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DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Norway's sensor-based sorting systems manufacturer Tomra Sorting AS demonstrated its technology for virgin and recycled plastics at K 2013, as well as rubber applications.
The company's hopper-fed Genius optical sorter combines computer-controlled mechanical and optical systems to throughput materials at up to 10 metric tons an hour at resolutions down to 100 microns.
"The Genius optical sorter's powerful combination of detection methods allows the selection of multiple potential sorting parameters," Pieter Willems, Tomra's manager for raw materials, said. "Defects identified by the system are removed with high accuracy through electronically-controlled air blasts from a row of narrow, individually controlled valves, guaranteeing perfect defect removal and minimal good product loss."
The sorter can be used in off-line, as well as in-line applications and tackles "almost any sorting problem in the polymer pellet industry." These include the removal of specks and materials that are off-color, misshapen, cloudy, bubbled or dimpled, according to Tomra.
The company is also demonstrating its Titech autosort [flake], which Tomra says precisely analyzes and sorts flakes by material detection. Its visible range spectrometer detects selected color contaminants while a near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer simultaneously identifies material types including PET, high density polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, polystyrene and polylactic acid.
The Tomra stand also features its in-line synthetic rubber crumb and plastics pellets sorting technology. Synthetic rubber defects identified by the system — such as gels, wet spots and discolorations — can be removed with great accuracy, guaranteeing perfect defect removal and minimal good product loss, the company says.