It's unlikely that you will have ever heard of the Shandong Luhua Group. Yet this rather substantial Chinese enterprise produces no less than 600,000 tons of peanut oil and 100,000 tons of sunflower seed oil each year.
Needless to say, with production volumes like that, it's hardly surprising that its products have been exported to numerous countries, providing it with revenues in the millions.
The company itself has a number of subsidiaries -- including one in Inner Mongolia that hails by the incredibly lengthy name of the Inner Mongolia Luhua Sunflower Seeds Oil Company Limited.
The reason that I mention this particular plant in Inner Mongolia is simply because of its size. If you take a look at the picture below, you will see what I mean.
Now you might think that such a plant would employ a lot of people to perform tedious manual operations to check the size and the quality of the sunflower seeds before they are processed to make the oil.
But that's where you'd be wrong. It's for certain that many of the processes are automated, not in the least the sorting of the seeds according to their color.
The picture below, for example, testifies to that fact. Taken from inside the plant itself, it appears to show a plethora of color sorting machines from Anhui Jiexun Optoelectronic Technology (Hefei, Anhui, China). This company has produced an array of such systems to automate the sorting of all sorts of agricultural products -- including rice, cereals, beans, nuts and tea!
Now for those of you still reeling from the news that Vision 2013 has been cancelled, let me remind you that Vision China 2013 will still be held between October 16-18 this year at the China International Exhibition Center (Beijing, China).
Perhaps now is the perfect time for those of us who manufacture and market components used in vision systems to look a little further afield for new opportunities. China might be just the place.