QualySense and Ferrum take seed sorting to the next level

Zurich based QualySense developed QSorter devices for the inspection and sorting of grains, seeds, and beans. Together with its partner Ferrum, the company has installed the first production-scale device, capable of handling up to 3000 kernels per second.

QualySense is a world pioneer in advanced robotics and sensing solutions to reduce seed waste and automatize quality inspection of seeds, grains and beans. Its proprietary QSorter technology is the most advanced high-speed single kernel robotics and data solution at the heart of its inspection and sorting devices. The company has produced over 50 units of its first device, QSorter Explorer, currently being used by more than 20 customers on 4 continents. According to Francesco Dell’Endice, founder and CEO of QualySense, this device has enabled famous companies to ensure that their breakfast products are gluten-free or do not contain genetically modified organism (GMO).

Last week, the company unveiled and announced the installing of its second device, QSorter Horizon, in partnership with long-term partner Ferrum, a Swiss company that for more than 100 years has been innovating the food and beverage industry with packaging and process systems technologies.

Sorting 3000 kernels per second
Designed for production scale, QSorter Horizon can analyse and sort up to 3'000 kernels per second, a game-changer for the seed industry since it allows for recovering significant quantities of seeds that otherwise would be wasted. During seed processing, up to 10 per cent of seeds go to waste due to quality issues, and not all discarded seeds are bad. Unfortunately, no technology to this day has been able to recover the good seeds. In fact, losing 1’000 kg of corn seeds is equivalent to losing 1 hectare of arable land (an entire soccer field) and emitting 3’000 kg CO2.

“The QSorter Horizon is the reason for which we funded QualySense back in 2010. Our team and Ferrum have done an outstanding job in assembling this first unit, and we’ll now work more together to make this product a market success,” says Dell’Endice. The company has several requests from companies worldwide, as revealed by Dell’Endice.

“It has been fantastic cooperation between a thriving start-up and an “old” more traditional company. We are very much looking forward to expanding our partnership with QualySense and together revolutionize the food industry to the benefit of customers, consumers and mother earth,” says Beat Bühlmann, President of Ferrum AG.

QualySense has grown to 40 employees and raised CHF 20 million so far. For the next phase, the company aims to install more units of the QSorter Horizon in the Americas and Europe, establish a global distribution network and reach profitability.

(Press release/RAN)