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Tomra sorter defies gravity

By Rod Addy , 14-Nov-2012

Tomra's hyperspectral imaging sorter has been tested by nut manufacturers

Tomra's hyperspectral imaging sorter has been tested by nut manufacturers

Nut, fruit and vegetable processors have a new weapon in their quality control arsenal in the form of Tomra Sorting Solutions’ Best Nimbus N sorter, which can sort products in free fall.

The 640mm or 1,200mm sorter uses hyperspectral imaging to identify a unique fingerprint for each type of product, which then forms the basis of the sorting process.

The firm explains that every substance reflects different forms of light such as infra-red in different ways. That then creates a distinct profile for it.

Any product or defect is compared to this unique fingerprint and is rejected if there is no match. The hyperspectral method can deliver a high level of accuracy for high speed free fall applications, boosting yield, Tomra claims.


The combination of high hyperspectral accuracy with the speed of free fall inspection was groundbreaking, it said.

Speaking to FoodProductionDaily at the IPA trade show, a Tomra spokesman, said: “Hyperspectrum cameras are used in a lot of applications. The fact that this machine can do this in free fall is the new thing.”

In a statement about the launch of the Nimbus N, Steve Raskin, sales director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Tomra Sorting Solutions food division, said: “We have been testing the sorter in a number of nut applications so far, with very good results.”

Improved sorting result

“A number of major nut processors have already been using the machine successfully, experiencing an improved sorting result.

“The existing Nimbus will continue to be part of our sorter range; it is now possible to combine the hyperspectral camera with double sided laser detection for an optimal sorting result.”

Like other machines in Tomra’s Nimbus range, the Nimbus N can be equipped with front sorting or a rear ejection system for flexibility, low false reject and improved throughput, the firm says.

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