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Filper Selects Clippard for Selective Peach Pitter


Application Story Published by Clippard, November, 1980

Canned cling peaches are the world’s largest processed fruit crop, and the majority of the world’s peaches are processed on two very unique, patented pieces of equipment—the “Selective” Clean Cling Peach Pitter, and the Standard Cling Peach Pitter, manufactured by Filper Corporation, Reno, Nevada, a division of Di Giorgio Corporation.

Basically, the Filper Clean Pitter is a totally non-lubricated, corrosion-resistant machine that automatically determines the most suitable method of pitting—then either torque or spoon pits each peach as required to maximize yield and reduce canners’ rework labor.



   Pneumatically-controlled Selective Clean
   Cling Peach Pitter, manufactured by
   Filper Corporation, Reno, Nevada.

While earlier models were operated electrically, today’s “state-of-the-art” pitter is fully controlled by a pneumatic logic system using Clippard modular components on a plastic subplate. The four module circuit has two R-602 valves, an R-401, and R-461, plus a 2011-1 sensing limit valve. The circuit was a cooperative design with Filper and Gerry Brunken, Bay Pneumatic, Inc., Clippard distributor in Redwood City, California.

When “Selective” was first offered, the Pitter handled 58 peaches per minute. The introduction of the Clean Pitter has increased this figure up to 90 peaches per minute—a 55% production increase. The machine normally works on a round-the-clock basis in most of the major canneries.




   "Arms" of transfer grip and hold peach under
   maximum control as slicer prepares to cut
   the fruit in half for pitting.






The stainless steel and plastic Clean Pitter is totally sanitary, using no oil or grease. Water flows continuously during pitting to assure cleanliness, cooling and lubrication.

In operation, peaches move along a conveyor to the machine’s infeed area. Each peach is delivered individually into a self-cleaning, snap-out cup located on a rotary index tray. As each cup rotates, then stops, it becomes perfectly aligned with the high speed transfer that “grips” the fruit gently, but under maximum control, and places it into the slicer/pitter mechanism. The peach is sliced cleanly in half, then rotated to separate the pit from the halves.

If the pit is split and remains in the halves, the R-461 modular valve receives a signal and actuates an and air cylinder spoon mechanism that cuts the pit out. The peach halves are then placed on a discharge conveyor and moved on to the next stage of the canning operation.

   Photo shows Clippard Modular Valves on
   plastic subplate (left), rotary index tray with
   peaches in cups (rear), peach ready for slicing
   and pitting (center).

Commenting on the Clippard pneumatic modular control system, Thomas J. White, Filper Vice President/ Engineering Manager said, “The introduction of the air logic system on the clean pitter has not only given us high speed performance and lowered total pitting costs, it has added a great deal of efficiency and reliability to the machine’s operation. We have minimal fruit damage, and have greatly reduced repitting and rework labor in the canneries.  While the pneumatic circuit is relatively simple in design, it has helped provide a giant step forward in production efficiency.”

Filper Corporation was formed more than 25 years ago by members of the Filice and Perrelli families who owned and operated three of the largest fruit canneries in California. It began with the development of a patented process for the automatic torque pitting of clingstone peaches. It was acquired by the Di Giorgio Corporation in 1969.

Filper moved to its present Reno location in April, 1977. It has 86,000 square feet under roof and currently employs approximately 225 people. Along with the Selective Clean Cling Peach Pitter, the company also markets palletizers and depalletizers, plus bagging, weighting and conveying equipment for the potato, onion, carrot, and citrus industries.