Bühler SORTEX providing optical sorter solutions

by World Grain Staff
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LONDON, ENGLAND — Bühler SORTEX has provided optical sorting solutions recently to two sunflower seed operations in Europe.
At its facility in Carmona, Spain, Syngenta is using a Bühler SORTEX Z+ RBL optical sorter to upgrade quality in sunflower seeds. Jamie Critelli, former Syngenta supply chain project manager, seeds, said performance is judged by the extent to which germination is maximized and the appearance of seed lots enhanced.
“We look for improved yield and consistent sorter performance, which is demonstrated in increased productivity and lower operating costs,” Critelli said. “We benefit, too, from the multiple sorter configuration options that the Z+ offers.”
In the specific case of the sunflower seed process, he points to the highlights of SORTEX Z+ performance.
“We saw an opportunity to scan our sunflower seeds better, reduce waste and improve quality and throughput,” he said. “We improved quality dramatically by removing sclerotia, stones and sticks.”
Bühler's SORTEX solutions use custom designed IR cameras, built in-house, to detect the most subtle color defects. Sclerotia are particularly challenging as they blend with sunflower to confuse visual identification and cannot be removed easily by most conventional technologies. Bühler, however, applies solutions that make detection and removal straightforward. 
Golden Mühle of Ladbergen, Germany, has installed the latest sorting technology from Bühler, including all new optical sorters.
“Foreign material can be introduced into our product from the field, during transport, in processing and in the final packing process,” said Ulrich Wendeln, chief executive officer and company owner. “Since the installation of the SORTEX optical sorters, our many customers have appreciated our improved product safety and Golden Mühle has seen its volume of orders increase.”
“The new SORTEX Z+ sorters have given us unbelievable standards of detection and removal of defects,” said Michael Zube, managing director. “By combining several technologies working in unison, including Bühler’s high definition cameras and enhanced InGaAs cameras, we are able to remove even the smallest color deviations, different shades of hulled sunflower seeds and foreign material.”