Bühler's SORTEX solutions create value for Syngenta

11/21/2012 SORTEX Z+ RBL technology makes positive contribution to Spanish sunflower seed operation.

Syngenta, one of the world's leading seed and crop protection companies, is dedicated to one purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to its customers it helps to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life.

At its facility in Carmona, Spain, it relies on a Bühler SORTEX Z+ RBL optical sorter to upgrade quality in sunflower seeds. Jamie Critelli, former Syngenta Supply Chain Project Manager, Seeds says performance is judged by the extent to which germination is maximised and the appearance of seed lots enhanced.

“We look for improved yield and consistent sorter performance, which is demonstrated in increased productivity and lower operating costs. We benefit, too, from the multiple sorter configuration options that the Z+ offers.”

In the specific case of the sunflower seed process, he points to the highlights of SORTEX Z+ performance. “We saw an opportunity to scan our sunflower seeds better, reduce waste and improve quality and throughput. We improved quality dramatically by removing sclerotia, stones and sticks.”

Bühler's SORTEX solutions use custom designed IR cameras, built in-house, to detect the most subtle colour defects. Sclerotia are particularly challenging as they blend with sunflower to confuse visual identification and cannot be removed easily by most conventional technologies. Bühler, however, applies solutions that make detection and removal straightforward.

According to Alexander Proemer, Bühler’s Business Development Manager for Seeds, the relationship between Syngenta and Bühler is uniquely different from a traditional buyer/seller relationship., He explains. “For 150 years Bühler has made a point of engaging with each individual customer. Our long term success is based on creating customised solutions that meet a customer’s exact needs.”