Infratec anniversary marks 25 years of progress in grain testing
The widely-used Infratec™ 1241 grain analyser is 25 this year.
With well over 10,000 units sold around the world, Infratec is a key instrument in the FOSS grain testing portfolio and ongoing development with the Infratec near infrared (NIR) platform is continuously improving grain industry knowledge about how to make optimal use of grain.
Launched in 1987, the Infratec made rapid and accurate NIR analysis practical, helping to extend analysis beyond the clinical walls of the lab to the weighbridge or control room. It became a cornerstone of payment schemes, for example, before Infratec, the protein content of deliveries from farmers was an unknown. Now it is taken for granted. It’s predictable to within 0.1%, it can be measured in temperatures ranging from -4 to +40 and measurements can be tracked in networks for truly consistent data across great distances.
Nothing without a stable calibration
A particular aspect of the Infratec 1241 Grain Analyser that FOSS is highlighting in connection with the 25th anniversary is the Artificial Neural Networking (ANN) calibration. The focus on the calibration may seem unusual given the many hardware features, but FOSS believes that an instrument alone is just a box. A great instrument needs a great calibration to make it fly.
In making the calibration, FOSS has collected harvest data for 25 years straight and today it includes 50.000 samples and 25 years of seasonal variations to which there are no short-cuts. A recent five year study conducted with European grain networks has demonstrated the great stability of the calibration. More about the study and the positive implications for grain analysis operations will be presented at a Webinar, details here .
FOSS grain segment manager, Darren Robey said: “Features such as the ANN calibration hold great promise as a platform for effective grain analysis in the future. And just as well, because the need for improved production efficiency is essential in meeting ever-growing demand for the world’s primary source of food. With solutions like Infratec, our knowledge about grain production, storage, segmentation and milling is improving all the time.”
Some Infratec highlights over the years
- 1987: Near Infrared Transmittance (NIT) with PLS calibrations
- 1989/90: Approval by Federal Grain Inspection Service (USA) for official testing of protein and oil in soybean and corn and official testing of protein in wheat (1990)
- 1991: Establishment in Denmark of the first grain testing networks
- 1996: Introduction of powerful Artificial Neural Network (ANN) calibrations
- 2002: Establishment of the first flour networks in Scandinavia
- 2003: Official Approval in Australia by the National Standards Commission for protein testing. EU 2003, approval of Test Weight Module according to the European Council Directive 71/347/EEC for determination of volume weight in grain
- 2004: NTEP (USA) approval for protein and oil testing
- 2004: GIPSA (USA) approves FOSS ANN calibrations
- 2007: New model with improved throughput and new data communication features
- 2008: New member of the Infratec family, the Infratec Sofia, launched for on-farm testing
- 2009: Infratec and ANN calibrations approved as preliminary European standard (EN 15948 "Cereals – Determination of moisture and protein – Method using Near-Infrared-Transmittance in combination with an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) Prediction Model and Associated Database")
- 2010: New look consolidating developments such as the range of options added over the years, for example, the test weight, flour and sample transport modules that allow a single instrument to cover multiple cereal samples and derivatives. New software for internet networking (MOSAIC)
- 2012: Five year ring test study demonstrates outstanding stability of global ANN calibration.