Saturday, 06 February 2016

FRUIT LOGISTICA 2016 becomes capital of fresh produce trade for three days

FRUIT LOGISTICA 2016 becomes capital of fresh prod...

  From February 3 to 5, FRUIT LOGISTICA in Berlin is the place to be for everyone that wants to k...

Perupas shortlisted for Fruit Logistica Innovation Award

Perupas shortlisted for Fruit Logistica Innovation...

  WOW! Colourful Perupas made by Dutch company HZPC were selected by the international Fruit Logi...

Givaudan celebrates ten years of ethical sourcing

Givaudan celebrates ten years of ethical sourcing

  Givaudan is marking a milestone in its journey to sustainable natural ingredients with an event...

Kiremko starts construction works at new facility

Kiremko starts construction works at new facility

  On February 1, the construction of the new Kiremko building started in a festive way in Montfoort, T...

Potato cultivation programme lifting people out of poverty in Africa

Potato cultivation programme lifting people out of pove...

  The Irish Potato Coalition is a programme set up by Vita, an Irish NGO, which works with communi...

Combined power drives TOMRA Sorting Food

Combined power drives TOMRA Sorting Food

  Optical food sorting system manufacturer TOMRA Sorting Food has reached an important milestone in it...

Sensor-based systems for the potato industry exhibited at Fruit Logistica 2016

Sensor-based systems for the potato industry exhibited ...

  A new edition of the Fruit Logistica trade show is set to take place in Berlin, Germany, between Feb...

AHDB launches website to improve potato chips quality

AHDB launches website to improve potato chips quality

  With the frying trade accounting for 12% of the Great Britain potato crop, ensuring quality across t...

Snack manufacturer Ibersnacks assesses its weigher-bagger equipment

Snack manufacturer Ibersnacks assesses its weigher-bagg...

  Snack manufacturers with high production outputs to pack and large orders to fulfil are among the mo...

FAM and Stumabo launch NECST - Next Evolution in Centrifugal Slicing Technology

FAM and Stumabo laun...

  FAM Stumabo developed NECST TM, an ambitious R D proj...

Potato chips in Canada - All dressed up

Potato chips in Cana...

  If you want to try potato chips with ketchup, dill pick...

Pasteurization - It’s all about safety first

Pasteurization - It’...

  Improved shelf life for food products is essential – no...

Kiremko and Packo present new product pump

Kiremko and Packo pr...

    Dutch manufacturer Kiremko and Packo, designer and c...

Company introduces potato starch for clean label food coatings

Company introduces p...

    Eliane™ Bind 12 is a potato starch with unique propert...

Welsh potato growers get latest know-how on Potato Day

Welsh potato growers...

  Over 50 potato growers gathered at the County Showground ...

Chile considered robust market for American agricultural equipment

Chile considered rob...

  In the most recently released U.S. Department of Commer...

Dundee-China collaboration discovers potential ‘Achilles heel’ of potato blight

Dundee-China collabo...

  Scientists working in Scotland and China have uncovered...

SmartStor controller wins Certificate of Merit at Lamma 2016

SmartStor controller...

  Lamma 16, the first major farming event of the year too...

Another stage completed at new Agristo cold store

Another stage comple...

  Egemin Automation has embarked upon a new major phase i...

TWELVE years ago four engineers in Belgium got together and jotted their ideas down on paper. Their only option for work space was the garage of a house, in Kapelle, Belgium.
And so the story of BEST (Belgian Electronic Sorting Technology) began.

With their years of experience in optical sorting technology, Bert Van der Auwera, Paul Berghmans, Eddy De Reys and Marc Ruyman were convinced there was a need for a new generation of modern and efficient sorting machinery, and they set out to develop a high-tech laser sorter for the removal of unwanted substances from a stream of good product, based on differences in colour and structure.
And, thanks to the improved efficiency and performance they managed to achieve, the four came up with highly reliable and user-friendly equipment to do the job - and so BEST was born.
In a short time, BEST managed to establish a prominent position in the industry and grew to international importance.
And it all came about, partly because someone wanted a sorter that could detect defects in raisins - defects in the sticky fruit that were the same colour.
This lead to the invention of a new generation of sorting technology - the laser sorter LS9000TM designed and manufactured by BEST.
A year later the BEST laser sorter had revolutionised several new markets worldwide and in 1998, the company had to establish bigger and better equipped headquarters plus a network of agents in countries that were using their products.
The year 1998 also saw BEST's directors win the technological innovation award from the King Baudouin Young Entrepreneurs Foundation.
Another award for entrepreneurship came their way in 1999 as the company continued to grow and expand.
The start of the new millennium saw BEST open a branch in Colorado, USA, as their products were now being used in 28 countries. And the headquarters had to move to yet a bigger building in Belgium while the high capacity laser sorter the ARGUSTM was designed.
By taking over the MachineVision group from BARCO in 2003, BEST expanded and strengthened its market share in several countries while at the same time, acquiring some new applications. LED, X Ray, Camera Dual and measuring on belt were added to the stable while Fluo technology for sorting machines was introduced.
Due to the fluorescence features of certain products, the patented laser fluoTM technology gives an even better contrast to detect colour and texture differences. It creates a kind of black and white contrast that results in a very high detection efficiency and very little false reject.
The GeniusTM sorters were introduced in 2005 and modfied again the next year as BEST celebrated its 10th anniversary and the free-fall sorter, the Helius was introduced on to the market.
And growth continues: BEST now has subsidiaries in The Netherlands, two in the US and Hong Kong as well as in Belgium, while its turnover last year was in excess of €50 million (£40m) and its staff had grown to 180 people.
The four directors of BEST have continually invested their profits back into the company with research and development being their priority. At the same time, as staffing needs grew along with an increased demand for their product and their current site at Haasrode in Heverlee, Belgium will have doubled in size by the end of this year.
And it's not stopping here, says director Bert Van der Auwera.
"We have 50 R&D people who are continually finding electronic solutions to sorting problems and, as more applications come to the fore, so we will come up with the technology to suitably meet customer requirements."
Innovation can be found in different domains and all departments of the company, Van der Auwera said.
"R&D is continually searching for and developing new technologies and applications. This is, in fact, the core business of the company. BEST is built on continuous technological innovation."
BEST's laser sorter is an extremely hi-tech product and unique among its kind. Because of the complexity of optical lasers, which have to be able to work with the mechanical separation of good and bad product.
No other manufacturer in the world to date has managed to build a similar machine with the same performance and reliability.
And the search for perfection goes on.
"It is a never-ending struggle to keep up to date in a world where software and hardware developments evolve even faster," comments Van der Auwera.
After the free-fall laser, BEST have developed
dual sorter (camera and laser), FluoTM technology, infra-red lasers, X-Ray detection, the 2000mm wide sorter, biological detection and digital hardware processing systems.
The laser sorter is the perfect combination of optical, electronic, electrical and mechanical ingenuity. This was the beginning and the breakthrough for BEST and today it still represents a large part of the company's turnover.
Belgium is now only five per cent of BEST's market with the rest of Europe accounting for 40 per cent, the United States 30 per cent and the rest of the world 25 per cent.
BEST is better, it would seem.

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