Bühler introduces intelligent optical rice sorter

by World Grain staff
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LONDON, ENGLAND — The Bühler Group has introduced the SORTEX S UltraVision, addressing critical industry issues.

The sorter defines the exact quality level for their rice, even when faced with highly contaminated incoming material – and in just three easy steps. Yield is not compromised, which enables processors to deliver increased value for money to their customers.

“Existing optical sorting solutions restrict adjustment for defects without specific controls, so rice processors have been forced to compromise between meeting customer specifications or minimizing reject – until now. The SORTEX S UltraVision revolutionizes this,” said Neil Dyer, Global Product Manager for Buhler Sortex.

Designed and built in the U.K., the SORTEX S UltraVision is Bühler’s highest ever capacity sorter for rice. With up to six modules, a patented high capacity feed system and improved detection of defects, it is the culmination of over 65 years of sorting experience. The Bühler Sortex design team have created a completely new optical sorter, from the ground up and, packed with new, advanced, proprietary technologies.

Built-in intelligence enables the sorter to make intuitive decisions about which grain is good and which grain should be rejected, while its specific defect detection capability allows processors to adjust their sensitivity for each of multiple defects, individually. This functionality gives processors unprecedented control. They can now define the exact ‘accept’ levels necessary to meet their customers’ requirements - thus eliminating waste and boosting profit.

“Many customers stress their need to remove yellow grains reliably, but agree that slightly grey or under-milled grains are acceptable up to a certain threshold,” said Ben Deefholts, Bühler Sortex rice specialist. “Until now, operators could not distinguish between different shades and have had to increase overall sensitivity in order to remove all subtle yellows, thereby also removing all subtle greys and ultimately reducing yield.”

The Bühler SORTEX ProSort software features intelligent modes. These modes hold the detailed characteristics of individual rice varieties and defects, allowing operators to tailor sort quality precisely and improve yield. The new user interface gives easy control, allowing swift changes from one rice product to another, or one quality standard to another, significantly reducing costly downtime.

“Processors can consistently achieve export quality by just selecting the rice variety, setting each defect’s sensitivity and pressing start,” said Deefholts.

By constantly scanning passing rice, self-learning as product changes and adjusting itself automatically, the SORTEX S UltraVision removes the need for manual intervention and consistently operates at the optimum level until the end of every batch. 

New Textured LED Lighting technology, together with proprietary-designed, multi-chromatic ‘Ultra’ cameras, detect defects almost imperceptible to the human eye. Plus, Bühler’s intelligent new Crosshair Targeting technology improves the accuracy of ejection, even at very high capacity, by firing just the right amount of air, removing fewer of the good grains with the reject. 

The completely new mechanical design of the SORTEX S UltraVision makes daily operation even easier. For instance, a simple release opens a cover, allowing unprecedented access to key optical areas, without the need to remove chutes or receptacles. An operator can routinely clean dust in seconds, preventing any build-up of meal on the viewing glass that could otherwise compromise sorting performance.

The SORTEX AnywarePro, allows customers 24/7 visibility of online data for maximum product yield and sorting optimization, fault alert, and system usage statistics. Customers can further benefit from Bühler’s global support, providing fault and predicitive wear diagnostics and system performance analysis.

“The all-new SORTEX S UltraVision forms part of Bühler’s wider range of next-generation high capacity, energy efficient, ‘UltraLine’ rice processing equipment delivering outstanding productivity, coupled with lower running costs, to help rice processors improve the sustainability of their operations and maximize their revenue,” said Bühler Sortex Managing Director Hamid Kefayati.