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WECO THE SCIENCE OF OPTICAL SORTING

WECO The Science of Optical Sorting logo


CONTACT INFO

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Address

1311 Bluegrass Pl.
Woodland
CA, 95776
United States
Phone
425-802-3313
Fax
Primary
Bryan Chambers

WECO Sorting & Automation - World Leader in Optical Sorting

WECO (Woodside Electronics Corporation), based in California, has been designing, manufacturing, and servicing electronic sorters for over thirty years and has thousands of units deployed worldwide. WECO serves several industries: tomato sorting on the harvester; the walnut industry; and several small fruits including, blueberries, cranberries and wine grapes.

 

Technology/Product


Revolutionary Technology

Technology That Provides Efficiency, Reliability, and Performance While Saving You Money

Our Optics

chromax-logo

WECO Optical Technology

 

LED Illuminator

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) can be found in a wide variety of products today: cars, computer screens, televisions, traffic signals, home and commercial lighting, and even rifle scopes to name just a few. LED advances over the past decade have been driven by the need for more efficient and longer lasting light sources for all types of illumination tasks. LEDs today can output many times the light LEDs could output just a few years ago. The Chromax LED illuminator uses the latest state-of-the-art LEDs for the highest output, reliability and efficiency possible.

 

Durable

The Chromax LED illuminator has no spinning mirrors. In fact, there are no moving parts at all. All alignment and calibration is done at the factory and due to the rigidity of the optic modules, they are unaffected by rough treatment during shipping and operation.

 

Diffuse

All photographers know that the key to a good photograph is proper lighting to achieve the desired effect. The same is true for optical sorting. The image seen by the sorting camera is very dependent on the nature of the illumination. Unlike laser based systems, the Chromax LED sorting optics generate horizontally diffuse illumination. This minimizes spectral reflections from shiny or wet objects, and the resultant color errors.

 

Controlled Depth of Field

While being highly diffuse horizontally, the special optics collimates the light vertically. Not only is this a very efficient use of the light generated by the LEDs, it also allows for a controlled depth of field and excellent color calibration without requiring a background surface/roller that must be kept very clean. WECO Free-Space Optics eliminate the need for controlled backgrounds and the associated maintenance.

 

Full Color Spectrum

Chromax sorters are full spectrum sorters operating over the entire visible and infra-red spectrum. Multiple color spaces are used to make the sorters extremely flexible tools for performing a wide variety of sorting tasks. Modeled after human color perception, the sorter is very intuitive to setup and fine tune in operation.

 

Modular

In the unlikely event a Chromax optic module fails, it can be replaced in a few minutes on site by a WECO technician without requiring alignment or calibration. This limits the risk of lengthy and costly down-time.

 

Efficient

The WECO Chromax sorters have very low power requirements and do not require active cooling. There is no need for fans or chillers even in ambient temperatures over 100° degrees F.

Multi Camera System Advantage
Multi Camera System Advantage
WECO's Wine Grape Sorter uses the latest ChromaxHD optical sorting technology and advanced algorithms to efficiently remove under- and over-ripe fruit and foreign material (MOG). This offers vastly improved quality with increased throughput at a fraction of the price of alternative methods. Our system is also designed to be easy to understand and operate, employing intuitive controls and a touch-screen interface refined over the last thirty years. Automation through the WECO's Wine Grape Sorter can provide tremendous gains in productivity and labor efficiency.
Wine Grape Sorter
Wine Grape Sorter
Our sorters remove MOG (Material Other than Grapes)—stems, jacks, shot berry and other types of foreign material including RAISINS. Automated MOG sorting with WECO's optical sorting system will result in a higher through-put and reduced labor.
WECO Sees Their Optical Sorter in Action at 7 Napa Valley Wineries

WECO had the pleasure of visiting several of our customers during their busiest time of the season - harvest! Although not all wineries were running their fruit at the time, we were able to see our optical sorters in action at several places. The wine makers and vineyard managers were extremely pleased with the sorting outcome and were truly excited to see how efficient, time-saving and affordable our WineGrapeTek sorter is. A big thank you to the wineries that welcomed us during the sorting process: Keever, Spottswoode, Quintessa, Arkenstone, Brasswood Napa, Kenzo Estate and Blankiet Estate.


News Archive


WECO Doubles the Size of the WineGrapeTek Optical Sorter Fleet & Continues Expansion into Wine Industry
16 August, 2017

The Woodside Electronics Corp (WECO) of Woodland, CA who for the last 35 years has manufactured agricultural optical sorting systems, is pleased to announce their continued expansion into the wine grape sorting arena.  

Woodside has focused on this segment of the market since 2010 and through extensive engineering and field work, has this year doubled the size of its WineGrapeTek fleet of optical sorters.  

