Tomra optimistic about new product launches
AutoSort devices are a critical part of increasingly automated sorting systems being designed by Tomra Sorting Recycling.
Image provided by Tomra.

Tomra optimistic about new product launches

Sorting equipment maker says recyclers are inquiring about testing out its new technology.

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July 8, 2020

Germany-based Tomra Sorting Recycling, part of Norway’s Tomra Group, tried a new platform in June to launch new products and technology it otherwise would have exhibited at major trade fairs.

On June 9, the company hosted its “Symphony of all Sorts” online event, which served in part to introduce ways in which its AutoSort, SpeedAir, SharpEye, Deep Learning, FlyingBeam and CyBot join other Tomra technologies to help recyclers sort and upgrade the material entering their facilities.

The products new for 2020 can be used in applications such as separating plastic film from heavier items; separating office paper from paperboard; “training” sensors to recognize objects of a certain shape; and using robotic arms to make positive or negative picks of material.

In an exclusive interview with Recycling Today, Tom Eng, senior vice president and head of Tomra Sorting Recycling, said the response to the event “has been very good,” and that “a lot of concrete project requests are stemming from it.”

Eng said the lack of in-person events and the scaling back of business travel has caused adjustments to the sales process, but that Tomra Sorting Recycling continues to use its test center near Koblenz, Germany, to host guests and conduct custom material sorting tests.

Eng said online presentations can “show that these products will make a difference,” but customers will continue to want to see their own material sorted via any new technology. He said, because of COVID-19-related restrictions, currently Tomra can host up to two people per recycling company in Koblenz, but those attending “also can take a video and send it as a report.”

For its North American customers, Eng noted, “We also have two test centers in the United States. Van Dyk Recycling Solutions has one in Connecticut and Wendt Corp. has one in Buffalo, New York.” Both of those companies, said Eng, “are upgrading their test centers and are in the process of having some of the new products installed.”

Despite the travel barriers and economic difficulties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Eng says Tomra is “very excited about what we have to introduce to the market. There are lots of things lifting us to the next level. It may be elusive, but we feel we are getting closer to that goal of 100 percent sorting performance.”

More details on the new technology introduced by Tomra at its June 9 “Symphony of all Sorts” event can be found on this web page.