World Grain - July 2020 - 67

Fraenkel, Sortex sorter pioneer, dies at 95
LONDON, ENGLAND - Herbert
Max Fraenkel, inventor and engineer,
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Sortex sorter, died in January. He was
95. Fraenkel started as an apprentice
with Bühler and worked for the company until retirement. He quickly established himself as an instrumental part
of the business and many of the early
Fraenkel
patents, if not all, were thanks to his tenacity and expertise.
Following news of his death, friend and colleague Ben
Deefholts, senior research engineer, Bühler Sortex, said during the early days, Fraenkel was ultimately responsible for
specifying every machine that went into manufacturing, and
could often be found tinkering with the machines for special
applications almost as they were being packed.
He took on some big projects during his career, including the
development and launch of the 2024 frozen food sorter, which
Birds Eye and many other large multinationals installed.
Thanks to his continuous dedication, the Bühler Group
paid tribute to Fraenkel in its 60th anniversary Sortex sorting book in 2007, explaining how he started as an assistant to

Hungarian scientist Dr. Okolicsanyl and together they worked
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the practice of manually handpicking seeds.
He and the research team at Bühler Sortex gave the world's
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forerunner to all modern-day optical sorters was extremely
versatile and could sort peas, beans, corn, small grains such as
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Hamid Kefayati, head of single machine business, Bühler,
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been working for the company for 50 years or so. I was told
by colleagues that he was the father of optical sorting as we
know it today. Knowing Herbert, his achievements and lifelong commitment to the company, I understand why. He was
a true gentleman with a great deal of technical know-how,
which is part of the 70-year sorting history of the company."
Bruno Kilshaw, managing director at Bühler Sortex from
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been prominent from its beginning until he retired. He was
devoted to the company. Physically, and in his demeanor, he
resembled a benevolent uncle and a science professor, with a
wide face, bearing glasses and topped with white, curly hair."

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www.World-Grain.com
/ World Toronto,
Grain / JulyOntario,
2020
67
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World Grain - July 2020

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