Says Bryan Chambers, Director of Wine Grape Operations for WECO, “We’re very fortunate to have a fantastic team here at WECO and even more fortunate to have partnered with some very high profile customers in the wine making industry”.  

Chambers further credits the unmatched, on-site technical support that WECO provides its partners in the field. This support combined with a very flexible sorter rental option and an American made machine, make WECO’s WineGrapeTek an unbeatable sorter in the wine making industry.

Click here for more information. 


Better Quality Grape Sorting with Automated Optical Technology: Get Yours Before Harvest
10 July, 2017

 

Better Quality and Higher Throughput

WECO's Wine Grape Sorter uses the latest ChromaxHD optical sorting technology and advanced algorithms to efficiently remove under- and over-ripe fruit and foreign material (MOG). This offers vastly improved quality with increased throughput at a fraction of the price of alternative methods. Our system is also designed to be easy to understand and operate, employing intuitive controls and a touch-screen interface refined over the last thirty years.

Automation through the WECO's Wine Grape Sorter can provide tremendous gains in productivity and labor efficiency.

Optical MOG Sorting for the Wine Industry

Our sorters remove MOG (Material Other than Grapes)—stems, jacks, shot berry and other types of foreign material including RAISINS.  Automated MOG sorting with WECO's optical sorting system will result in a higher through-put and reduced labor.

Click here for more information. 


Better Quality Grape Sorting with Automated Optical Technology: Get Yours Before Harvest
10 July, 2017

 

Better Quality and Higher Throughput

WECO's Wine Grape Sorter uses the latest ChromaxHD optical sorting technology and advanced algorithms to efficiently remove under- and over-ripe fruit and foreign material (MOG). This offers vastly improved quality with increased throughput at a fraction of the price of alternative methods. Our system is also designed to be easy to understand and operate, employing intuitive controls and a touch-screen interface refined over the last thirty years.

Automation through the WECO's Wine Grape Sorter can provide tremendous gains in productivity and labor efficiency.

Optical MOG Sorting for the Wine Industry

Our sorters remove MOG (Material Other than Grapes)—stems, jacks, shot berry and other types of foreign material including RAISINS.  Automated MOG sorting with WECO's optical sorting system will result in a higher through-put and reduced labor.

Click here for more information. 


Get All Your Grape Sorting Questions Answered
28 November, 2016

Join us this Thursday, December 1, 2016 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in booth #705 to learn more about our optical MOG sorter. Meet with President Don Douglas and Vice President Eric Horner for video demonstrations and to answer all of your MOG sorting needs. Read below for more information about the WIN Expo.

WIN Expo

The 5th Annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo has quickly become an integral event for the North Coast wine industry bringing Sonoma, Napa, Lake & Mendocino Counties together for an all-inclusive Trade Show & Conference experience. WIN Expo continues to draw the highest caliber exhibitors and over 3300 attendees making it the second largest wine industry trade show in North America. The event is held in two adjacent buildings, the Hall of Flowers and Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, CA on Thursday, December 1, 2016.

WIN Expo will feature seven educational conference sessions focusing on efficiencies in wine production, vineyard operations, financial forecasting, marketing technology, and government legislation. Industry experts will discuss current trends & issues facing the North Coast industry and how to better prepare for 2017.

Join 300 of the industry’s best suppliers and service professionals exhibiting their most current, innovative new products and services along with 3000+ attendees from across the country.

Don't have a ticket?

Today is the last day to to receive a free trade floor show pass on us! Click the link below to get your ticket.

winexpo.eventbrite.com/?discount=WEC705


WECO Donates Optical Wine Grape Sorter for Research
26 September, 2016

Sorting and Automation Solutions has donated a state-of-the-art optical wine grape sorter worth $71,500 to the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis.

After stems are removed from grapes, the sorter removes all material other than grapes (MOG). It uses advanced cameras, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and software technology to identify remaining stems, insects, unripe, damaged fruit and raisins. Unwanted items are removed with precise blasts of air, increasing quality and throughput while reducing labor costs.

“We are so pleased to be in a position to donate our WineGrapeTek Optical MOG Sorter,” said Eric Horner, vice president of WECO (Woodside Electronics Corp.)  “We think the opportunity for students to be exposed to this technology during their education will provide a great understanding of the benefits.”

Students working with latest technology

When asked how having a WECO Optical Wine Grape Sorter was beneficial to his students, Charles ‘Chik’ Brenneman, Winemaker at UC Davis’s Department of Viticulture and Enology said, “The students benefit by being exposed to technologies that are being introduced in the wine industry. They gain practical experience in how to set up all the process equipment that surrounds the sorting unit and understand the mechanics of the process flow.  From a fruit quality standpoint, they learn the impact of removing bad fruit from the process stream as we ferment sorted, non-sorted and rejected fruit.  Because we are a teaching facility, the students actually get to taste the wines made from the rejected fruit.”

