Bühler Deploys SORTEX FA1 at Fruit Logistica in Berlin

The Bühler Group debuted its new compact SORTEX FA1 optical sorting platform at Fruit Logistica 2018 in Berlin, Germany, on February 7. Designed especially to provide final quality checks in fruit and vegetable packing lines, the equipment is also ideally suited for processing plants in which space is limited or in lines dedicated to running lower volumes of premium niche and organic products.

buhler logoThe SORTEX FA1 follows the successful introduction of the larger SORTEX FA2, which has raised the bar in hygienic optical sorting and offers what Buhler engineers describe as “the most open, accessible and easy to clean frame available on the market.” Coupled with SORTEX PolarVision technology, it provides food processors with an advanced foreign materials (FM) detection system.

The launch comes as the global frozen fruit and vegetable market is poised to grow more than 5% annually to 750 million tons by 2027, according to projections from Market Research Future. Innovation in freezing technologies and cold chain logistics also mean that demand for optical sorting technology is expected to rise to keep pace with changing market dynamics.

“Our customers require the right technology and service for their needs, which is why we are continually expanding our sorting portfolio,” said Stefano Bonacina, Bühler Group’s segment development manager for fruits and vegetables in Europe and the CIS. “The SORTEX FA1 is the perfect solution for businesses processing smaller quantities of high value product – particularly organic produce.”

exterior SORTEX F 1 7047The FDA-compliant SORTEX F range is not only designed to prevent the build-up of pathogenic bacteria and cross-contamination that can incubate food-borne diseases, it is also resistant to high-pressure jet washes to allow convenient and rapid cleaning between sorts.

SORTEX PolarVision, together with PROfile shape technology, provides extraordinary FM and extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) detection. When combined with Ejector+ technology, featuring 128 new powerful ejectors with 25% more force, it can cope with everything from fine wood shavings to stones and glass.

“It’s no surprise that the intense focus on safety and quality has led to a proliferation of new technologies to address these issues. However, with such a plethora of choice and quality standards now available, it is vital that manufacturers and processors diligently research the options that meet their precise sorting needs before committing to any major capital investment,” said Joel Chase, Bühler’s global product manager for fruits and vegetables.

He continued: “The 600mm-chute SORTEX FA1 sorting platform fulfils the stringent demands of today’s market. It boasts the same cutting-edge technology as the larger 1200mm-chute, 14 tons per hour SORTEX FA2, but within a smaller footprint handling up to seven tons per hour. It is ideal for processing plants where space is at a premium, or for lower capacity sorts – and perfect in the packing hall for final quality checking.”

Visitors to Fruit Logistica interested in learning more about the new SORTEX FA1 are invited to visit the Bühler team at Stand B-03 in Hall 10.1. The three-day show, which runs through February 9, will host over 3,100 exhibitors and is expected to attract more than 75,000 fruit and vegetable trade professionals from over 130 countries.