New flake sorter scans for colour, polymer and transparency

the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE for high-
throughput purification of plastic flakes. Its enhanced features enable simultaneous flake sorting by
color, polymer and transparency, achieving unmatched quality even from highly contaminated inputs.
In the industry’s quest to increase recycled content by producing post-consumer recyclates for high-
end applications, TOMRA has leveraged its 50 years of experience in circular waste management and
developed the next-generation flake sorting technology. With the global introduction of the new
INNOSORT™ FLAKE, TOMRA provides the ideal flake sorting solution to help the industry recover
more recyclable materials from any waste stream with maximum yield.

Eric Olsson, plastics segment manager, North America, for TOMRA Recycling Sorting, explains: “Given
brand and producer recycled content commitments, the market must address the demand. Recyclers
require solutions to produce high-quality post-consumer recycled content in sufficient volumes,
while demanding operational reliability and flexibility. The new INNOSORT™ FLAKE embodies
TOMRA’s half-century of R&D market leadership to specifically deliver on these needs.”
Any color. Any polymer.
Equipped with a powerful sensor combination, the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE sorts polymers by
material type and color, removing any impurities to create pure fractions. Thanks to its advanced
near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer, the machine precisely detects various polymers, allowing for the
recovery of recyclable materials from highly contaminated infeed. With this technology, plastics
recovered from mixed waste, for example, can be sorted for recycling, giving access to more
recyclable materials that otherwise would be lost or downcycled for lower-grade applications.
For instance, polyolefins (PO), such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), are often found to
be comingled in the same waste stream. With the new INNOSORT™ FLAKE, mixed plastic fractions
that have been shredded and washed can be sorted into clean fractions of PET, PP and PE and other
materials that meet the quality requirements for extrusion and the creation of high-quality post-
consumer recycled (PCR) content.
Moreover, plant operators profit from the machine’s unmatched color sorting performance. Its
enhanced optics, with a changeable color background and dual-sided high-resolution cameras, detect
millions of colors and create single-color fractions. Its high contrast imaging can even differentiate

between white opaque and natural, transparent and translucent flakes, reducing material losses and
maximizing yield.

Polyolefin flake sorting
Alberto Piovesan, global segment manager plastics at TOMRA Recycling Sorting, adds: “The new
INNOSORT™ FLAKE is designed to sort any color, any polymer, at the same time. It levels the playing
field for recyclers and gives them maximum flexibility to respond to the respective market demands.
If an operator wants to purify PET this month and produce a clean blue PP next month, it is
technically possible with the new machine. What’s more, it is cost-effective.”
New design with multiple benefits
William Zeng, product manager for TOMRA Recycling Sorting, offers: “We developed the machine
with the requirements of our customers in mind. With its integrated cooling system and robustness,
it delivers an even more stable performance in challenging environments and delivers reliable results
for maximum output and profitability. Furthermore, with the enhanced technologies, recyclers
already achieve very high purity levels after the first sorting step. Depending on the contamination
level of the input material and the target purities, fewer sorting steps might be required.”

User interface new INNOSORT™ FLAKE
The new INNOSORT™ FLAKE comes with up to four chutes and a changeable illumination
background. This level of flexibility makes it possible to run multiple sorting and recovery steps in a
single machine, leading to considerable time savings and less material handling.
As a system only performs best when all components work seamlessly together, maintenance is
crucial. The new design gives unrestricted access to the machine’s components enabling smooth
maintenance with little downtime.
Data-driven analysis
In addition, TOMRA Insight can be installed as an add-on service. The cloud-based data monitoring
platform contributes to improving sorting performance. On the one hand, it helps optimize processes

through data analysis. Identified inefficiencies and predicted maintenance further support the
reduction of machine downtime and productivity losses. On the other hand, its real-time monitoring
gives plant operators access to data anywhere and anytime to maintain process stability.