LONDON, ENGLAND —The Bühler Group announced on April 25 that is has sold more than 100 SORTEX S UltraVision optical sorters in Thailand since its launch in late 2014. The optical sorter is part of Bühler’s wider range of UltraLine high capacity energy-efficient rice milling technology. It has been welcomed by exporters and processors of premium rice including white, fragrant and parboiled for its new sorting capabilities, the company said. 
Riceland International is one of Thailand’s top three exporters of parboiled rice, which consistently sells around 400,000 tonnes of rice into the open market. The family-run company has been involved in rice trading for four generations, starting in the early 1900s, and it now owns and operates two rice mills producing parboiled rice. It bought seven SORTEX S UltraVision sorters in 2014.

“As Thai rice exporters, we place very exacting standards on our product quality and expect the same high standards of the machines we use to achieve this,” said Vichai Sriprasert, Riceland International’s president and chief executive officer, and former president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. “With the SORTEX S UltraVision from Bühler, we found a state-of-the-art optical sorter to match our demands. It offers high capacity, with outstanding sorting capabilities, which provides us with the reliability we require. This, combined with the excellent service provided by Bühler, makes investment in the SORTEX S UltraVision a compelling choice.” 

The Sangfah Group, specialists for over 25 years in Thai parboiled and white rice milling, is another key Thai rice processor that has invested in a total of eight Bühler SORTEX S UltraVision optical sorters.
Sangfah Group Managing Director, Kosin Jhongputthanasombut, said the SORTEX S  UltraVision offers superior and more efficient sorting, particularly of black grain, spot, purple and yellow grains, plus it is more cost-efficient, saves space and is cheaper to maintain than some alternative equipment.
 “We can also easily adjust the machine ourselves using the touchscreen and we’re impressed by its accuracy in that it rejects a much lower number of good grains – this is particularly important when sorting parboiled rice that tends to have a much higher number of different defects to sort than white rice,” said Jhongputthanasombut.
SORTEX S UltraVision includes pre-set modes that automatically learn the characteristics of any new grain that enters the machine, which means it can sort for different defect types simultaneously, such as chalky and pale yellows, without compromising the quality or yield, the company said. Furthermore, balanced and stable performance ensures optimum sorting is maintained all day, every day.
Prior to the release of the SORTEX S UltraVision, simultaneous sorting of color defects and chalky defects from white rice resulted in a big drop in sorting capacity if yields were to be maintained. The SORTEX S UltraVision not only copes with far higher capacity per chute for the same yield, but it can also handle a simultaneous color and chalky sort without loss of capacity or yield. This double performance boost is yet another reason why the SORTEX S UltraVision has quickly established itself as the preferred choice for maximizing revenue, the company said.
The company said it is efficient to run because it uses less compressed air – firing air more accurately using crosshair targeting at the center of the grain, which allows for a higher reject concentration and less need for re-sorting. There’s also the added bonus that the sorter needs little or no operator attention once the parameters are set.