RWM & Letsrecycle
Unleashing the power of sensor-based sorting
The particleboard manufacturer’s quest to increase recycled content and promote sustainable wood management requires optimized processes and advanced technologies to recover pure material fractions from a waste wood infeed stream. Thus, recyclers and particleboard manufacturers are advised to invest in the respective sorting technology to keep pace with industry demands and evolve with the market. New sorting technology quickly adapts to changing waste compositions, increasing purity demands, and recovering single fractions. Integrating a wood sorting solution in recycling and production plants enables them to separate non-processed wood and processed wood from complex mixed waste stream and use the purest materials to produce high-quality particleboard on an industrial scale.
The ideal solution consists of two sorting systems, a high-throughput unit for removing inert material and metals and a state-of-the-art optical sorter with an integrated deep learning technology to separate waste wood into different material grades. Since 2012, TOMRA has been sorting waste wood for high purity clean wood chips. With TOMRA’s X-TRACT™, recyclers and particleboard manufacturers can remove impurities like inert materials, metals, and glass with x-ray transmission (XRT) technology and deliver outstanding purity levels for secondary raw materials. A variety of wood-based materials, including engineered wood composites and polymers must be accurately detected and separated into single fractions when creating recycled wood content that meets manufacturing standards. Only wood chip products with the highest quality (Wood A) can replace virgin materials in the production of wood-based panels, hence a new solution had to be found. Always in the pursuit of advancing and optimizing solutions, TOMRA’s in-house team of industry experts, application engineers, and software developers collaborated to develop a new deep-learning-based application to sort wood chips by type. Available as an add-on for the company’s high-performing AUTOSORT™, GAIN is trained to detect, analyze, and separate non-processed wood (Wood A) and processed wood (Wood B). Moreover, it identifies and completely separates the MDF found in processed wood streams, therefore producing individual wood fractions of the highest possible quality for being used in the production of superior quality particleboards and MDF boards. Since TOMRA’s mechanics, sensors, and software are developed in-house, customers profit from perfectly matching machines and a high-performing system enabling them to increase their overall yield and profits.
Fabrizio Radice, Vice President and Head of Global Sales and Marketing at TOMRA Recycling, concludes: “TOMRA is strongly committed to circular waste management. Thus, I am delighted that we extend our focus to the wood segment with a dedicated team that brings a wealth of experience and profound knowledge. The team’s expertise combined with our latest technologies will help recyclers and particleboard manufacturers meet both market demands and exploit the full potential of their operation while minimizing environmental impacts. In the following years, we are going to invest a lot in this promising segment and aim to see that the waste of one company becomes a valuable resource for another – a scenario we support to become commonplace.”