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Your challenge – Our solution

Simulating process conditions to deliver an optimum waste-management solution.

21 January 2016

At TOMRA Sorting we believe the best way to deliver an optimum waste-management solution is through a logical testing process designed to fine-tune the performance of all components. As part of our TOMRA Care customer service offering, our Test Centers are situated in different parts of the world andequipped to enable us to simulate the normal operating conditions for any proposed customer application. By setting up a test loop, our engineers can calibrate and commission machinery, perform adjustments, and even substitute components to achieve an optimal balance of equipment settings and operational variables within a fully integrated system. Wherever possible, we recommend the customer should be present to offer live feedback, collaborate with our own degree-qualified waste-management engineers, and reap the benefit of their dedicated expertise.

The TOMRA Sorting test process begins with a site visit and preliminary study conducted by our engineers. Here, we are looking to precisely define and quantify the composition of the waste material to be processed. As a result of this benchmark analysis, our engineers can then determine the type of sensors which are likely to prove most appropriate and effective. Where necessary, this can be followed by setting up an exploratory trial using a small quantity of material in order to reinforce or validate a provisional assessment.  

Once testing is under way, TOMRA engineers will use the initial pre-test data to develop a performance specification. In consultation with the customer, our experts will monitor throughput to develop innovative work flows, establish limits and profile border areas, refine the mechanical set up, and optimize conveyor speeds. Air compression requirements will receive special monitoring attention in order to ensure the customer receives the accurate information he may need to purchase any third-party equipment the installation may demand. The all-important software control system will be checked and configured before our TOMRA engineers and the customer make a joint inspection of the output products to confirm that target outcomes delivering optimum levels of sorting and recycling have been satisfactorily achieved. In the final testing phase, all flexible valves, sensors and specified resolutions are then rechecked and reset if necessary to maintain optimum system tolerances.  

Preliminary testing generally takes between one and two days, though certain machine combinations, complex materials and sorting requirements may demand longer. Test data is then analyzed by TOMRA engineers to produce a final report summarizing the performance and outcomes which the installation can be expected to achieve. From the customer's perspective, perhaps the most important outcome of the testing procedure is that the report data lists assured values upon which he can rely – sorting machines are guaranteed to achieve specified outcomes under specified conditions.

In addition to supplying primary performance data, TOMRA's test report can also become a valuable tool to support a customer's process development. Beyond our core business function, TOMRA assist our business customers who approach us as consultants for advice on improving waste management. This partnership role encompasses, for example, ideas and suggestions on how to recycle products and packaging, and recommendations about viable product modifications to make them easier to sort and recycle.

Beyond their frontline role as customer test labs, TOMRA Test Centers also serve a number of other important internal functions: our engineers use the same facilities for training purposes, new TOMRA prototypes undergo testing in field conditions, TOMRA software functionality is optimized and extended, and TOMRA's new Common User Interface (CUI) is adapted and refined.

Whilst TOMRA Sorting´s commitment to testing as a means of maintaining quality control and delivering a high standard of customer service is not at all new, the advent of our industry-leading TOMRA Care customer support package means that our testing is brought under the umbrella of TOMRA Care. Developed to help our customers meet the ever-evolving demands of the markets in which they are active, TOMRA Care's suite of 28 service components includes process consultation, system testing, finance, insurance, staff training and upgrades.

This comprehensive resource acts as a premium support network to assist our customers throughout every phase of their relationship with TOMRA – not just sales-oriented service, but pre-sales and after-sales service too. Starting with system advice, demonstrations and testing to inform pre-purchase decisions, once an equipment package has been selected TOMRA Care's engineers can discuss spare-part strategies, review purchase-finance options, and arrange on-site commissioning. Afterwards, TOMRA Care can offer customers a range of life-cycle support which can extend to include elements such as preventative maintenance, 24/7 telephone support, and on-site visits.

TOMRA Sorting recognizes that, in today's global business environment, it often takes more than machinery to make an operation perform at its very best. We believe TOMRA Care will help our customers maximize their operational efficiency and thus secure that important competitive edge.