Sortex receives fourth Queen's Award

by Emily Wilson
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Sortex Ltd., the U.K.-based color sorting unit of Buhler Ltd., Uzwil, Switzerland, was recently presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the U.K.’s top award for business. Awards are given in three categories, international trade, innovation and development, and are presented by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister.

This was Sortex’s fourth Queen’s Award. The company also was recognized in 1968, 1972 and 1987.

This year, Sortex was given the Queen’s Award in recognition of its innovative Niagara sorting machine, which simultaneously sorts fruit and vegetables by color and shape at high speeds. The Niagara sorts up to 40,000 objects per second, sorting on the basis of size, roundness, area, length and overall shape.

The Niagara also uses a bank of air injector valves to fire a blast of compressed air to remove defective product from the accept stream.

Established in 1947, Sortex is a pioneer in optical sorters for the agricultural industry. The company, based in London, also manufactures color sorting equipment for the grain industry.