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Alejandro Palacios, Area Sales Manager at TOMRA Food for Spain and Portugal, states: "We did a lot of internal tests, and we saw that this technology worked very well with deep-frozen vegetables, so we agreed with VIRTO to conduct an on-site validation. At the beginning of 2020, we gave them a Nimbus BSI+, and they tested it for a month. We were able to confirm that this equipment did everything we thought it would and that it worked really well. It was an effective technology for detecting foreign bodies and foreign plant matter (even dangerous plants like jimsonweed). Also, there was minimal false rejection. TOMRA's BSI+ technology brings added value to the frozen vegetable sector, as it achieves what other machines cannot."
The Nimbus BSI+ works by detecting objects' biometric characteristics and is capable of removing a large number of foreign bodies and unwanted plant matter. As Francisco Casas explains: "In our case, the difficulty lies in the enormous variety and quantity of products that we have. Each product has its specific characteristics and its unique origin: plant, animal, marine. The fact that we are not working with a single product means that we have to make changes in the programming continually. That's why the ease with which the Nimbus BSI+ can be configured is an advantage for us. Fine-tuning all the programs will take a while, but we're already getting better results, especially with products that contain the more complex ingredient blends."
"As for the potential of the BSI+ technology, when we were validating the machine, we were surprised by the fact that the Nimbus was delivering very similar results when working with a single product and with ingredient blends. While the machine's behavior is already good, I am convinced that the results in the next few months will be even better. Without a doubt, this technology gives us a competitive edge," says Alejandro Palacios.
In addition to the advantages of the Nimbus BSI+, it is worth noting the further added value of TOMRA Insight. This cloud-based data platform unlocks valuable and innovative opportunities for users of TOMRA sorting machines. It turns the sorting process into a strategic management tool that allows users to make decisions based on real data collected from TOMRA units at every step of the value and production chain.
With TOMRA Insight, the machine generates data throughout the process, which is stored in the cloud. "It is one of the greatest added values of BSI+ technology. Knowing what the machine is doing will be very important when optimizing performance. It enables us to make informed decisions, such as tracing the types of foreign materials that are being discarded and determining good and bad farming areas, whether we should expand in one or the other, etc. It is a very powerful tool for real-time monitoring and decision-making to improve the business," assures José Antonio Baldero.
Despite the mobility difficulties due to the pandemic, TOMRA's team was present throughout the process and has followed the development of this exciting project very closely. The two companies have worked side by side in the installation and commissioning of the machines. "We have had the physical presence of TOMRA technicians, as the company sent us staff from their Belgium headquarters. We want to thank them for making this effort in such difficult times. When the mobility situation became more complicated, support was provided by TOMRA Food Spain, so there was no need to use remote assistance," states Francisco Casas.
"The situation was complicated for both parties, but the support from TOMRA has been excellent. They have paid a lot of attention to the project, so it has been a success – even with the complexities arising from COVID-19," adds José Antonio Baldero.