LONDON, ENGLAND — The Bühler Group recently installed its SORTEX Z+ optical sorter at Vetömag Derecske Kft, a family-owned seed production and cleaning business in Hungary, Germany.

In 2009, Vetömag established a seed cleaning plant in Derecske, where 20 employees are now dedicated to the quality cleaning and sorting of products such as mustard seeds, oil radish, dry peas and rapeseeds, although the site has the flexibility to clean other products when required. 

“We are equipped to prepare all kinds of grain crops and seeds for sealing as well as pre-cleaning, cleaning and packing, according to the needs of our customers,” said Ference Pálkutas of Vetömag Derecske Kft. 

Since its inception, Vetömag Derecske Kft has seen the business expand rapidly along with the number and variety of products that customers request to be cleaned. In order to meet this increasing demand, the company began its extensive research into advanced cleaning technology and, in 2013, invested in a bichromatic SORTEX Z+ optical sorter from Bühler.

“Previously we were reaching only half of our specified one-tonne-per-hour targets and had to sort twice, in order to recover good product that was being rejected or wasted,” said Pálkutas. “Ultimately, we had difficulty achieving acceptable yields.”

The new optical sorter is located as a standalone machine. It receives product from Vetömag’s pre-cleaning equipment, such as gravity tables and indent cylinders, and determines the purity of input product. High speed ejectors enable precise ejection, while uniform feed and optimal illumination result in the most accurate separation of defective items and foreign material on the basis of color, shape or other optical properties. The Bühler SORTEX series combines reliability, accuracy and flexibility, with consistent and high quality throughput.

“Recently, in response to a request from Vetömag Derecske Kft, we were delighted to return to the plant, to reconfigure the sorter and train the operators to use the equipment for removing peas from rice: a new and additional application that the company can now offer to its other customers and boost its profitability, during otherwise quieter periods,” said Aron Demeter, Bühler’s seed segment manager.