APREX Solutions brings its expertise in machine vision to the R&D projects of Ÿnsect, a major player in Agritech.

APREX Solutions brings its expertise in machine vision to the R&D projects of Ÿnsect, a major player in Agritech.

26 08 2022 - Hélène GEORGE

Ÿnsect, a world leader in the production of insect protein for animal and human consumption, has chosen APREX Solutions' expertise to support them in the R&D of the Ÿnfabre project. APREX's camera image analysis solutions help select the best mealworm strains to optimize production quality.

The production of insects as a response to the challenges of a new alternative and sustainable source of food protein is a completely new market. Its development required a major research phase for Ÿnsect with an R&D program in two parts on the study of insects: genotyping (study of genes) and phenotyping* (physical characteristics). APREX Solutions was entrusted with the latter operation.

Observe and characterize, to identify champions

Insect phenotyping consists of analyzing each individual, in real time and continuously, to determine physical and anatomical characteristics, such as size and color.
The observations are made using state-of-the-art algorithms that combine the best of conventional vision methods and artificial intelligence.
The data collected, thanks to APREX Solutions' software suites - AX Vision and AX AI - are fed into a database whose objective is to select the insect strains that will combine the best performance criteria.

The first results of this research are expected within four years. Ÿnsect has announced the launch of its first breeding unit in France by 2026. Each unit will have the capacity to supply five farms with reproductive insects for an increased productivity of more than 15% in the first year. (source Maddyness)

Ÿnsect and APREX, a confirmed partnership

Since 2019, APREX Solutions has been supporting Ÿnsect production control projects, particularly on the Ÿnfarm vertical factory project, intended for the breeding and production of mealworms.
You can imagine the context: hundreds of tanks containing several thousand insects to be analyzed in a continuous process with several controls to be carried out at the same time. In concrete terms, this represents 936 million pixels to be analyzed in 12 seconds for more than 6 KPI measured in parallel. Knowing that this time period includes: capture, analysis, restitution of results, it is very fast!

APREX Solutions' technology and pragmatism made the difference

APREX Solutions' software solutions are based on algorithms resulting from over 10 years of R&D. They combine the best of conventional camera-based image analysis methods and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI). This technology and APREX Solutions' expertise in combining vision, algorithmic optimization, AI, and photonic optics over a wide spectral range has allowed to push information beyond the visible range.

However, any vision system, no matter how efficient it is at the feasibility study stage, must then be tested in the field. It must be able to be integrated into the production system, taking into account the constraints: production techniques, industrial environment, and interactions with the HMI operators (human-machine interfaces).

In this sense, APREX Solutions' solid experience in the field applied to quality control and manufacturing processes in various industrial fields, such as food processing, metallurgy, plastics, glass, textiles and mechanics, was a determining factor in the choice of Ÿnsect.
They were able to rely on APREX Solutions' approach, which claims to be transversal and pragmatic, with end-to-end project support: a tailor-made and à la carte service, from specifications to operational maintenance, including feasibility studies, prototyping, integration and implementation on site.

"We claim a human, pragmatic and efficient approach and we rely on a network of reliable partners (equipment suppliers, integrators...) to accompany our customers' projects from A to Z: from the identification of the need, to the implementation of the vision system on the production line, without forgetting the training until the desired level of autonomy.
Our objective is to contribute to the transition of companies to Industry 4.0 for a better rationalization and increased security of their production. 
Our ambition is to provide them with the simplest, most advanced and easiest to use solution and to position ourselves as a reference in the machine vision market,"

says Romain BAUDE, CEO of APREX Solutions.

*This study completes the high-throughput sequencing and genotyping performed by CEA-Genoscope and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Read the article published on Maddyness:
"Ÿnsect adds beetle genetic analysis to its bow"

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