November 19, 2013
Full Colour Sorting Adds Extra Quality & Flexibility to Expanded MasterSeeds Production
State-of-the-art full colour optical sorting, widely employed in food processing, is adding valuable extra quality and flexibility to MasterSeeds production at Agrii’s Finmere centre on the Oxfordshire-Buckinghamshire border.
Particularly effective at removing unhealthy, discoloured or spotted grains – including those affected by fusarium – as well as foreign and weed seeds, the advanced unit is central to the £2 million expansion of the seed production centre currently being completed as part of the company’s current MasterSeeds investment programme.
With more than 35 years in the business Finmere seed production manager, Martin Vousden sees the latest colour sorting technology providing important benefits in the consistent production of the best quality seed for UK growers.
“Amongst the many advantages it gives, the efficient elimination of ergot is especially important with the scale of modern barley contamination, in particular,” he pointed out. “The 10 cameras and 270 air jets they control in the fully computerised sorting unit identify and remove ergots far faster and more consistently than conventional tables and water separation.
“So, as well as boosting Finmere production capacity by a good 30% to 60t/hour, the extra seed line of which the sorter is part will seriously increase quality processing options and flexibility across our four UK MasterSeeds plants. This is essential in allowing us to meet the ever-shorter lead times of our customers while offering the widest possible range of variety and seed treatment combinations.”
With extra intake facilities, full cleaning and separation equipment, the latest Bayer Evolution precision seed treatment unit and its own weighing and packing system, the all-new Finmere seed line is being installed parallel to and fully integrated with the plant’s existing three.
The existing building complex has been substantially extended to accommodate it, and a new finished product warehouse will be erected within the next six months to complete the plant’s current expansion.