Kronen receives patent for pitting and peeling technology on avocados


Germany-based Kronen delivered its first robotic solution for avocado processing in April 2024 and it didn’t take long for the patent on their technology to follow.

Showcased for the first time at Fruit Logistica, Kronen’s process enables the sensitive fruit to be processed gently in an automated procedure through its Robot Avocado Line. The company developed it in a research project in cooperation with the German Institute of Food Technology (DIL).

“We were able to make the most of our team’s many years of experience when it comes to processing, especially cutting and peeling,” explains Benjamin Keske, Project Manager at Kronen. “We also acquired comprehensive expertise on the properties and processing of avocados. We then incorporated this expert knowledge into the robotic tools and processing steps, which we further developed by running tests and optimizing the solution based on the results.”

Ripe and ready-to-eat avocados are sensitive and pose difficult challenges when it comes to processing, which is why they have mostly been processed manually, even in industrial facilities. Automated avocado processing using a robotic solution requires specially adapted tools that gently pit and peel the fruit while still enabling a high yield and an efficient process.

KRONEN’s Robot Avocado Line, which uses one to three robots to halve, pit and peel large amounts of avocados efficiently and hygienically, reliably ensures a consistently high processing quality. It also spares manual laborers from wrist strains.

A Patent as a Result of Expertise, Research and Development

KRONEN worked together with the industry to develop the innovative line from the first demand to the market-ready / industry-ready solution.

“The combination of our developments with the robots from Stäubli offers companies that process large quantities of avocados a gentle processing solution with a high degree of automation,” Keske said. “Both the strong interest attracted among industry players worldwide after showcasing the solution at exhibitions and the fact that we have been granted a patent for our method demonstrate that we identified the industry requirements at an early stage.”

Specially Adapted Tools for an Automated Processing Method

Alongside its pitting and peeling unit, another component of the Avocado Robot Line is its grabber, which is specially adapted to handle the shape and texture of avocados and was developed by the DIL in its joint research project with KRONEN. These grabbers are mounted on Stäubli robots, which perform the fully automated processing steps consecutively (with one robot) or in parallel (with two or three robots) once the avocados have been placed in an inlay tray by an employee.

  • A conveyor belt transports the fruit to the measuring station, which measures the fruit and transmits the data to the robot, which in turn adjusts the grabbing and peeling processes to suit each individual fruit.
  • The robot uses the grabber specially adjusted to hold the fruit to pick up the avocado and transport it to the pitting unit.
  • The knives cut the flesh in half and clamp the stone.
  • The grabber pits the first half of the avocado by rotating around the pitting unit.
  • The robot then peels the avocado by moving it over the peeling knife, which separates the peel from the flesh.

Depending on the capacity and customer requirements, the good product can be collected in crates or discharged via a belt. As the product leaves the system, an employee visually checks the processing result.

Videos of the Robot Avocado Line:

More information on the research project



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