TOMRA introduces the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE for unrivalled flake sorting performance
TOMRA has added to its product portfolio with the launch of the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE for high-throughput purification of plastic flakes. Its enhanced features enable simultaneous flake sorting by polymer, colour and transparency – achieving unmatched quality even from highly contaminated inputs.
In the industry’s quest to increase recycled content by producing post-consumer recyclates for high-end applications, TOMRA has leveraged its 50 years of experience in circular waste management to develop the next-generation flake sorting technology. The new INNOSORT™ FLAKE solution will help the industry recover more recyclable materials from any waste stream with maximum yield.
Alberto Piovesan, Global Segment Manager Plastics at TOMRA Recycling Sorting, explains: “Given recycled content targets in Europe and elsewhere, the market needs to prepare for future demand. Recyclers need solutions to produce high-quality post-consumer recycled content in sufficient volumes. At the same time, they strive for reliable sorting results and operational flexibility. With the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE, this is now possible.”
Any colour. Any polymer.
Equipped with a powerful sensor combination, the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE sorts polymers by material type and colour, removing any impurities to create pure fractions. Thanks to its advanced near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer, the machine precisely detects various polymers, allowing for the recovery of recyclable materials from highly contaminated infeed. With this technology, plastics recovered from mixed waste, for example, can be sorted for recycling, giving access to more recyclable materials that would otherwise be lost or downcycled for lower-grade applications. For instance, polyolefins (PO), such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), are often found comingled in the same waste stream. With the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE, mixed plastic fractions that have been shredded and washed can be sorted into clean fractions of PET, PP and PE and other materials that meet the quality requirements for extrusion and the creation of high-quality post-consumer recycled (PCR) content.
Moreover, plant operators profit from the machine’s unmatched colour sorting performance. Its enhanced optics, with a changeable colour background and dual-sided high-resolution cameras, detect millions of colours and create single-colour fractions. Its high contrast imaging can even differentiate between white opaque and natural, transparent and translucent flakes, reducing material losses and maximising yield.
Piovesan adds: “The new INNOSORT™ FLAKE is designed to simultaneously sort any colour and any polymer. It levels the playing field for recyclers and gives them maximum flexibility to respond to the respective market demands. If an operator wants to purify PET this month and produce a clean blue PP next month, it is technically possible with the new machine. What’s more, it is cost-effective.”
New design with multiple benefits
William Zeng, Product Manager TOMRA Recycling Sorting, comments: “We developed the machine with our customers’ requirements in mind. With its integrated cooling system and robustness, it delivers an even more stable performance in challenging environments and delivers reliable results for maximum output and profitability. Furthermore, with the enhanced technologies, recyclers achieve very high purity levels after the first sorting step. Depending on the contamination level of the input material and the target purities, fewer sorting steps may be required.”
The new INNOSORT™ FLAKE comes with up to four chutes and a changeable illumination background. This level of flexibility makes it possible to run multiple sorting and recovery steps in a single machine, leading to considerable time savings and less material handling.
As a system only performs best when all components work seamlessly together, maintenance is crucial. The new design gives unrestricted access to the machine’s components, enabling smooth maintenance with little downtime.
In addition, TOMRA Insight can be installed as an add-on service. The cloud-based data monitoring platform contributes to improving sorting performance. On the one hand, it helps optimise processes through data analysis. Identified inefficiencies and predicted maintenance further support the reduction of machine downtime and productivity losses. On the other hand, its real-time monitoring gives plant operators access to data anywhere and anytime to maintain process stability.
Piovesan concludes: “Thanks to its enhanced technologies, the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE revolutionises plastic recycling. Customers testing our system are convinced of its capabilities and ease of use. Now, they can mitigate higher levels of contamination and create the highest purity fractions by running multiple sorting steps simultaneously. This adaptability, combined with state-of-the-art technologies, makes the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE a future-proof flake sorting solution for any recycler who aims to produce extrusion-ready flakes.”