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FMAlert™ FAQ

What is it?

  • A capability of the G6 Version 1.8 Operating System Software, enabled by application specific KeyWare® (which holds the key to “turning it on”).
  • Data (time, date and image) which customer is responsible for integrating into their own process.
  • Images of anything seen by the sorter that falls outside of a pre-defined color space OR a sort parameter that has been identified as known “FM” (e.g. anything blue in a flow of corn on a white belt).

How does it work?

  • FMAlert™  KeyWare® has a specific parameter designated, typically “FM” or “Other”, which will trigger a frame grab, thereby creating an image with a corresponding time and date stamp in the file name.
  • The image files are stored on the UI computer hard drive for access at a later time or for archival purposes.
  • It must operate within a customer-designed and operated “process” of image management.  The feature only provides data.

What is the value to a customer?

  • Customers can now track FM or other critical events as identified by the sorter.
  • Data from individual lots or batches can be objectively qualified/quantified.
  • Possible verification of actual targeting and ejection of FM (match the image to FM found in the reject stream).

Which applications does it work for?

  • Initially available on Raptor Laser Sorters only or specially selected applications.
  • Where FM events are typically low to medium frequency (too frequent of FM events points to other process problems). 
        High Frequency:  > 100 events/8 hr shift (~ 12/hr)
        Medium Frequency:  4 – 100 events/8 hr shift
        Low Frequency:  < 4 events/8 hr shift
  • Green Beans and Tenderleaf (Spring mix and baby spinach) have been tested and shown promising results.  Any G6 KeyWare® can be evolved to include the FMAlert™ feature.
  • It works best in those applications where there is consistent segmentation and stability in the sensor performance.
  • Contaminated optical surfaces and high-moisture applications will be more difficult to implement.
  • Ideal for those applications that have exceptional contrast between good product and potential FM (e.g. FluoRaptor™).

When is it available for sale?

  • It is available for sale now to customers with existing equipment.
  • For new systems, FMAlert™ can be included as part of the original quoteas an option. .

What does the customer need to do to get it working on their sorter?

  • Have a dialogue with Key’s applications engineers with respect to current KeyWare® and application details.
  • A very clear understanding of what they want to accomplish.
  • A process for implementation that includes FM definition and a specific “image-management” plan, i.e. how often images will be reviewed, how/where they will be reviewed,  image disposition, action requirements, etc.
  • A well segmented and maintained sorter.
  • Version 1.8 of G6 software.
  • FMAlert™ enabled Keyware.

How is it delivered?

  • Usually via CD.  Other methods are possible, e.g. e-mail.

What’s it take to operate it?

  • A process needs to be put in place by the customer for the definition, operation, and review of results.
  • There is an on-off “switch” that activates the feature.

What should a customer be aware of?

  • FMAlert™ provides data only; it is up to the customer to manage it.
  • There will be false images (triggered by a variety of issues).
  • Poor segmentation or obscured optical surfaces will cause problems.
  • You may learn more about your sorter and current sorter management practices than you want to know.
  • Plan to start slow to work through issues that the implementation of this feature will expose.
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