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Machine in focus

TOMRA reveals new state-of-the-art sorter

18 November 2016


TOMRA Sorting Food has launched the TOMRA 5B, a new state-of-the-art sorter for the vegetable, fresh cut and potato processing industries. 

The innovative machine is a highly efficient, intuitive sorting solution that has been designed to improve yields and product quality, with minimal product waste and maximum uptime. These benefits are made possible via three integral features, namely the delivery of optimum performance, improved ease of use and enhanced hygienic design.

To achieve optimum performance, the sorter combines TOMRA’s smart surround view technology with a 360-degree inspection. The technology features high resolution cameras, as well as high intensity LEDs for improved light intensity for optimal product appearance. These features reduce false rejection rates and improve product quality by identifying each object, in turn improving color and shape detection and foreign material removal, whilst ensuring product quality.

The sorting machine’s new customized high-speed, small-pitch TOMRA ejector valves, which are part of the innovative smart ejection system, allow for the precise removal of defective products, with minimal final product waste, at a rate three times faster than previous valves. Importantly, the valves have been designed for both wet and dry conditions.

Ashley Hunter, senior vice president and head of TOMRA Sorting Food, comments: “The TOMRA 5B is the first of a next generation of innovative sorting machines which is based on a new sorting platform for all of our future systems.”

“Recent developments in our technology, such as smart surround view, result in more accurate decisions about the quality of the product. This technological advancement not only improves the quantity of food available, but it also maintains the high levels of quality expected by consumers who are increasingly interested in what they are purchasing and brand protection.”

The development of the TOMRA 5B, with a belt speed rate of up to five meters per second to provide an increased hourly capacity, responds to increased capacity demands in the market.

The new machine has an easy-to-use, intuitive user interface called TOMRA ACT, which has been specifically designed to be user-oriented and generate on-screen performance feedback on production quality and safety. The settings and data are application driven, providing processors with an easy way to set the machine and peace of mind by delivering clear data on the sorting process. This in turn allows the further optimization of other processes in the plant.

The on-screen performance feedback not only allows processors to intervene quickly, if necessary, but also ensures that the sorting machine is operating at optimal capability. The innovative user interface is so effective it was recognized at the 2016 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) with a silver medal in the digital design category.

The TOMRA 5B’s enhanced sanitation feature has been designed and developed in accordance with the latest food hygiene standards and specifications, including those advised by the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG).

The machine’s open system has a fast and efficient cleaning process which results in fewer unreachable areas and a lower risk of waste material building up. Together these features provide added peace of mind when hygiene audits are carried out and maximum uptime of the machine.

The TOMRA 5B’s functional design is convenient for all users, whilst offering flexibility and allowing processors to sort against their own specification criteria. It is able to sort a wide variety of vegetables including corn, carrots, peas, bell peppers, industrial spinach and processed lettuce.

Ashley concludes: “The TOMRA 5B boasts a powerful combination of exceptional features, state-of-the-art innovation and ease of use. It is a great addition to the TOMRA range, guaranteeing excellent results throughout the entire sorting process.”