Central Valley Bean improves yield with SORTEX’s Digital Solutions

Central Valley Bean, USA


Central Valley Bean improves yield with SORTEX’s Digital Solutions

Central Valley Bean, USA

Central Valley Bean is a cooperative that processes a large share of the United States pinto bean crop. The cooperative recently switched to Bühler’s SORTEX H SpectraVision, due to an interest in its Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital capabilities. This resulted in a reduction of time and money that the cooperative needed to spend on sorting and reduced the need for operator interaction as well.


Located in the far north of America’s farming region is a small town with a big impact. Buxton, North Dakota is home to 382 people and Central Valley Bean, a cooperative that processes a large share of the United States pinto bean crop. 

After years of using different sorting and cleaning technology for their beans, the cooperative recently switched to Bühler’s SORTEX H SpectraVision, which utilizes machine learning and data, captured directly from the machine’s real-time performance, to improve productivity and decrease the amount of good product being rejected. The company previously required a second round of sorting to reach satisfactory levels of rejected material, however, now achieves the desired standard in just one pass. The switch reduced the amount of time and money the cooperative needed to spend on sorting, and thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the remote insights made possible with Bühler Insights, less operator interaction is required. 


Optimizing performance with SORTEX H

The SORTEX H came at a time when Central Valley Bean was seeking out profitable ways to improve their yield while still maintaining the standards of quality their customers demanded. 

SORTEX Monitoring System (SMS), Bühler’s digital service, was another major incentive for Central Valley Bean’s investment. With features including remote access to the dashboard, real-time performance monitoring, and supplier quality comparison, SMS provides the essential information to optimize performance.  

Pinto beans are not easy to sort due to their variety of mixed colors. But with the self-correcting aspects of the AI in SORTEX H, combined with SORTEX Monitoring System, we were able to achieve incredible results.

Scott Sundeen, Plant Manager at Central Valley Bean

Sundeen continued: “Not only is the reject concentration continually improving due to the AI, but the SORTEX H requires less operator interaction. And when our operators do interact with it, the new interface is amazingly easy to use. Digitalization in the SORTEX H took our sorting to the next level right away. It was an immediate improvement in our reject concentration, meaning we were losing less good product to reject.”

Reaching the next level of quality

Aidin Milani, Sales Manager of Pulses & Spices at Bühler, had the following to say about the collaboration with Central Valley Bean: “It really comes down to that last piece of stone or foreign material in the product. That was the start of the discussion with Central Valley Bean – to just get to the next level, produce 

cleaner products, increase efficiency, reduce waste, and produce better products for the customers.”

The work Central Valley Bean is doing in their small corner of the northern region translates to a solution for a much larger problem that exists on a global scale. As the world’s population grows exponentially, with less arable land available to grow the proteins we need, agricultural industries look toward nutrient-dense, cheap-to-grow foods that can accommodate more people. Additionally, in the context of the struggle of high food waste, there is more pressure for agriculture increase efficiency while maximizing yields and reducing waste. Every minute counts, and the speed at which the SORTEX H was up and running, coupled with its self-correcting and self-learning aspects, made a world of a difference.


Content Block

How can we help?

Gupfenstrasse 5