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09.09.2019 Bühler again wins royal accolade

Bühler UK Ltd, the London-based subsidiary of the Switzerland-headquartered multi-national, on 12th September received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its optical sorting technology. Johannes Wick, Bühler Group’s CEO for grains & food, said: “This breakthrough technology will make the difference for us in the market for years to come. What is now in reach are applications to grade raw materials for composition and to remove invisible contaminations. This will be a major contribution to providing healthy and safe nutrition around the world.”

This year’s award is in recognition of Bühler’s development of a unique camera technology used in sorting machines, capable of recognising the subtlest of colour and shading contrasts in materials and foods, thereby significantly increasing detection rates for foreign materials, potential choke hazards, or contaminated foods. The technology is currently being used by food producers in Europe and the USA. They report an increase in detection rates of foreign materials by 10%, from 85% to 95%. A single Sortex optical sorter can control up to 150,000 single grains or 15,000 peas per second with a capacity of 12t/h, securing highest food standards.

The Bühler PolarVision camera technology is also being used to detect lower-grade or discoloured polymers to ensure the highest quality recyclate can be achieved by plastic recyclers. By detecting such high rates of contamination, it is now possible to produce food-grade plastic packaging from 100% recycled material, cutting the need for virgin plastic production and levels of plastic being sent to landfill.

Since the introduction of the Sortex E optical sorter using BioVision technology, sales of Bühler sorting solutions into the nut sector have doubled. The technology is now being used by the world’s top nut producers globally to detect blemished nuts along with the smallest shell fragments in walnuts, pecans and pistachios.


After the award ceremony at Bühler’s production facility in London, from the left: staff members Althea Loderick, Rokhsana Fiaz and Stephen Timms with Ben Deefholts, senior research engineer; John Barber, deputy lieutenant  for the London Borough of Newham (who presented the Queen’s Award); Timothy Kelf, head of sensor development; Johannes Wick, CEO grains & food; and Matthew Kelly, managing director digital technologies



SORTEX F with high-precision BioVision camera technology

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