The Germany-based TOMRA Sorting Recycling business unit of Norway’s TOMRA Systems ASA has introduced what it calls a new-generation of its X-TRACT automated sorting machine.
The new version features what TOMRA calls “innovative Dual Processing Technology” designed to enhance end product purity levels and provide multi-density channels to enable more precise classification and sorting of materials. The company says the upgrades can help the device sort not only mixed shredded metals, but also size-reduced electronic scrap, organic materials, wood and aluminum.
“With X-ray transmission technology to assess materials according to their density, X-TRACT was already capable of delivering exceptional sorting performance,” states Valerio Sama, vice president and head of product management-recycling at TOMRA. He continues, “TOMRA’s innovative and unique Dual Processing Technology adds even more accuracy to material recognition and sorting. There is no other technology on the market like this – and now that X-TRACT is available in a wider range of customized application packages, more businesses can take advantage of it.”
While X-TRACT has been marketed primarily for the sorting of zorba (shredded mixed nonferrous scrap) into aluminum and mixed heavy metals, it is now being marketed into the additional applications.
X-TRACT deploys X-ray transmission (XRT) technology to sort materials according to differences in their density. Broad-band radiation penetrates the material to provide spectral absorption information that is then measured with an X-ray camera to identify the atomic density of the material, regardless of its thickness.
The Dual Processing Technology has been designed to enable X-TRACT to distinguish between overlapping objects on the sorting line, which can be an advantage when lines are running at higher throughput rates. The technique has been made possible by the development of software designed to detect and prioritize between single object processing and area processing, according to TOMRA. “X-TRACT is the only machine capable of this,” states the company.
Previous X-TRACT models sorted material according to two classes, separating it into high-density and low-density fractions. The new X-TRACT features multiple density channels, allowing for the separation of materials according to density into three or more classes.
TOMRA says it also has improved X-TRACT with the new TOMRA ACT feature, which it describes as an “intuitive user interface [that] enables the setting of several user levels.” TOMRA ACT has been designed to show operators the most relevant real-time process data at a glance. “This information improves monitoring and enables fast adjustments at any time, so the operator is always in control,” states the firm.