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Buhler optical sorting goes to seed

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Buhler optical sorting goes to seed

July 28
13:34 2013

Buhler’s optical sorting technology is helping a sunflower seed firm get a handle on quality.

ND-based Red River Commodities installed Buhler’s Sortex A ColorVision InGaAs high-capacity optical sorter to ensure quality of seed output. Red River operation and engineering manager Todd Mondry told FoodProductionDaily.com that the equipment has increased both yield and quality.

“The results of the Sortex A color sorter have been amazing,” he said. “The resulting quality of the product is near perfect purity with minimal good seed losses.”

Quality counts

Mondry said resulting output quality now approaches 99.99%, with higher capacities than before. He added that its capability to do multi-pass sorts on a single machine makes setup and operation easier and quicker.

Red River’s Sortex A system is fitted with an enhanced inspection system, including four-wavelength technology (visible and infrared) and PROfile shape detection technology. The firm also has Sortex Z+R optical sorters equipped with InGaAs and PROfile shape technology for its undecorticated sunflower applications, and a Sortex Z+B for decorticated sunflowers.

High standards

Mondry explained that customers view near-perfect sunflower seeds as a necessity, not a premium.

“Meeting that challenge wasn’t possible without adding Sortex technology into our process flow,” he said. “Adding Sortex color sorters into our process really has put us at the cutting edge of seed-cleaning capability.”

In addition to quality-checking seeds, the technology kicks out foreign materials, such as stems, stones, glass and a troublesome fungal mycelium called sclerotia. It also can kick out non-seed portions of the sunflower plant, such as stalks and petals.

Since the new optical sorting system was installed, Mondry said, Red River Commodities has been satisfied with UK-based Buhler’s equipment and their service.

“They are a progressive company and more technologically advanced than any other,” he said.

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