TOMRA Recycling’s new eBook makes the case for robotic sorting and explores the mechanics of recycling robots

TOMRA Recycling’s new eBook makes the case for robotic sorting and explores the mechanics of recycling robots

Choosing the right combination of optical sorters with robotic arm and valve block ejectors delivers two powerful robot options to boost recovery of targeted materials

Robotic technology in the recycling industry is evolving rapidly, particularly in the realm of optical sorting. Drawing from deep datasets, optical sorters which use different ejection methods can process material fractions more efficiently and at higher purity rates than ever before. But what exactly constitutes a robot in the recycling industry and how do these machines leverage the deep learning subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to benefit today’s recycling facilities?

‘Recycling Robots, Take Two’, the latest eBook from the global leader in sensor-based sorting, TOMRA Recycling, explains the similarities and differences between optical sorters with valve block ejectors and optical sorters with robotic arm ejectors. It details how, when implemented as part of a holistic system design, the two can work in combination to improve sorting performance. The eBook explains that the term ‘robot sorter’ is not just a machine with sorting arms.

TOMRA’s eBook also highlights the four critical components shared by all optical sorters, the different sorting technologies available to recyclers and the role of software in sorting. Processing software, in particular, is critical to the sorting process and should be developed specifically for the type of sorting technology employed to maximise materials recovery.

The eBook concludes with the message that, while not new to the recycling industry, the use of AI and deep datasets is expanding, which is helping to increase material processing speed, achieve higher recovery rates of the most complex material fractions and maximise circularity by bringing more high-quality recyclates into the loop. Together, optical sorters – both with valve block as well as robotic arm ejectors – allow for more efficient use of staff which lowers overall operating costs for the recycler. To be most effective, however, these sorters must be positioned in the line as part of a holistic approach to a plant’s design.

To download TOMRA’s new eBook on robots, please visit   



TOMRA Recycling designs and manufactures sensor-based sorting technologies for the global recycling and waste management industry to transform resource recovery and create value in waste.  

The company was the first to develop advanced waste and metals sorting applications use high capacity near infrared (NIR) technology to extract the most value from resources and keep materials in a loop of use and reuse. To date, more than 8,200 systems have been installed in 100 countries worldwide.  

Follow TOMRA Recycling on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and on YouTube at TOMRA Recycling.   

TOMRA Recycling is a division of TOMRA Group. TOMRA was founded on an innovation in 1972 that began with the design, manufacturing and sale of reverse vending machines (RVMs) for automated collection of used beverage containers.  

Today, TOMRA is leading the resource revolution to transform how the planet’s resources are obtained, used and reused to enable a world without waste. The company’s other business divisions are TOMRA Food and TOMRA Collection.  

TOMRA has approximately 100,000 installations in over 80 markets worldwide and had total revenues of ~10.9 billion NOK in 2021. The Group employs ~4,600 globally and is publicly listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The company headquarters are in Asker, Norway. 

Read more of the latest news from us

Future Waste magazine is available online today

Get updates on the go, follow us on Twitter

Post a Comment

Subscribe to our newsletter by using the form below.