Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant debuts the Buhler Sortex Z+


The Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant is home to a new piece of high-tech equipment. The Buhler Sortex Z+, or the color-sorter as it's better known, uses fluorescent lighting, and high-resolution cameras to detect, separate and clean grain. On the basis of color, shape, or other optical properties, defective items and foreign materials are identified and separated from the product stream, using a blast of air.


Typical contaminants in grain include, stones, sticks, husk, hulls, ergot, debris and weed seeds. Defective grain can also be removed by the infrared technologies of the Sortex Z+, such as unripened grain, grain with color defects or spot defects, and broken grains. The good seed travels straight through the chute, while the unwanted particles are blasted out.
Since it became operational in July of this year, the color-sorter has been kept busy. So have the operators, as Greg Andrews of the Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant comments, " It has taken a bit to learn how to run it, since it is computerized and fairly high-tech."
Every aspect of the Sortex Z+ is computerized. There is a computer control panel on the actual machine, and one on the computer in the office, for efficiency. The function of the sorter can be controlled, everything from sort sensitivity, to an actual picture taken by the internal cameras, to pinpoint the contaminant.
The color-sorter is different from conventional seed cleaning practices in that it has to be kept in a warm environment because the fluorescent lights need to remain at 29 degrees Celcius, so it has it's very own room. This innovative machine determines the purity of input product with exceptional accuracy within a split second. Most importantly, it makes for safe, clean food.