Turkish Quartz mining company Mikroman Maden A.Ş, established in 1991, first adopted sensor-based sorting technology at three of its processing plants in 2018. It installed three high-capacity TOMRA PRO Secondary LASER sorters and reached its target of improving product quality and increasing capacity at these facilities. At its Kula plant in Manisa province, which requires the most precise mineral sorting, it combined TOMRA’s COLOR and LASER technologies to achieve the best results and recovery with the highest purity levels, as well as creating product of different quality to meet the specific needs of a variety of markets. The solution has consistently delivered the desired quality standard in all categories, while increasing productivity, and consequently reducing waste.
Mikroman Management stated that the collaboration with TOMRA and the use of our LASER and COLOR sensor-based sorting technologies have greatly improved their production quality and efficiency. The company saw the potential to expand its operation and enter new markets with these solutions, as using LASER and COLOR sorting systems allowed them to serve a variety of sectors by changing the quality and chemistry of the micronized and granulated products.
A collaborative approach to addressing a new requirement.
Satisfied with the results achieved at the Kula plant by TOMRA’s PRO Secondary COLOR and LASER sorters with bigger particle sizes, Mikroman asked TOMRA for a solution to process the finer materials and turn them into value.
Mikroman was processing particles sizes down to 15mm with a PRO Tertiary COLOR, and TOMRA installed 3 additional PRO Tertiary COLOR sorters for finer particles: two for sorting particle sizes from 2-4mm and one for sizes from 4-10mm to remove colored impurities from the material, which is then processed further in a Micronized plant on the premises. With these sorters, Mikroman is able to diversify its product to provide the different qualities required by the various sectors it serves also in the smaller particle sizes.
On the other hand, the company also wanted the high purity levels achieved with laser technology in grain sizes below 20mm. However, “at the time, the PRO Tertiary was only available with COLOR technology, so we looked into a new product development implementing the TOMRA multi-channel LASER technology in the PRO Tertiary platform,” explains Ines Hartwig, Director Product Management at TOMRA Mining. “With this solution, also white non-quartz impurities like shist, feldspar, shale and calcite can be detected and sorted out to achieve a pure white, high-grade quartz product.”
Ines Hartwig adds: “As Mikroman had already implemented the LASER technology for bigger grain sizes and had experienced its advantages compared to COLOR sorters, it was a perfect fit to collaborate, design and field test this new product. They provided us with the small particle references of product and waste that they expected to sort, and our Engineering team developed the new machine with the support of Markus Dehler, Manager of the TOMRA Mining Test Center.”