Bühler's Optical Sorter Innovations Anticipate Future Customer Needs

(October 26, 2018) - “Bühler is always trying to improve its offering to our customers,” says Don Uglow, Bühler’s North American Account Manager. “The industry can depend on us to be there with new innovations, even before they are needed. For example, when an international customer told us they needed to separate out fusarium-infected wheat, we developed an algorithm that enabled our sorters to make that separation. As a result, we can now make that technology for our customers, worldwide.”

Optical sorters have come a long way since Buhler’s ‘Sortex’ began (initially, under the ‘Gunson Seeds’ label). They are now the most advanced technology used by the seed industry. Over 70 years of innovation and cumulative progression, informed by customer needs, has improved seed sorting dramatically, especially in the last 15 years.

Innovative Improvements

A design breakthrough in LED lighting texture helps Bühler proprietary multichromatic cameras – already exceptionally sensitive – to detect subtle seed discoloration and defects, including varying degrees of purples, greys, yellows, streaks, pecks and immature or infected seeds.

Furthermore advances in digital technologies make it possible to monitor performance remotely – from a laptop or smartphone. Remote internet access also provides real-time monitoring access for Bühler engineers, enabling them to support sorter operations, anywhere in the world, reducing downtime to a minimum.

“We back this up with excellent training, service, and field support,” Uglow says. “Offering viable solutions to customers’ concerns is our number-one priority. We are never satisfied with the status quo.”

Digitalization - Bühler is laying the foundations

“Digitalization and innovation are huge opportunities for businesses in almost every industry, including agri-seeds. This is why we are developing new products and services that utilize the power of the Internet of Things. We want to help our customers to better monitor their overall cleaning performance, so that they can take corrective action sooner, to ensure they maximize yield of their valuable seeds,” says Aron Demeter, Bühler’s Segment Head for Grains and Pulses.

Bühler is already creating added value for customers with innovative, data-driven services, which can be found on the Buhler Insights platform. In the future, countless networked sensors will continuously monitor a wide range of parameters and this data will be analyzed in real time, enabling transparency and unprecedented process control, helping to increase efficiencies and reduce waste.

Don Uglow and Aron Demeter will be at ASTA, Chicago, Dec. 3-6, 2018, and would be delighted to discuss seed sorting and industry topics with you. Visit them at booth #202; O'Mara #300.


Every day, billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies to cover their basic needs for food and mobility. We strive for innovations for a better world, with a special focus on healthy, safe, and sustainable solutions. We contribute significantly to feeding the world’s population, while setting the focus on food security and safety. Our solutions and technologies enable efficient and clean mobility.

We are a leader in processing grains, rice, cocoa, coffee, and other raw materials. Also, we are a leading solution provider of die-casting and surface-coating technologies in high-volume application areas, such as automotive, optics, and inks. As a leading technology group, Bühler invests up to 5% of its turnover every year in Research & Development. In 2016, its roughly 10,500 employees in over 140 countries generated a turnover of CHF 2.45 billion. The globally active Swiss family-owned company Bühler is particularly committed to sustainability.

We want our customers to be successful. We want every human being to have access to healthy food. We want to protect the climate with energy-efficient cars, buildings, and machinery.