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The sun comes out for the SORTEX K

24.10.2008 Buhler Sortex presents to Pan-European audience in Belgium. Everyone involved in the vegetable industry in Northern Europe is only too well aware of how much rain has fallen this summer. However, one lucky day proved an exception. This was 4th September, which was set aside by D’Arta of Ardooie, Belgium and Buhler Sortex of London, to show two SORTEX K optical sorters running fresh whole green beans in D’Arta’s new factory.

More than 50 visitors from 30 of Europe’s leading vegetable and berry processors were present. Visitors from Belgium and Holland were joined by guests from Romania, Portugal, Spain, France and Hungary.

Buhler Sortex presentations traced the path of the new SORTEX K formally launched in 2006. These provoked lively discussion on its benefits from the floor. Of particular interest was the “Spy in the Sky” InGaAs technology developed for the defence industry to detect concealed military camps in jungle terrain. InGaAs technology has been incorporated by Buhler Sortex in its custom cameras to detect and reject difficult to find foreign material, which conventional sorters fail to detect, such as pale wood, plastics and cardboard. The vital benefit to consumers is increased product safety in fresh and frozen vegetables.

The question most often posed by delegates was, “How much good product is lost with the reject?” The answer was given by the machines themselves in the working part of the Open Day. The two machines were sorting to previously unachieved levels at 12-14 tonnes per hour.

Jean Pierre De Backere, Managing Director of D’Arta said. “We have run the two new SORTEX K on peas, wax beans and now whole and cut green beans and have been amazed at their ability to sort foreign material with the highest recovery rates”.

The day finished with a buffet lunch at the ‘t Hazeveld restaurant – an ideal setting for delegates to engage in wide ranging discussions. The occasion was welcomed as opportunities like this are rare in the industry.