Germany-based TOMRA Sorting has introduced its new Laser Object Detection (LOD) system that, when used in combination with its AutoSort and Finder devices, is designed to boost a plant’s sorting capabilities. The firm says the LOD, in combination with the other equipment, can allow “scrap recycling operations to reach final product purity levels unique to the market and never before possible.”
The TOMRA laser technology sorts based on the feed material’s spectral and spatial characteristics, with the new LOD detecting material that near infrared technology (NIR) is incapable of identifying, according to the firm.
“NIR technology cannot detect items such as black plastic and rubber, glass and other waste items,” says Carlos Manchado Atienza, regional director in the Americas for TOMRA Sorting. “By combining our new LOD technology, which can detect these items, with our powerful AutoSort and Finder systems, TOMRA once again leads the industry in developing and adapting technology to meet continually evolving specifications in the market.”
LOD has been designed to offer recycling facilities a low energy, cost-effective solution for meeting tough customer purity requirements, TOMRA indicates. The new TOMRA sorting system can boost final product purity by as much as 4 percent without sacrificing circuit productivity, according to the firm. Its modular design enables the LOD system to be added onto the same platform as existing TOMRA sorting equipment. Alternatively, it can be added as a standalone sorting stage.
The LOD is mechanically mounted to a platform in an arrangement that allows for both large and small feed material to pass under the laser without blockage, the firm’s technicians say.
“LOD is the perfect complement to existing TOMRA equipment within a circuit to give purity levels a boost to meet ever-tightening final product purity requirements such as the China National Sword standard,” says Ralph Uepping, technical director of recycling at TOMRA Sorting. “Increasing product purity levels expands market potential and increases the profit potential for customers.”
The company indicates its new LOD system cost-effectively sorts glass as well as plastic material and black plastic from paper, boosting product quality. Foreground detection technology has been designed to ensure the laser beam only identifies material above the belt, reducing background noise and giving operations the flexibility to use any type of belt feeder for the circuit, according to TOMRA.
LOD also has been designed to separate black rubber, glass and plastic material from nonferrous zorba and zurik products, allowing operations to turn these commodities into more valuable revenue streams while reducing the number of manual pickers, TOMRA indicates.
TOMRA Sorting is owned by Norwegian company TOMRA Systems ASA, which was founded in 1972 and has annual sales of approximately €710 million ($875 million).