TOMRA Food: high yield and waste minimizing sorting solutions for the pet food and rendering industry

With TOMRA’s new sensor-based sorting technologies, Pet Food manufacturers and producers of animal by-products will be able to reach new levels of efficiency, food safety and product quality.

TOMRA Food pet food

Leuven, Belgium, May 14th, 2022 – For 50 years TOMRA is the leading designer and manufacturer of sensor-based sorting machines for the food industry and became the first, three years ago, to offer advanced sorting solutions to pet food producers. Expanding this offering to renders to ensure that ingredients are safe and nutritious is the next logical step. 
The increasing demand for higher quality, sustainable raw materials in the global feed and pet food industry, especially in the current situation of ever-scarcer raw materials, is a reason for manufacturers to look for more efficient technologies. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, economic pressures had already emerged that made minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency a priority for processors. 

Increased Quality and Cost Efficiency with the Latest Sorting Technologies

Many pet food producers and renders are familiar with the problems that can be caused in product streams by foreign materials such as gloves, hair nets, metal clips, plastic tags, foil, stones, and broken glass. Some of these foreign objects are initially large and easily visible objects but can be reduced in size by grinding processes to almost invisibly small fragments. If just one of these fragments reaches the end-product, customer complaints can escalate into expensive product recalls and long-lasting reputational damage.

TOMRA Food pet treats

The latest sorting technologies protect animal by-product producers, animal feed manufacturers, retailers and consumers from these risks by detecting and rejecting the smallest fragments of foreign materials with reliable accuracy. TOMRA's world-leading sorting machines can detect and eject foreign material according to appearance and color and according to structure and composition. This is made possible by employing high-resolution cameras, lasers, and unique Biometric Signature Identification technology, inspecting the product stream using visible spectrum wavelengths and near-infrared (NIR). 

TOMRA's sorters' accuracy means that they remove unwanted materials with low levels of false rejects, minimizing product waste. And because TOMRA's technologies enable renderers to pre-determine desired bone meal levels and protein content, premium ingredients can be tailored to fetch a premium price. 
Lars Povlsen, Global Sales Manager Proteins at TOMRA Food, commented: "Businesses in the pet food and rendering industry today face the same challenges and demands as those producing food for human consumption. Safety and minimizing waste are paramount and this is exactly where we can offer the right support with our state-of-the-art sorters.”

High Performance Sorters for Pet Food and Rendering 

Important protein sources in both wet and dry pet food are animal-derived ingredients. However, entering the rendering facilities these ingredients often contain various foreign bodies which come from the abattoirs, such as rubber parts, foils, wood, glass, and metals. This is hard to avoid with an automated production line, but also mostly hard to detect with conventional methods such as metal detection and/or X-ray. 
The TOMRA 5C solves this, preventing foreign materials from reaching the pet food manufacturer. This sorter often acts as the final control on the meal line: placed after the final screen, it not only detects and rejects even the smallest particle of foreign material but also sources out all the good product coming from the screen, feeding this into the good stream again. These capabilities, plus the ability to regulate the ash content to enhance the final quality, make the TOMRA 5C essential for every meal stream. 
In dry pet food, foreign material isn’t the only threat - there’s also the problem of cross-contamination. And as a solution, the TOMRA Nimbus is unbeatable. This machine’s various sensors protect against foreign materials, loose and embedded, and cross-contamination - and with TOMRA’s new pet food software, the change over from one recipe to the next is like a snap of the fingers. This eliminates traditional ways of trying to avoid cross-contamination which are both time-consuming and product-consuming. TOMRA’s unique BSI+ technology checks the inside of materials, ensuring that different types of kibble don’t get mixed even if they are near-identical in outward appearance, and by using the new petfood software, the operator always has the best view on what to produce next.
For producing best-in-class pet treats and snacks, foreign materials must be prevented from ending up in the final package, and products should have the same size, form and color. For this the TOMRA 5B is the perfect solution, ensuring that only the right products get into the package. 

In wet pet food, the TOMRA 5B is ideal for the inbound set-up, where incoming frozen blocks pass through either a breaker or a grinder before entering the mixer. Placed between the breaker/grinder and mixer, the TOMRA 5B effectively detects and sorts various foreign materials including stones, hard and soft plastics, metal, wood, glass, rubber and bones. In addition to protecting final products from unwanted materials, the TOMRA 5B also logs every batch, so it is possible to assess what’s coming from suppliers accurately.



TOMRA Food pet food

Big Data Support with TOMRA Insight

TOMRA Insight turns sorting and grading machines into connected devices that generate valuable process data. This data is stored securely in the cloud, converted into actionable information, and accessible from anywhere via a web portal for desktop and mobile devices. 
TOMRA Insight's data-gathering helps processors in near real-time and retrospect. Because product quality is measured continuously, machine operators are empowered to make prompt and optimal adjustments to machine settings in response to product quality changes on the line. And because TOMRA Insight provides previously inaccessible deep-dive data, customers are now empowered to make operational and business decisions based on more complete information. 
Thanks to the performance metrics gathered by TOMRA Insight, processors can benefit in many ways. Downtime is reduced by monitoring machine health and performance to support predictive and condition-based maintenance. Throughput is maximized by evaluating variations and optimizing sorting equipment accordingly. Efficiency is improved by identifying gaps in production and analyzing potential root causes. Sorting to target quality is enhanced by being able to make decisions based on accurate product composition data. And operations are simplified through easier spare parts ordering and flexible access to data and documentation. 

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