Taking the labour out of packing fruit

Fruit packing is usually a labour-intensive process associated with high costs, inconsistent packing quality and increasing difficulties with finding workers. To overcome these challenges, there is a need for a machine that can automate the packing of apples or pears in trays.

This explorative project will build new knowledge about suitable computer vision and image processing technologies for inspecting fruit quality on a rotating station, positioning fruit in the right direction and transporting it to the tray.

Lead SME, Stas NV will work with technology experts at Sirris to evaluate the technologies and identify possible solutions to meet fruit packing needs. The objective is to create a solid starting point for discussing the development of an automated packer with a relevant technology partner.

Final project summary
This project has provided a clear understanding of the necessary technologies and their feasibility for our newly developed packaging machine. We are confident that we will be able to implement them in an automated packer in the near future. We are currently taking the necessary steps to develop the project further with the support of VLAIO. The development of this packaging machine is already underway with Festo as our technology partner, and we have engaged an additional support partner “Vandelanottein Strategic Business Solutions” to guide us. Without the support of the involved partners, the project would have taken considerably longer to complete and the feasibility much more difficult to assess given the evolving market.

Over the next two or three years, we expect a turnaround from the currently stagnant and expensive packaging industry to a cost-reducing conversion of benefit to producers and consumers. We expect 25% growth in turnover over this period.

See the overview of funded projects

Project title

SmartPacker – computer vision for automated fruit sorting and packing

Voucher type


Lead SME

Stas NV

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