Coffee is the second most sought world commodity, behind only oil. Yet well ahead of natural gas, gold, sugar, and corn. 90 percent of the world's coffee production takes place in developing countries, and the top three producing countries are Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia.
With this type of market demand and consumption, precision agricultural machines (such as optical sorters) play a critical role in the processing of Arabica and robusta green coffee beans. From removing discolored beans and insect damage - to cleaning out foreign material such as sticks, rocks, and glass - optical sorters are a final check in the production process to assure the highest quality beans.
"Satake has been involved in the green coffee sorting and processing industry for decades. It is one of the most respected and well-recognized brands in coffee-producing countries from the Americas to Asia."
Satake has been leading the charge to bring awareness to roasted bean quality and inspection as well, by providing quality control solutions to roasters in the Americas and Asia. The Satake FMS2000 compact and cost-effective color sorter has helped lead this revolution. Customers are demanding the highest quality product, thus specialty and craft coffee is becoming more stringent in testing processes. There are bean imperfections that occur after the roast which may not be seen during the initial raw bean processing and sort.
In some instances, as seen on the PDF flyer to the right, cafe's are putting the FMS2000 compact sorter behind the counter and sorting roasted beans in real time for customers to help assure they are receiving high quality, consistent beans safe from foreign material.
☆ Typical Product Comparison ☆
Satake offers a wide range of sorting machines to meet every challenge and capacity. Incoming capacity ranges from small specialty mills, sorting hundreds of pounds per hour, to full scale production sorting tons of beans per hour. Satake listens to the customer's requirements and challenges, and then helps match them with the most effective sorting machine(s).
Satake is ready to run a demo on your sample product. Fill out our Sort Test Request Form and someone will be in contact with you soon. Or better, stop by a local Satake Testing Facility to see first-hand the Satake Difference.
The Satake RNEZS "EZ platform" is a high capacity (models 2500/4500/6500), cost-effective optical sorting technology with real-time sampling and secondary and tertiary re-sort capability. Learn more »
Q&A Interview : Johanna Bot, Satake's Director of Latin America Vision Operations, Talks Coffee Sorting Machines
Customers want to use the highest technology possible with the most reasonable pricing. Today's sorting solutions allow for high efficiency in detecting subtle and tiny defects, while rejecting the minimum of good product.
It is important that this sophisticated machine is robust and reliable, with an accessible operator interface - so that the customers' personnel can easily attain the best possible results and can count on them day in and day out.
The requirements described above have not changed. Customer expectations and demands of the technology have increased, pushing for greater economies and efficiencies to bring down their production processing costs.
Typically, a Robusta sort is deemed to be easier than an Arabica sort. Our product development applies to many different types of grains, nuts and seeds. This diversification benefits our coffee customers by providing them with a solid base of technical support for the longer term.
Having different solutions, applying differing ranges and types of technologies, also benefits our Robusta customers because they can choose the solution that best suits the complexity of incoming contaminants versus the type of quality demanded by the market segment they serve.
A couple of examples of these specifications help to illustrate the benefits derived by customers. For instance, the Smart Sensitivity program, included in our PIKASEN FMS and RNEZS series of machines, allows operators to quickly optimize sorting results, even when the incoming product varies widely and quickly. The owners and managers of the coffee mills appreciate how intuitively and simply this can be done.
The full color illumination included in our EVOLUTION RGB sorters is a feature that our most demanding customers appreciate. The CIE (the French initials for the International Commission on Illumination) defined lighting creates a pure simulation of sunlight, which creates the conditions within which to capture most accurately the 16 million color tones in the visible spectrum.
The most obvious difference in customer requirements will tend to be capacities, and we have solutions to cover that span. We have micro-lot customers sorting at little as 50 bags (of 60 kilos) per year. Others, like our #1 coffee customer, have multiple machines, some running up to 30 tonnes per hour.
The good thing about offering universal solutions is that customers can pick and choose what features suit them best, as well as being able to adjust for changing conditions or market segments being addressed. We even had a customer that complained that our machine left their coffee too clean, which was a situation easily rectified - so that this customer could quickly and easily decide which defects and how many could be included in the accepted product, to meet their client specifications.
