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Bühler invests in optical sorting at new centre

By Rod Addy , 23-Jan-2013

Bühler Sortex has invested in the latest optical sorting technology as part of the facilities at the customer service centre it plans to open on February 25 in East London.

The process engineering specialist said it had replaced previous facilties with the 500m² centre, featuring an applications laboratory.

“Our new facilities replicate factory conditions and visitors can see sorting demonstrations of fresh, chilled, frozen, dry and dehydrated foods, as well as non-food commodities such as plastics,” said Colin Chaffers, Bühler Sortex director of customer service and technology.

The centre has an applications library, containing the results of all optical sorting samples trialled and tested in London.

Customer training

It also has a lab to analyse customer samples and carry out research projects into areas such as toxins, a meeting room, a customer training centre; and a customer relaxation area, complete with TV, Wi-Fi and refreshments.

“This is just the latest in a series of customer service centres we operate in locations around the world,” said Chaffers. “It’s been designed to enhance our customers’ experience and provide them with the facilities they need in a welcoming and comfortable environment, whether they are with us for training or to see our technology in action while testing their products.”

The centre has already been endorsed by several food manufacturers. Commenting on a preview of the site she had been given, Tatyana Seryakova, Tecofood head of production Ukraine berry processor Tecofood, said: “The new centre is very impressive.

“Myself and two colleagues received a week’s training there – we were the first, I believe. My company already uses a Sortex E1D [machine] for sorting frozen blueberries, but we want to be able to use it for sorting lingonberries, too, which is why we came for training.”

Ambient temperature controls

The site features ambient temperature controls, replicating the temperatures of frozen food processing plants so manufacturers can handle product without having to defrost or damage it.

Staff from Soufflet Alimentaire, one of France’s largest food groups, have also experienced the new centre. Alain Caudron, group engineer for Soufflet Alimentaire, one of France’s largest food groups, said: "The training was excellent and the training room itself was superb.”

The centre is located close to London City Airport and motorway networks, and is therefore accessible to customers from outside the UK as well as those within it.

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