Tomra sorting systems maximize retrieval of recyclable goods

July 6, 2020
The company has upgraded its Autosort system and is introducing its Autosort Speedair, designed to stabilize lightweight materials such as plastic film on a high-speed conveyor. A third product, the Autosort Cybot, will come out later this year.

German sorting specialist Tomra has introduced a new generation of its Autosort system plus a new product called Autosort Speedair that is designed to stabilize lightweight materials such as plastic film on a high-speed conveyor. 

During an online product introduction in June, Tomra also briefly described a third new product called Autosort Cybot, featuring a next-generation scanner, electromagnetic sensor and a robot arm. When it is introduced later this year, it will be Tomra’s first sorting system that includes a robot. 

Autosort was introduced about 10 years ago and has been regularly updated as Tomra engineers developed new capabilities. It is an ultra-compact, sensor-based sorting system that can be used in a wide range of sorting applications where high throughput is needed. 

This fifth generation of Autosort incorporates Tomra’s patented Sharp Eye technology, which improves light efficiency without using additional energy. Sorting sharpness is improved and material that is difficult to sort can be better processed. 

It also incorporates the latest version of Tomra’s patented Flying Beam sensing technology that utilizes point-scanning to focus only on the area of the conveyor belt that is being scanned, which enables better online calibration and increases sorting stability over time.  

The Autosortis available in four sizes. Models 1000 and 1400 are 5.9 feet wide;the 2000 is 9.feetwide and the 2800 is 11.8 feet wide.All four are 24.3 feet long with a belt that is 16.feet longThe 1000 has a 1.5-kilowatt (kW) motor; the 1400, a 1.6-kW motor; and the 2000, a 1.7-kW motor. The 2800 model has a 1.9-kW motor.

Tomra said Autosort is designed to sort packaging, beverage cartons and all thermoplastics. 

Optional components include Tomra’s Deep Laiser, a trademarked object-recognition technology that improves sorting sharpness. The Deep Laiser system includes a fully integrated deep learning capability. 

Tomra also introduced the AutosortSpeedair, a new add-on component designed to stabilize material such as LDPE packaging film or paper on a high-speed conveyor. It uses fans to generate a constant air streamover the conveyor belt to prevent material from moving. The conveyor can be run at 19.7 feet per second with Speedair.

Speedair eliminates the need for a conveyor belt cover, so material blockages are reduced and machine downtime minimized. 

The Autosort Cybot sorting system will be equipped with sensors that detect objects based on their material properties and will use a fast robotic arm to separate themThe system can be programmed to identify and sort up to four materials, as specified by the operator. Tomra said this ability improves overall sorting accuracy and purity levels. 

The first Cybot model will be 7.9 feet wide, 12.9 feet long and 11.4 feet high.

Ron Shinn, editor

[email protected]

For more information: 

Tomra Sorting Inc.,West Sacramento, Calif., 916-388-3900, 

About the Author

Ron Shinn | Editor

Editor Ron Shinn is a co-founder of Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing and has been covering the plastics industry for more than 35 years. He leads the editorial team, directs coverage and sets the editorial calendar. He also writes features, including the Talking Points column and On the Factory Floor, and covers recycling and sustainability for PMM and Plastics Recycling.