While the cannabis industry continues its rapid growth (with global sales expected to reach $33.6 billion during the next three years), the fact remains that raw cannabis is inherently difficult to handle. It is both expensive and fragile, making initial sorting a critical path item in terms of productivity and profitability. Small and large operations can benefit from investing in sorting technology from an established manufacturer that is highly efficient, flexible and completely field-proven over many years -- in short, a cost-effective way to produce a higher quality product with higher throughput and less waste.
The right bud sorter will increase product quality with less waste.
The Basics of Cannabis Bud Sorting
The entire cannabis plant doesn’t carry the same value to the market, so sorting the cannabis flower or buds for product consistency and quality also impacts pricing. Larger buds on the outside of the plant that have received the greatest amount of sunlight will have higher levels of terpene and THC. Smaller buds or “nubs” that might have grown toward the inside stalk or shadowed by larger, outside buds will have received less sunlight. The larger buds with higher terpene levels command a higher price. Conversely, mixed bud sizes often command a lower price. As a result, sorting can help growers more swiftly and accurately calculate yield and help devise plans to improve overall product quality in the future.
Table and Tumbler Options for Sorting Cannabis Buds
Harvest time is a scramble for growers trying to capitalize on their cannabis crops. As part of harvesting, careful sorting helps determine the crop profit potential. There are graduated levels of intensity and time commitments necessary for sorting, ranging from hand-sorting to more automated solutions. However, many small operators still do sort by hand, a laborious process that is more exact but takes hours to complete.
A sorting table can be considered the next step up from hand-sorting but still requires manual labor. After loading the buds onto the end of the sorting table, the operator must then gently brush the buds down the length of the table. As the buds traverse the table’s length, they fall through grates that progress from larger to smaller openings for sorting, and the buds drop into collection bins below. This method sorts around 40-45 lbs. per hour of the dried, finished flower.
A tumbler often trims and sorts in the same machine. While this can save time for the cannabis processor, a poorly designed system with tumbling action that flings the delicate flower buds into one another can damage the buds. In addition, the trimming feature often over or under trims the buds, impacting product quality.
The Kason VIBROSCREEN® Cannabis Sorter works with gentle, vibratory action.
Gentle and Sanitary Operations for Cannabis Processing
Another method that speeds production while avoiding product degradation is a pharmaceutical-grade vibratory screening machine, the Kason VIBROSCREEN® Cannabis Sorter. Kason has leveraged its depth of experience working with sanitary, sensitive and delicate products within the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries to offer a sorting machine for a process with similar considerations in cannabis processing.
Product integrity is key to any industrial screening operation. However, the consequences of failure in this regard can vary. The key is to combine throughput with gentle handling. The Kason Bud Sorter employs vibratory action to sort the buds of different sizes for quality purposes while preserving product integrity. The sorting table requires multiple touch points as do other methods of manual sorting.
In one instance for a chemical industry application, this same model vibratory screener from Kason was selected to help sift fine microcapsules containing differing epoxy types. Any rough agitation would cause the microcapsules to burst open, releasing the epoxy, which would then form a binding polymer, ruining the batch and adhering to the equipment.
A Kason VIBROSCREEN® circular vibratory screener supplied the capability to sift these microcapsules in a timely fashion while preserving product integrity to avoid polymerization. This prevented waste and its subsequent negative impact on productivity and profitability while also avoiding the necessity of a complete shutdown for a difficult and extensive cleanup.
Kason equipment is built to rigorous standards and meets all FDA and cGMP regulatory guidelines for food-grade material construction and hygienic operations. This 24-inch screener is also mobile. It can be mounted on wheels to move from one preparation room to another as desired.
The Kason Bud Sorter is a single-screen model. However, cannabis processors can opt for a multi-deck design to sort for two, three or four different bud sizes. This allows processors to efficiently screen and separate cannabis buds into different fractions for pre-roll and extraction preparation. Screening not only helps sort the buds for size but also separates the buds from any remaining stalks, stems, chaff or other undesirable material for a purer result.
Screens are easy to clean, change out or replace as needed. The screens are designed to handle much more aggressive materials than the delicate plant matter for durability that will lend a long lifespan in the cannabis industry.
Bud sorting with the vibratory screener from Kason offers cannabis processors:
- Higher premium product
- Fewer over/unders
- Minimal labor and maintenance
- More accurate sorting
- Eliminate dust and chaff
Cost-effective bud sorting equipment can greatly increase throughput and quality.
The Economics of Investing in Cannabis Bud Screening Equipment from a Pioneer in the Cannabis Processing Industry
Kason offers a depth of experience in the nascent marijuana industry that few companies can rival, supplying its screening equipment to cannabis processors for many years.
Kason has a deep understanding of the science behind material distribution around the screen to preserve product integrity and eliminate unwanted materials. Other machines will not supply the same distribution across the screen surface, resulting in lower throughput and a decrease in product quality. The better the distribution, the purer the product outcome, to eliminate either non-smokable or non-processible product from the process for a premium output in every batch.
The rapid expansion of the cannabis processing industry requires automation that offers the desired throughput combined with gentle handling to meet demand and remain competitive in the industry.
ROI on Cannabis Bud Screening Equipment
The return on investment (ROI) for equipment that automates the screening process can be realized within a short period of time. The Kason Bud Sorter supplies the industry’s best screening machine at a better price point than any comparable machines in the market, designed to handle the specific needs of the cannabis processing industry, supplying years of uninterrupted service. An application engineer can provide more information on the ROI benefits of your processing operation.
Better quality cannabis classification and minimal product degradation will supply pricing advantages for a quicker ROI. The Bud Sorter from Kason is a proven solution to reduce handwork with its associated overhead. Contact us to learn about quick shipment and Kason service support.
Let us help you find the right sorter to optimize your throughput to capture the return of time and the return to greater profitability. The Kason Bud Sorter can help cannabis processors smoke out the competition and achieve their organizational goals.