Tomra Recycling and Masotina: highly targeted plastic sorting boosts recycling volumes and purity

Autosort but even better – looking to the future  

Tomra Recyling's Autosort machines combine NIR (near-infrared wavelengths) and VIS (visible wavelengths) sensors in a modular sorting system that enables large quantities of material to be precisely recognized and separated at maximum speed according to type and composition, resulting in high-purity end fractions. At the Masotina plant, NIR technology allows selection by polymer type and VIS selection by color (in the case of PET).

Recently, Masotina replaced four Autosort units with the latest generation of sorters. "The feedback has been very positive," Chizzali explains. "We've tested the new grading system, which enables even more targeted customization and easier prioritization of material selections. We’ve not only found an increase in yield – in the range of 5 to 10% – but also a significant 2-3% quality improvement in the targeted fractions.”  Chizzali adds: "Feedback has been so positive that we plan to upgrade two further units to the new generation Autosort later this year.” 

Masotina has also signed a contract for Tomra Care’s maintenance package. Chizzal comments: "Our technicians are very satisfied with both the professionalism and the intervention times of Tomra’s technical experts. The support we’ve had from Tomra in defining the customization of the installed units has been key to the success of our customized material recovery."

In the future, Masotina intends to close the plastics recycling loop by producing flakes of the main polymers.  To do this, the company is seeking authorization and is already considering a dedicated line with Tomra technology to recover flakes. "At that point, we will also be able to test other applications, such as sorting fines material and using Deep Laiser technology to sort black plastics, which we hope to introduced later this year," concludes Chizzali.  

The latest generation of Autosort 

With up to 320,000 scan points per second, Tomra's Autosort high-resolution sensors collect data on multiple characteristics at high speed to ensure accurate identification of a wide range of materials. To put this into context: Tomra's optical sorter can analyze and sort the equivalent of a soccer stadium covered in trash in less than 15 minutes.

Tomra's Autosort combines state-of-the-art features and technologies in one machine. Compact and flexible in construction, Autosort allows easy integration into existing or new installations. Thanks to Flying Beam technology (the first NIR scanning system used point scanning), excellent homogeneous light distribution is guaranteed for better detection and monitoring across the entire belt width, distinguishing even the finest molecular differences of materials flowing along the line. 

The latest generation of Autosort also incorporates Sharp Eye technology as standard, which ensures improved light efficiency and sorting clarity, facilitating the separation of difficult-to-sort fractions such as PET from bottles and trays. 

The optional integration of Tomra's Deep Laiser technology also enables the detection of previously undetectable materials and further increases purity levels.

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