WECO started doing trials of the optical sorter in the wine industry in 2010 and has made a number of changes to the design and function. In 2014, the company introduced a new camera system that improved performance dramatically.

“We design our machines from the ground up, including the circuit boards and our own custom software, and all machines are built in Woodland, Calif.,” said Don Douglas, president of WECO. “We have been able to leverage our extensive experience in other industries to provide a machine to the wine industry that is compact, easy to use and easy to clean. We are excited about the opportunity to serve the wine industry.”

Sorting experiments benefit the wine industry

Winemaker Chik believes that how sorting experiments benefit the wine industry is the million 

dollar question. “Many wineries make excellent wines with fruit that is not sorted.  As a result there are believers and non-believers in sorting. But one thing is for sure, that for the believers in sorting, an automated sorting machine can work faster and more efficiently than a group on the sorting table.  We are currently using the WECO sorter to experimentally quantify the differences between sorted and non-sorted fruit.”

WECO's Wine Grape Sorter uses the latest ChromaxHD optical sorting technology and advanced algorithms to efficiently remove under- and over-ripe fruit and foreign material (MOG). This offers vastly improved quality with increased throughput at a fraction of the price of alternative methods. Our system is also designed to be easy to understand and operate, employing intuitive controls and a touch-screen interface refined over the last thirty years. Automation through the WECO's Wine Grape Sorter can provide tremendous gains in productivity and labor efficiency.

Lab space vs classroom work vs wine making facility

The campus at UC Davis offers three state of the art academic buildings, a LEED Platinum Teaching and Research Winery, a thirteen acre teaching vineyard and several off campus attributes such as an Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Napa and several other vineyards for student use.

When asked what his students are doing on a daily basis Chik commented, “We are a teaching and research facility.  Our students engage in classroom studies and are then able to work in the winery performing all tasks related to grape processing and wine.  With respect to research, we employ precision winemaking techniques in order to control for variables.  We are currently doing research projects on grapevine disease effects on finished wines, grape sorting (WECO), vineyard canopy light penetration and its effect on wine, and a multi-vineyard site with Pinot noir grapes.”

Based in California, WECO has been designing, manufacturing and servicing electronic sorters for over 30 years and has thousands of units deployed worldwide. The company serves several industries including tomato, walnut, blueberry, cranberry and wine grape. Learn more at www.wecotek.com.

Learn more about UC Davis wine-related research, education and industry partnerships at wineserver.ucdavis.edu

Contacts: 

Eric Horner, WECO Sorting and Automation Solutions, 425-802-3313, eric@wecotek.com


Watch Discovery Channel's Segment on Our Sorters
15 July, 2016

For a better understanding of how WECO sorters work, view our segment from Discovery Channel's Innovation's show

.


Automated Grape Sorting - Better Quality and Higher Through-Put
14 June, 2016

Optical MOG Sorting for the Wine Industry

Our sorters remove MOG (Material Other than Grapes)—stems, jacks, shot berry and other types of foreign material including RAISINS.  Automated MOG sorting with WECO's optical sorting system will result in a higher through-put and reduced labor.

 

Better Quality and Higher Throughput

WECO's Wine Grape Sorter uses the latest ChromaxHD optical sorting technology and advanced algorithms to efficiently remove under- and over-ripe fruit and foreign material (MOG). This offers vastly improved quality with increased throughput at a fraction of the price of alternative methods. Our system is also designed to be easy to understand and operate, employing intuitive controls and a touch-screen interface refined over the last thirty years.

Automation through the WECO's Wine Grape Sorter can provide tremendous gains in productivity and labor efficiency.

 For more information click here! 


Unified Wine & Grape Symposium 2016
04 January, 2016

Come visit us at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium

January 26-28, 2016

Sacramento Convention Center

Booth #340

WECO's Optical Wine Grape Sorter uses the latest in optical sorting technology and advanced algorithms to efficiently remove under-ripe and foreign material (MOG) greatly reducing over sorting of good grapes.  Our system is also designed to be easy to understand and operate, employing intuitive controls and a touch-screen interface refined over the last 30 years.  The WECO sorter requires no active water cleaning and is very easy to santitize, requiring only 15 minutes or less.  Call Eric Horner for more information. (425) 802-3313

Please contact Bryan Chambers for pricing.

(530) 681-1390

bryan@wecotek.com

Title Name Email Phone
Bryan Chambers bryan@wecotek.com 530-681-1390
Owner Don Douglas don.d@wecotek.com 530-666-9190
WineGrapeTek
Multi Camera System Advantage Optical To view 32” of product flow (for example) with a single camera, either the camera has to be very far away, or use high distortion “fish eye” optics ...