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TOMRA Introduces Flow Technology, a Fast and Versatile Sensor Solution for Retail RVMs

Flow Technology reverse vending machines can accept up to 60 recyclable beverage containers per minute, using advanced new technology that rapidly recognizes bottles and cans of varying shapes and sizes

RVMs rapidly recognize bottles and cans.
RVMs rapidly recognize bottles and cans.

Tomra Systems, ASA (TOMRA) has announced the launch of a new generation of reverse vending machines (RVMs) with Flow Technology, a patented sensor solution designed for retail store RVMs. Tomra says Flow Technology provides 360-degree recognition of containers, allowing RVMs to rapidly recognize bottles and cans of varying shapes and sizes, and accept up to 60 recyclable beverage containers per minute.

RVMs with Flow Technology provide retailers with the fastest, cleanest and most versatile solution for medium- and high-volume stores where consumers bring containers to be recycled in exchange for cash. TOMRA Flow Technology takes up to 1,000 pictures per second, making it possible for the RVMs to read container shape, material, barcodes and security marks without rotating the containers, allowing the user to insert recyclables in a rapid continuous flow.

TOMRA is now offering three RVMs with this technology: the T-9 Bottle, the T-9 Combi and the T-90. The T-9 Bottle, for single containers, and the T-9 Combi for single containers and crates, are designed to work with backroom storage systems, such as TOMRA MultiPac or ProPac, and do not come with internal storage bins. The T-90 is a wide-body machine with an internal storage bin, optimized for supermarkets or other retail stores in the United States that do not have space for backroom storage. Thanks to TOMRA Flow Technology, all three machines accept bottles, cans and other containers of varying shapes and sizes. 

“The Flow Technology machines are super-fast because they do not need to spin the containers in order to identify them, accept them and calculate the refund amount,” said Harald Henriksen, CEO at TOMRA of North America. “All three Flow Technology models can process containers at a rate of up to 60 containers per minute, making them the fastest RVMs available on the market today. Consumers with bagfuls of recyclable containers appreciate the Flow Technology’s speed and ease of use, particularly during peak times of day.”

RVMs with Flow Technology feature large, high-resolution color touch display screens with video capability, to make it easy for customers to see that containers have been accepted, and that the deposit return amount is correctly registered. All models have a slim-line, contemporary design, with color options of light grey, dark grey, red or black. Stores can also order a store-branded four-color wrap to match its look and feel.

The outside of the T-90 is easy to keep clean. The machine is smooth and flat, which prevents dirt buildup and makes it easier to wipe down. The internal workings are also straightforward to clean, thanks to convenient interior lights; plus, there are fewer moving parts than earlier generations of RVMs.

At any time, personnel can use the machine’s external display screen to determine which internal areas of the machine need cleaning. The internal conveyor can be easily removed and cleaned when needed.