- THE MAGAZINE
- FOOD MASTER
Bühler’s high-efficiency SORTEX E1A optical sorter offers fresh and frozen food processors unsurpassed standards of food safety and quality during the end-of-line packing process.
The SORTEX E1A optical sorter integrates Bühler’s custom-designed, high-definition bichromatic cameras and enhanced InGaAs and PROfile (shape recognition) technology, which collectively, provide efficient and flexible shape recognition.
Based on color and shape, the SORTEX E1A identifies foreign contaminants introduced from the field and packaging process, in addition to extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) and color defects.
Placed prior to food bagging or packing areas, the SORTEX E1A detects and removes foreign material that may have been missed in previous processes, or which may have entered the food line during subsequent handling. Packaging materials, such as wood from pallets, cardboard from totes and plastic from food liners, are efficiently removed.
The SORTEX E1A is fitted with enhanced InGaAs (Indium-Gallium-Arsenide) camera technology to identify challenging contaminants such as light-colored wood in potatoes, cardboard in carrots, cigarette ends in mushrooms and colored plastic in vegetable mixes. Originally developed for space-based Earth observation programs and adopted for military use, InGaAs cameras detect energies in the SWIR (short-wave Infrared spectrum). Frozen fruit and vegetables absorb energy at specific wavelengths, however foreign materials reflect it, appearing brighter when seen through InGaAs cameras.
The SORTEX E1A’s PROfile (shape) technology operates in tandem with the InGaAs cameras to remove rejects, which may be of the correct color, but not the correct shape. Typical examples are pods in peas, stems in beans and berries and misshapen carrots.
Featuring SMARTeject, the SORTEX E1A disposes of any item identified by the cameras as unacceptable via 128 pneumatic ejectors. The ejectors fire a jet of air directly at the defect rather than at a general area, significantly reducing the amount of good product lost.
The SORTEX E1A optical sorter includes an updated simplified software system for setting up and operating the machine. The software has improved the operator usability of the sorter, making it easier to adjust the individual sensitivities. Product modes can be stored, including pre-supplied modes and user-saved modes.
Fault alerts and health checks can be automatically accessed anywhere in the world via internet connection.