As revealed in an article in “RECYCLING Magazin”, Bühler has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the innovation category. The prize was awarded for its camera technology used in sorting machines, which was developed at the British branch of the company from the St.GallenBodensee Area.
On the one hand, the camera technology can be used in the nut and frozen vegetable sectors for promoting better food safety. The camera can recognize the subtlest of color and shading contrasts that indicate contaminated foods. On the other hand, the technology can be used in plastics processing to detect lower grade foreign material or discoloration. This improves plastic recycling rates.
Benedict Deefholts, Senior Research Engineer at Bühler UK, said: “The innovation here is our ability to gather such large amounts of data and then use that data to optimize a conventional narrow band digital camera so that it is capable of quickly and efficiently detecting very specific things.”
One of the criteria for a Queen's Award is that the technology should not just be innovative, but it must also be scalable and commercially viable and have resulted in a material improvement to a commercial process.