Virto Group, the largest frozen vegetable company in Spain and one of the most important in Europe, has again put its trust in TOMRA. The company has updated its main plant in Azagra (Navarra) with eleven Nimbus BSI+ sorters. This frozen vegetable mixing, packaging, storage, and distribution center is one of the most technologically advanced in the industry.
Virto Group continues to grow and invest in projects to ensure the superior quality of its products – even in the difficult situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has updated its deep-frozen vegetable sorting plant with eleven TOMRA Nimbus BSI+ sorters. They join the 22 Tomra optical sorters already installed in different group factories, which include Helius, Genius, Blizzard, and Sentinel II models. The Nimbus BSI+ sorter, featuring Biometric Signature Identification technology (BSI), stands out for its high performance, the easy configuration when adding new programs, and its minimal false rejection rate (less than 1%).
Tomra has proved that its technology is cutting edge and highly versatile with this installation. Although the Nimbus BSI+ had traditionally been used mainly for sorting dried fruits, once the Tomra sales team understood Virto's needs, they thought it could achieve excellent results for them.
Minor modifications were made to the chassis to fit the company's sorting lines in the adaptation process. A month-long validation process was completed, which evidenced the high added value of the BSI+ technology. The eleven Nimbus BSI+ machines' installation for the eight production lines (of which three double lines for more complex products) was carried out during July, August, and September of 2020. The eleven Nimbus BSI+ machines are dedicated to the final sorting process of deep-frozen vegetables and other mixed products that the company sells to supermarket chains.
The company operates eight specialty centers in Murcia (El Raal, Santomera), Badajoz, Segovia, Zaragoza, La Rioja, and Navarre (Azagra, Cortes, Funes). It also has an international presence in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the USA, Portugal, and Brazil. It offers a wide product range that extends beyond frozen vegetables to include pulses, fruits, vegetable mixes, rice, pasta, cereals, and other vegetable-based dishes.
Nimbus BSI+: Maximum efficiency, minimum false rejection
In the words of Francisco Casas, in charge of sorting at Virto Group: "We've always had good machines, but we wanted to get close to 100% efficiency. With the BSI+ technology, we achieve good results with a simple to program machine that delivers minimal false rejection. Tomra's BSI+ technology shows great potential – and we are only at the beginning, having just completed the installation. We have a way to fulfill the units' full potential, achieving the best possible performance with the lowest possible rejection rate. The reality is that the new TOMRA units can do some things that were complicated before we had them. These machines provide a better solution to our needs."
José Antonio Baldero, Technical Manager at Virto Group, also explains why Tomra was chosen: "Our main objective was to take a quantum leap in new technologies for foreign material sorting. More specifically, we wanted to be able to offer even better product quality to our customers. We opted for Tomra because we saw that their BSI+ technology had greater potential and was more advanced than the competition's technology. When Tomra loaned us a machine for testing, we saw that this was the technology that best suited our situation and specific needs – and this is true not only for the detection of foreign materials because with Tomra's technology, we have expanded to other product specifications."
Alejandro Palacios, Area Sales Manager at Tomra Food for Spain and Portugal, states: "We did a lot of internal tests, and we saw that this technology worked very well with deep-frozen vegetables, so we agreed with Virto to conduct an on-site validation. At the beginning of 2020, we gave them a Nimbus BSI+, and they tested it for a month. We were able to confirm that this equipment did everything we thought it would and that it worked really well. It was an effective technology for detecting foreign bodies and foreign plant matter (even dangerous plants like jimsonweed). Also, there was minimal false rejection. Tomra's BSI+ technology brings added value to the frozen vegetable sector, as it achieves what other machines cannot."
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