New optical sorter for challenging food processing applications

Buhler SORTEX A MultiVisionThe Bühler Group, a provider of optical sorting solutions, has introduced the Sortex A MultiVision, an advanced high-capacity optical sorter designed for challenging food processing applications. Equipped with custom-designed Multivision camera technology, it is designed to deliver exceptional yield through superior defect and foreign material detection. It functions in the most difficult of dry commodity food sorting applications, where the strictest levels of food quality and safety are demanded.

Matt Kelly, the Sortex R&D director at Bühler, commented, “Mycotoxicology is currently a subject of international importance.  With the increasing incidence of mycotoxins in the food chain – toxic to humans and animals – processors of a wide variety of foods, all over the world, are seeking more reliable sorting solutions.  They need to remove these defects cost-effectively so that their commodities will meet the safety standards demanded of them.

He continued, “This is a major health issue for the consumer. So, in response to this need, we have invested heavily in the development of our most advanced optical sorter – the Sortex A Multivision – which is suited to a wide variety of dry commodity applications, including nuts, seeds, coffee and grain. Blighted product from a range of foodstuffs can be targeted, including such mycotoxins as sclerotia from sunflower seeds, vomitoxin from wheat, fusarium from barely, ergot from rye, and aflatoxins from peanuts and treenuts.”

The optical sorter’s advanced Multivision inspection system is a key element in driving the sorting performance. “This enhanced inspection system, with its four wavelength technology [visible and infrared] and PROfile [shape] detection technology, is able to identify defects not possible with RGB technologies”, Kelly noted.

Processors who seek ultra-precise sorting for high volume applications can benefit from Bühler’s enhanced InGaAs camera technology. This has been created specifically for high-speed optical sorting, enabling the Sortex A MultiVision to identify the subtlest of colour defects, which means it can accurately remove contaminated product and ‘same-colour’ foreign material.

Matt Kelly stated, “Managing highly contaminated input product also becomes easier, thanks to a user interface with improved mapping technology and an enhanced background design that provides better detection of subtle colour variations, spot defects and foreign material. We expect businesses in many different sectors to see the benefits of the Sortex A MultiVision, because it delivers faster performance and finer sort qualities, for higher capacity processors.”

The five chute design provides processors with maximum sort configuration flexibility, providing both re-sort and simultaneous sort on the same machine. This delivers efficiency and productivity, with sort capacities of up to 15 tonnes per hour, dependent on the commodity and application.

Maintenance requirements are kept to a minimum. Sophisticated dust management, including sealed optical and control boxes protecting essential components from dust, minimise downtime and increase hourly capacity and yield. Low power and low air consumption, along with long-life, high-speed ejectors, further reduce operational and maintenance costs.

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