A review of bin filling technologies for apple harvest and postharvest handling

Zhang, Z. and Pothula, A. K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6129-5194 and Lu, R. (2018) A review of bin filling technologies for apple harvest and postharvest handling. Applied Engineering in Agriculture, 34 (4). pp. 687-703. ISSN 0883-8542

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Bin fillers play a critical role in transporting and distributing fruit evenly and without bruising into individual bins or containers from harvest platforms infield or sorting lines in the packinghouse. Over the years, a large variety of bin fillers have been developed for infield use and postharvest handling. This article reviews different bin filling technologies in terms of major design features, performance, and throughput, as well as automatic control and safety features. For infield
use, bin filler designs have evolved from the early use of conveyors and reciprocating plates to recent adoption of soft pads and foam rollers, to reduce bruising and improve fruit distributions. For postharvest use, tilted bins and conveyors commonly used with early bin fillers have been replaced with hinged trays and vacuum suction cups for fruit transport and cylinder brushes and swingable dividers for bruise prevention. While many types of bin fillers have been developed, few are suitable for infield use because it imposes more constraints than postharvest use. Despite the use of automatic sensing and control in most bin fillers, human assistance is still needed during their operation. There are still major issues with the current bin fillers, such as large size, complexity in design, uneven fruit distributions, and low throughput. Further effort
should, therefore, be directed towards the development of high throughput, simple yet reliable, compact and fully automated, or even intelligent bin fillers for infield and postharvest use.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2019 06:04
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 04:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: apples, automation, bin filler, harvest, infield, postharvest handling
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4099 Other engineering > 409901 Agricultural engineering
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.13031/aea.12827
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35692

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