The performance of sorting equipment is characterized by sorting performance i.e. how well does the sorting machine separate the target materials, grains from debris, damaged apples from good apples or intact perfect almonds from hulls, twigs and stones that have the same size and color as the good almonds.
The other important performance parameter is speed. Small objects, millions of them, need to be evaluated on the fly, literally during the time it takes for the object to fall through the few inches of space before it needs to be ejected or allowed to be collected in the clean product stream.
Hyperspectral imaging is called in when the simple color sorting or the use of less than 2-3 wavelength is just not enough. The available full wavelength range in the VNIR region (400-1000 nm) has much more information than the RGB channels of a color camera.
Specific combinations of the hundreds of data points allows for sophisticated recognition of the main products vs the foreign materials. This is extremely important to identify the “within-specification” products from the “out-of-specification” ones.
The new FX 10 VNIR hyperspectral camera from SPECIM Spectral Imaging and distributed by Middleton Spectral Vision of Middleton WI, has the best in class optical performance at a low cost. The FX 10 has a very high speed performance of 330 fps at full spectral resolution, better than 2000 fps using a 20 wavelength region-of-interest(ROI) and in excess of 6000 frames per second using 5 wavelength information. The combination of high optical performance and high speed at an affordable price makes this camera the engine of high performance sorting for individual critical sorting as well as a desirable OEM component for large numbers of sorting applications.