Sort-to-Spec is an intelligence system that continuously and in real-time adapts the sort settings of its sorting machines in order to obtain maximum product quality and customer satisfaction at all times. Sort-to-Spec detects and removes unwanted discolorations and misshapen produce from the entire product stream, to a defined sort.
In the past, sorters and their predefined sort settings were set with a large dose of gut feeling, experience and a lot of patience. And the result, simply put, was either good or bad. Additionally, the sorting machine had to be continuously adjusted on the basis of the fluctuations in the product flow. It goes without saying that this traditional way of sorting brings with it many challenges to preserve the consistent end product quality without making concessions to process improvement.
To face these challenges, TOMRA has developed its new Sort-to-Spec feature. This feature, which can be easily integrated into any existing TOMRA optical sorter, generates a continuous data stream. This flood of information, from the full production flow, is constantly evaluated in real time by the Sort-to-Spec intelligence system and necessary adjustments, in response to the inconsistent product flow, is forwarded immediately.
Sort-to-Spec allows the sorter to auto-sort for color defects and size. The intelligence system analyzes the incoming product stream in real time by using specified algorithms and the measurement results provide the optimal sorting specifications. Sort-to-Spec proactively monitors the product flow and makes logical piece-by-piece decisions and determines what is accepted and what is rejected. The accept and reject decisions are based on the calculated output of the sorting and Sort-to-Spec assures optimal sorting results with the highest possible product quality output.
Additionally, the Sort-to-Spec feature makes it possible for large volumes to be analyzed in an objective manner, with 100 percent inspection. This results in highly accurate information about each object passing through the processing line. According to Roel Molenaers, Product Manager Food at TOMRA Sorting, this proactive feature is a huge asset for the customer. It increases profit margin for the customer by minimizing waste and improving the consistency of the final product.
The Sort-to-Spec feature can be installed on any new or currently owned in-the-field optical TOMRA sorter.
Since 2013 TOMRA looks back on successful implementations of the Sort-to-Spec feature in different potato processing plants.
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