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Buhler Sortex put SORTEX K through its paces for fresh products

12.06.2008 After the highly successful launch in 2006 of the SORTEX K optical sorter for frozen products, the new fresh product version was tested during the 2007 season. The first site chosen was at Iberfresco of Olmedo in Spain. Iberfresco believed in colour sorting their products frozen, but were willing to see the effect of sorting in a fresh environment.

Over the summer period, trials were completed on broad beans, peas, cut green beans (flat and round) together with root vegetables including carrots and potatoes and certain modifications were made.

The main difference between the frozen and wet version of SORTEX K is the addition of a Powerslide belt instead of the UHMW chute of the frozen version. This belt is fitted with ABTT (automatic belt tracking and tensioning).

A simple cleaning system using low volumes of water was tested and proven and certain areas were improved for easy cleaning. Changes were made to the four high-definition cameras to cope with the additional water passing through the sorter.

Miguel Sanchez Plant Manager at Iberfresco said “ After the season, we saw clear benefits to sorting in the wet environment and purchased two SORTEX K units for this option together with a third machine for post freezer sorting also”.

“What we particularly liked was the ease of use of SORTEX K, its reliability, and the little amount of calibration that is necessary – less than once a week” continued Miguel.

A second site was chosen at a leading vegetable processor in France. A range of vegetables were tried successfully.

This company reports : “We had successfully used Sortex Niagara machines at our plants for several years. We found the new SORTEX K is certainly a big step forward. The high-defintion cameras enable the removal of the smallest defects. The loss of good product has been dramatically reduced. The reliability of ABTT has reduced cost and downtime and the PROfile system with new ejectors, manufactured by Buhler Sortex are a big improvement”.