When coffee prices drop to such depressed levels, as seen in mid-2018, we do notice that investment is curtailed too, as least among those customers that focus on large production of standard commodity coffee.
At the same time, there is an incentive for smaller specialty exporters to invest in their process, in order to consistently and confidently capture higher margins possible for high quality coffees.
It is very important that our customers around the world have access to comprehensive technical support. This begins with encouraging the operator to learn as much as possible during the start-up visit.
The ongoing support is offered both locally by Satake-trained technicians as well as factory-based experts. In the Americas, we are proud of our ability to respond quickly and efficiently in either English or Spanish. The communication technology used is typically dependent on local conditions. Where possible and appropriate, it is very useful to implement highly secure Internet connections, so that our experts can see exactly how a machine is responding.
Some sorters are designed with specific sorting applications in mind, for instance, the high-resolution plastic Pellet Sorter, seeing specks down to 0.06mm. If resolution is too high, then the cameras start detecting tiny shadows that are a normal characteristic of good coffee beans, so rejecting good product. Therefore, there would be no justification for a coffee customer to invest in this type of high-powered resolution.
There are also high specification infra-red machines that are focused on specific types of foreign material (FM), such as shell (or worm) removal from tree nuts. Most customers are not focused on FM removal, and, even if they are, they don't need such powerful infra-red. Some roasters do appreciate the benefits of infra-red to remove stones and other FM that could damage costly knives in their grinding equipment, however, again, a lower specification infra-red is more than sufficient.
Satake sorters have a very long lifespan, due to the high quality of their design and components. Some customers will continue to use our machines, even when our newer technology will offer them great savings of time and energy, because they are happy to continue getting the same reliable results.
Previous generations of machines were costly with regard to compressed air usage. This adds up to more energy being used to keep the air compressor and drier running, which can be even more costly in regions where power is expensive.
As technology improves, customers save processing time and costs, as desired results can be achieved more quickly and easily. Multiple sorting passes add up to not only more energy being consumed but added production costs from the labor involved too.
Many factors will influence the useful lifetime of a sorter, including the discipline of routine cleaning per shift, as well as the ambient conditions within which the machine is operated.
These machines are solid and built to withstand tough, dusty conditions. We have many happy customers with machines running 20 years or more. The determining factor on when to replace a machine tends to be how much can be gained by investing in upgraded technology. Technology advancements typically determine the lifecycle and upgrade timing for our customers, long before a Satake machine could ever wear out.
Co.Honducafe, the largest coffee exporter from Honduras (www.honducafe.com), is always pushing to implement the latest processing technologies to increase efficiencies and bring down production costs. This year, they were the first to benefit from the economy and sophistication of the Satake RNEZS line of sorters. Being able to sort up to 30 tonnes an hour on each of the 9-chute RNEZS sorters allowed them to incorporate a highly flexible sorting system into a compact machine installation footprint.
The RNEZS series was formally launched for coffee at the 2018 SCA Expo, in Seattle. It enables our customers to combine the well-proven sorting technology of the smaller PIKASEN FMS2000 family of machines, with the economies of a larger production machine.
The history of the Satake optical sorting research, development and manufacturing operation in Houston goes all the way back to 1931, with the introduction of the first electronic color sorting machine. We've been pioneering and including technology in our machines for years that others are just now starting to "feature".
Our customers tell us that when they buy a Satake optical sorter, they are not just buying a machine - they benefit from the decades of support and experience that Satake has offered. Constantly building upon this success and searching to enhance every facet of the technology and service provided to our customers is how Satake sets itself apart - to deliver value-driven solutions to our customers.
Satake FMS2000 Sorting Green and Roasted Coffee Beans
Video that focuses on the Satake FMS2000 and it's sorting capability on both green (Arabica and robusta) and roasted coffee beans.
Satake EVOLUTION Green Coffee Overview Trailer
The following video provides a quick overview of the Satake EVOLUTION optical sorter and references green coffee sorting technology.
Satake RNEZS Green Coffee Sorting Demo
Quick video demo of the RNEZS machine sorting green coffee with real time sample analysis and quick defect inspection.
Satake FMS2000 Sorting Mixed Green from Roasted
Quick video from production environment where a small batch of green coffee beans were accidentally mixed with roasted beans.