New technology simplifies sorting for deinking, and with higher recovery rates
The second section of TOMRA's e-book looks at a new technology which can improve sorting paper and cardboard for deinking with impressive results. This new solution is SHARP EYE - a breakthrough made by enhancing TOMRA's FLYING BEAM® technology, which was already the best sensor technology on the market.
As the first near-infrared (NIR) scan system with point-scanning (without any need for external lamps), FLYING BEAM intensively focuses on the area of the conveyor belt being scanned. This can distinguish even the finest molecular differences in materials flowing down the recycling line, and SHARP EYE's new optical sensor for higher light intensity has made it possible to detect even the most difficult-to-distinguish properties. Now the combination of TOMRA's AUTOSORT machine and SHARP EYE technology has been calibrated to identify materials suitable for deinking - and in those cases where a two-step process was previously necessary to achieve recovery of recyclable paper above 90%, now it is possible to achieve rates as high as 96% with one step.
The infeed material sent through AUTOSORT will typically contain polymers and brown and grey cardboards. This is where AUTOSORT's exceptional precision in detecting material differences is a significant advantage: to less sophisticated machines, grey cardboard can look very similar to grey newspaper, white cardboard can look like white office-grade paper, and cardboards from supermarket packaging can also look like papers. By being able to tell the difference, AUTOSORT avoids the over-sorting which wastefully discards usable materials.
The quality of input materials - which varies from nation to nation according to legislation and collecting arrangements - ultimately determines whether a one-step or two-step process is required with AUTOSORT, but TOMRA's new process greatly increases the proportion of runs which need only one step. This reduces the time needed, machinery required, and energy consumed in sorting pulp, to help meet the increasing demand for recycled paper of a high quality.
Owners of latest-generation AUTOSORT machines can benefit from this progress by upgrading to the TOMRA AUTOSORT with SHARP EYE technology.