TOMRA Sorting Solutions has won the 2015 Innovation Award at the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress in May 2015 at Antalya, Turkey.
TOMRA market development director Bjorn Thumas said: "We are delighted to have won this prestigious innovation award, which recognises the latest innovative technology in the world of nuts and dried fruits.
"An award voted by the industry we work for and with is a confirmation we are on the right path.
"We believe that TOMRA’s Nimbus BSI is a breakthrough for nuts and raisin processors."
With a combination of various sorting technologies, the Nimbus free fall sorting machine with biometric signature identification (BSI) meets the requirements of the food industry and individual processors for excellent food quality by removing unwanted material.
BSI technology detects biometric characteristics of nuts, dried fruits and potatoes, and is the next-generation of spectral imaging, which was introduced to identify the material’s unique fingerprint.
The technology creates a new range of sorting opportunities.
Almond processor, Stewart and Jasper Orchards, based in California, has introduced the Nimbus BSI to its processing lines.
Stewart and Jasper Orchards owner Jim Jasper said: "By implementing TOMRA’s Nimbus BSI, our company has benefitted enormously.
"Our throughput has increased immensely and we have seen our labour expenses drop. On top of that, our product quality has improved."
Information detected in a specific spectrum of light is analysed by TOMRA’s in-house designed sensor module, and compared and classified at the speed of light.
The system identifies the sole biometric signature of either good products or defects and sorts based on these clear distinguishable patterns.
The flying beam principle (patent pending) implements only two halogen light sources per sensor module, in combination with a rotating polygon.
A concentrated and focused light beam allows maximum light efficiency, resulting in significant energy minimisation and no increased heating effect.
This allows the Nimbus BSI to be the only sorter in the world that can combine spectral imaging and lasers on one machine.
The Nimbus scan path includes a dust protection shield, ensuring stable and reliable sorting results as dust cannot reach the optical inspection window.
The state-of-the-art BSI module detects even smaller defects compared to conventional spectral technology, enhancing sorting quality but retaining nearly all good material.
At the same time, the machine reduces the number of passes needed and level of breakage or bruising. The platform offers users lower labour time and higher throughput, yield and efficiency in the rest of the processing line.
The Nimbus BSI can also be used effectively for reverse or recycle sorts where the volume of ‘bad’ is higher than the ‘good’, targeting good product rather than faulty material, by the touch of a button.