LONDON, ENGLAND — Bühler announced on March 23 its addition of a new remote monitoring system that gives users access to online system data, allowing them to track the performance of their optical sorters via a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. SORTEX AnywarePro brings current digital trends to optical sorting.

Processors need accurate information fast, whenever and wherever they are in the world, the company said. Information such as machine performance, alerts to faults and everyday sorting data are valued by operators. Data can be used to optimize a plant’s performance and maximize profitability.

Processors globally are also under intense pressure to comply with the stringent and ever-changing safety regulations that affect the way they process foods. Total control over the performance of their sorting equipment coupled with accurate, detailed audit trails, is essential for optimum sorting performance and full traceability, the company said.

Until now, the performance of each optical sorter had to be monitored and analyzed individually. Bühler’s SORTEX AnywarePro software collates all the relevant data, such as sorter status, machine performance, fault alerts or component lifetime indicators to aid processors in making better informed plant management decisions. It can even highlight potential issues with other parts of the plant.,For instance, a sudden increase in foreign material can indicate that other removal machines, such as a destoner, or magnetic separator, are no longer performing efficiently.

With the new SORTEX AnywarePro system from Bühler, processors can now remotely monitor their optical sorters at any time of day to access real time data from their plant and pre-empt problems which may occur.  Other features include:
• Wear information with the Component Lifetime Indicator functionality
• Sorting statistics and historical data such as defects by date
• Fault logs and notifications
• An audit log
• Support from Bühler engineers around the world using built-in instant messaging

SORTEX AnywarePro can also reduce costs, the company said. The traceability and log functions track the sorter performance, level of defects, any changes to the sorter and which operator made them. This audit trail allows the processor to trace back and verify any issues, should negative feedback be received. This, in turn, helps to protect the revenue stream by pre-empting problems and potentially, significantly reducing downtime. Additionally, the new Component Lifetime Indicator functionality provides a life expectancy for component parts, giving processors advance notice to order spare parts, while the Remote Assist function enables engineers to provide remote expertise and performance monitoring, enabling them to make improvement suggestions, and performing service tasks remotely to minimize downtime, the company said.

“Bühler understands that food processors are facing challenges with guidelines for food quality and especially food safety, so require the ability to closely monitor plant performance, whilst providing complete traceability,” Neil Dyer, Global Product manager, Bühler.  “SORTEX AnywarePro’s ability to monitor sorting performance remotely, offers processors these vital checks and balances, while also enabling them to keep downtime, and therefore costs, to a minimum.”
SORTEX Anyware Pro is now available on the SORTEX S Ultravision and will soon be launched on other ranges within the Bühler optical sorting portfolio. It is an optional feature forming part of the SORTEX Total Care customer service package and contracts are available for different durations.