 6 mm apart. Only 1 millisecond after the cameras detect a color, shape or size flaw, Tegra® valves release the air blast that rejects the defective product. This exceptional response time pinpoints ejection with unparalleled accuracy
  • Unmatched accuracy in defect removal
  • 1-millisecond valve response time and close ejector spacing for pinpoint ejection, minimal rejection of good product
  • Ejects whole piece, rather than just aiming at defects—better defect removal
  • Long-life ejector valves for reliability
  • Easy adjustment to different products or specifications
  • Simple, user-friendly operation, cleaning, and maintenance

Process Control

  • FMAlert™ - an enhanced quality monitoring capability that allows processors to improve the tracking and control of foreign material (FM) by capturing FM occurrences in an event log with time and date stamp
  • OPC Communication Link - we can easily connect Key equipment to plant-wide networks enabling outbound and inbound communications to monitor and control equipment settings


Optional Features

Auto Valve Check—helps assure that Tegra’s ejection system is functioning properly, which improves food safety and product quality while reducing demands on labor.

Sorter Reference Information

Key Technology | 150 Avery Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362 USA