May 24, 2022

TOMRA Food releases free eBook on utilizing sorting machine data

TOMRA Food has published a new eBook to help food processors and packers enhance efficiencies and profitability by using information gathered by sorting machines.

The 21-page booklet, titled “When Sorters Become Data Generating Machines,” explains how businesses can “connect to possibilities” with the TOMRA Insight data platform.

Sensors in sorting machines can do a lot more than identify whether products or materials on a line should be accepted or rejected. As the book states: “They collect and store every piece of information about what they see. And this information can tell you a lot about how your machine is performing, about the products that pass through it, and your process.”

The eBook makes the point that turning TOMRA’s sorters into connected devices isn’t difficult — all that’s needed is wiring and a reliable internet connection — and doing so allows businesses to benefit from digital sorting data with minimal impact. The software stores and processes the data coming from sorters and presents it in near real-time in a dashboard-style monitoring and reporting system. This is compatible with SCADA systems, but whereas SCADA controls the process and visualizes related alarms, performances and control parameters, the digital sorting dashboard enables advanced analytics based on much larger data sets and time series.

Two types of data can be generated by sorters.

  • Data at Rest contains non-real-time information about machines, such as service reports, spare parts history and manuals.
  • Data in Motion contains a continuous flow of dynamic data originating from the sorting activity, including alarms, sorting throughput, and statistics.

It is the Data in Motion which becomes a powerful reporting and decision-making tool. The eBook identifies four categories of process data.

  • Material composition statistics visualize what the machine sees, giving a good view of the nature and quality of the products or materials in the infeed stream.
  • Material distribution statistics visualize the distribution of material on the machine over time, monitoring whether machines and processes are running optimally.
  • Sorting statistics visualize the sorting fractions, serving as a powerful tool for quality management and helping to match product characteristics to customer requirements.
  • Machine health data provides information about the machine’s operational status and condition, preventing unnecessary downtime.

“When Sorters Become Data Generating Machines” is downloadable here free of charge.

Top: TOMRA’s 5A potato sorter. 

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