Bühler sets global optical sorting standards

02/16/2012 For over 150 years the Bühler Group has developed ground breaking innovations in food process engineering. From its purpose built London base it designs and manufactures the most advanced optical sorting solutions that are available to the global food industry. Bühler's SORTEX optical sorting solutions have, since 1947, ensured that processors operate at maximum efficiency to achieve the highest possible Return on Investment while maintaining the highest possible standards of food quality and safety.

Bühler's success is rooted in its unconditional commitment to massive investment in Research and Development. Its SORTEX optical sorters have a worldwide reach and 20,000 installations have been completed in 140 countries.

Universal Application
Bühler's SORTEX solutions are trusted unreservedly by food processors in every sector. Right now, all over the world, every type of grain, seed, nut, bean or pulse is being sorted to the highest possible standards by Bühler technologies. So, too, are all kinds of fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables as well as a wide range of non-food products such as recycled plastic material.

Among the Bühler technologies that maximise processor efficiency are the 'Smarteject' reject system and alternative feed systems. The most advanced cameras are designed and manufactured in-house. Enhanced InGaAs technology adapts space programme technology to the detection of foreign material while PROfile shape technology can detect and virtually separate touching objects to achieve higher capacity shape sorting.

The triggers that prompt food processors to invest in Bühler solutions are product quality, demanding food safety standards, appearance, consumer satisfaction and, of course, productivity and profitability.

Today, quality, as it always has done, commands a premium. But other factors increasingly apply. As consumers become more discriminating in developed markets, they set a high value on the appearance and visual appeal of the food they buy. Then again, a combination of greater consumer expectations and government legislation make it necessary for food producers to adopt ever higher standards of hygiene and safety. Bühler is a key partner in making this possible.

The company's product range meets the needs of processors operating on any scale. Those working at higher volumes in the fresh and frozen fruit and vegetable sector choose the SORTEX K range, while smaller scale operators find a perfect solution in the SORTEX E range. Each have variants that are ideally suited to specific products. The recently launched SORTEX A has been especially designed for high volume rice processors and the SORTEX Z series is recognised as delivering outstanding solutions to processors of all types of dry commodities.

Quite simply, when food is assuredly free from foreign material – whether insects, glass, wood, plastic, shells or stones – the consumer experience is positive. Repeat sales are encouraged and brand reputation is enhanced.

Maximum Long Term Performance
Bühler customers get much more than the most efficient optical sorting solutions on the market. They benefit from committed and continuing post-sales support that creates long term partnerships targeted at delivering maximum productivity and profitability. A Bühler SORTEX solution will pay massive dividends while ensuring the lowest cost of ownership.

Bühler's commitment to each individual customer does not end with the sale and installation of the sorter. The company delivers support services tailored to all customers' specific needs under its Total Care banner.

Total Care contracts are offered at seven levels that cover every conceivable operational hazard. They are offered over a range of contract time periods. Customers can also benefit from Bühler's Anyware system. This is essentially a communications application that provides worldwide support at a local level. It uses a telecoms link to the Internet so that if a problem arises in sorter operation, an alert is raised and Bühler engineers determine the correct response. As a result, many issues can be resolved without the need for a site visit. To enhance preventive maintenance and ejector service and repair capabilities, an Anyware health check can be commissioned. This provides a predetermined number of remote diagnostic checks that facilitate rapid response to any problems that are identified.

Bühler delivers its support services through an extensive global network of 50 sales and service companies operating in over 140 countries. Since every installation, operating in specific sectors in different countries is unique, the cost of each Total Care package is assessed individually. By treating each customer as an individual with individual needs and expectations, Bühler emphasises its belief in a partnership in which each participant gains maximum benefit.

Bühler in Profile
In addition to its pre-eminent position in optical sorting, Bühler is the global leader in total processing solutions for high volume commodities such as wheat, coffee and rice. Its expertise ranges from consultancy and design to the construction and start-up of customer installations. The company's vast experience in food production, process engineering and die casting, backed, of course, by its huge R&D investment, offers customers a compelling proposition where maximum efficiency and profitability go in tandem with low operating costs.

Any company will, of course, present its performance in the best possible light. The judgments that are of the greatest importance are those of customers and independent observers whose opinions demand respect.

Well, Bühler's SORTEX optical sorting solutions have achieved consistent year-on year increases in total market share and earned it six Queen's Awards for Enterprise – the most recent in 2011. In addition to these eagerly sought distinctions it won the Exporter of the Year title at the 2005 National Business Awards. Bühler's client list includes many of the world's most successful and highly capitalised companies in the sectors in which it operates – a fact that gives added point to the old adage that you are known by the company you keep.

But what sets the seal on Bühler's reputation as a market leader in optical sorting is the fact that in some industries that apply its technology, sorted product is said to have been SORTEXED.

About Buhler
The Buhler Group is a global leader in process engineering and is particularly active in production technologies for food manufacture and engineering materials. It operates in over 140 countries and has some 7800 employees worldwide. In fiscal 2010, the Group generated revenues of CHF 1.9 billion.