The new NIR sensor technology offers a unique solution for PO applications. PO flakes are sorted by material and colour, and the PO-specific sensor used in our FLYING BEAM® patented technology works in unison with the dual-full colour-camera technology to gather enough spectral information to accurately sort PP and PE flakes as small as 2mm. Using a front and rear camera set up allows TOMRA to see the colour of each flake and identify even the tiniest of details, such as prints or ink. The unit can purify both the PE stream and the PP stream by identifying and removing the unwanted polymer contamination, as well as colour impurities. Any left-over contaminants are removed, resulting in unparalleled purity levels that meet both the standards demanded by current industry legislation and end customers.
And, for high-end applications such as bottle-to-bottle recycling where the contamination level of the infeed material is low but the quality requirements are particularly high, another flake sorting solution from TOMRA, namely AUTOSORT® FLAKE can be used to achieve both extremely high purity and high, stable throughputs. AUTOSORT® FLAKE simultaneously detects material, colour and metal.
Valerio Sama, Head of Product Management at TOMRA Sorting Recycling, comments: “With the use of polyolefins continuing to rise – the global polyolefins market is predicted to reach close to 400 billion dollars by 2027 – sorting polyolefins will become an increasingly important realm of plastics recycling. We need to be able to increase the purity and yield of recycled plastics to a level where the material is suitable for re-use in food packaging – and we also need to bring that material back into the loop as part of a circular economy model."
“PE and PP are both polyolefins and, if mixed up together, they negatively impact the recycling process. Separating PE and PP is a complex challenge even for sensor-based sorting technology, but we set out to develop a new NIR sensor specifically for this application. With the launch of our new INNOSORT FLAKE, we’ve further strengthened our position as the ‘go to’ technology provider for plastic flakes and have added the ‘Sounds of pure flakes’ to TOMRA’s Symphony. Our customers can further rely on us as a ‘one stop shop’ for all their bottle and flake sorting needs. But we don’t just sell the technology, rather we offer our customers in-depth application knowledge, invaluable consultancy expertise and ongoing service support.”