Austrian bakery products manufacturer Arnreiter Mühle has improved profits, driven up product quality and cut waste by upgrading the lights in its Bühler Sortex optical sorter from fluorescent to LED.
The decision by the company to replace the more traditional fluorescent lights used in sorters is set to become an industry trend, as companies look to benefit from the lower running costs and the consistent illumination provided by LED lighting.
During the sorting of raw materials such as soy, wheat, malt, spelt, rye, barley and oats, the Bühler Sortex optical sorter is looking for the subtlest difference in colour to ensure it only rejects unwanted materials. Key to this process is the level of illumination of the raw material during the sorting process, to enable Bühler’s high-resolution optic sensors to operate at optimum efficiency.
While a relatively simple upgrade, the result of switching to LED three months ago is already paying dividends for the company. The industry shift to LED lighting is part of a wider move away from halogen and fluorescent bulbs, both in the manufacturing and domestic markets. LED is not only longer-lasting, but it is also cheaper to run, saving up to 60 per cent in energy costs.
Additionally, it performs consistently and offers a more directional light than fluorescent bulbs, making it ideal for projecting light onto the viewing area of an optical sorter. LED lights are also safer to handle during maintenance with no chance of them accidentally shattering. Installation time is scheduled for half-a-day and can take place during the annual maintenance service to reduce any potential production downtime.
Customers switching to LED lights also benefit from not having to pay for new fluorescent tubes every year as they degrade. LED lights operate at peak performance for five years, ensuring the sorters do not require recalibration as the lights deteriorate. Fluorescent tubing may also create an inconsistent illumination along the length of the tube resulting in variable sorting performance. The LED upgrade is available for the A, B and Z range of Bühler Sortex optical sorters.