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Tomra develops unique biometric technology for nut, raisin sorting

Sensor-based sorting systems pioneer TOMRA Sorting Solutions has made its latest technological breakthrough for nut and raisin processors available in its Nimbus free-fall machine.

The company has introduced its unique biometric signature identification (BSI) technology, developed in-house by its own experts, into the Nimbus sorter. The technology works by detecting the biometric characteristics of the nuts and raisins it scans and comparing them to features in its stored database, to determine whether they should be accepted or rejected.

Bjorn Thumas, Director, Market Development, Food, TOMRA Sorting Solutions, said: “Benefits of the BSI technology include that it makes the Nimbus an ideal pre-sorting machine. The increased options the innovation provides also enhance the system’s ability to operate in other areas of the production line – it’s now the perfect re-sort or recycle unit, for minimizing good product loss, for example.

“In addition, the state-of-the-art BSI module now detects even smaller defects, compared to conventional spectral technology, enhancing nut and raisin sorting quality and retaining nearly all sound material, while reducing the number of passes needed and level of breakage. The technology therefore offers users lower labour time and higher throughput, yield and efficiency. The Nimbus can now also be used effectively for normal or reverse sorts - the latter involving sound produce, rather than faulty material, being ejected.

“A further new benefit is that the Nimbus’s light source, incorporating our patent pending flying-beam principle, enables nut and raisin processors to implement scan shields, counteracting factors such as dust efficiently and keeping inspection windows clean at all times. It does this while delivering benefits in power consumption and reduced maintenance, thereby cutting costs and ensuring constant optimal performance.”

Among the nut-related applications of the Nimbus are almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower and sesame seeds, walnuts, pine nuts and Brazil nuts.

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