The TOMRA 5A, which sorts whole unpeeled and peeled process potatoes, and the TOMRA 5B, which sorts processed potatoes, such as French fries and chips, have been specifically designed to improve product quality and safety, while providing minimal product waste and maximum uptime.
Jim Frost, Market Unit Manager at TOMRA Sorting Food, says: “The TOMRA 5A sorter represents the latest innovation in whole product sorting technology. The machine has improved performance and added functionality to help customers address the increasing demands on the processor for food safety assurance, improved yields and lower running costs.”
A key feature of the TOMRA 5A is superior foreign material removal, the sorter effectively discards items such as corn cobs, wood, stems, plastics, glass and even stray golf balls. This process minimizes the risk of food contamination further down the line and leads to improved product quality.
Furthermore, the TOMRA 5A has unrivaled potato quality sorting controls. This provides processors with the opportunity to recover product which is not good enough to accept, but at the same time not bad enough to send to waste. The leftover product can be sent to re-peel or trimming lines. It can even be made into alternative end products, such as potato flakes.
Roel Molenaers, Head of Product Management at TOMRA Sorting Food, comments: “The TOMRA 5A and 5B are the first of a next generation of innovative sorting machines. Recent developments in our technology result in more accurate decisions about the quality of the product. These technological advancements not only improve the quantity of food available, but they help to maintain the high levels of quality expected by consumers who are increasingly interested in what they are purchasing and brand protection.”
The TOMRA 5B incorporates TOMRA’s smart surround view technology, which features high-resolution cameras and high intensity LEDs, providing superior product appearance and 360-degree inspection. This results in improved product quality, by identifying each object to improve color and shape detection. The technology also leads to improved foreign material removal, while ensuring product quality and a reduction of false rejection rates.
The TOMRA 5A, on the other hand, attains optimum performance with the new peel control module, an extra add-on system. This module, which can connect to multiple sorting machines, takes potato data from the TOMRA 5A for dependable measurements of the peel removal levels. Using proven process control techniques to achieve the desired peel removal, the optimal steam time is then calculated and sent directly to the steam peeler. Consequently, the result is lower peel loss and less food waste, with no operator supervision required.
Moreover, both sorters have an intuitive, unique and functional graphical user interface design, which makes them convenient to use for all operators. TOMRA ACT, the user interface, encompasses a one screen layout and can generate on-screen performance feedback, so users can see all critical sort information and real-time sorting data at a glance.
Quick monitoring and fast adjustments are possible at all times, which means the customer is always in control and can easily optimize the sort themselves. The interface is dynamic, responsive and easy to use, resulting in a sharper learning curve and quicker training to proficiency for operators.
Both sorting machines’ enhanced sanitation features have been designed and developed in accordance with the latest food hygiene standards and specifications. The TOMRA 5B in particular has a fast and efficient cleaning process which results in fewer unreachable areas and a lower risk of waste material building up. The functional design is convenient for all users, whilst offering flexibility and allowing processors to sort against their own specification criteria.
Jim Frost concludes: “A faster response to varying product conditions, with an output of more consistent product quality and higher yields, is now possible, regardless of who is operating one of these sorting machines. There is no longer a need for a specialist to operate and adjust the sorter.”
Roel Molenaers adds: “The TOMRA 5 Series boasts a powerful combination of exceptional features, state-of-the-art innovation and ease of use. The sorters are a great addition to the TOMRA range, guaranteeing excellent results throughout the entire sorting process.”