Year: 2008-09

Company: Syngenta

Liaison(s): Kirk L. Noel, Jason D. Abbas, Joseph Byrum

Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. One of Syngenta’s major divisions is the breeding of seeds for sale to farmers. One the tools the company uses to select specific phenotypic traits to advance the various Syngenta seed lines is near infrared spectroscopy. The machine that Syngenta currently uses to perform this spectroscopy must be attended continuously for several hours by a technician to sort a sample of appreciable volume. In order to reduce labor and increase throughput, Syngenta tasked our team with automating the seed sorting process. This involved the development of a mechanical apparatus capable of presenting a single seed from a bulk source to the machine, scanning the seed, and then removing it and placing it in the appropriate bin. The team successfully developed a prototype system accomplishing these goals. Further development will be required for the company to complete sorting of the seeds based on the spectroscopic results.