Blizzard Sorter Stars at TOMRA Facility Debut in Slovakia
TOMRA Sorting Solutions and Prologis, Inc. celebrated the grand opening of a 12,600-square-meter, BREEAM-certified, build-to-suit facility in Slovakia on September 28. Fully customized to accommodate production and distribution requirements for the sensor-based sorting technology specialist, more than EUR 10 million was invested in the state-of-the-art operation, which will supply equipment to customers around the world and provide jobs for more than 200 people.
The grand opening at Prologis Park Bratislava, a modern distribution center situated 16 kilometers from the international airport, was highlighted by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event was attended by Ben Bannatyne, managing director, Prologis Central and Eastern Europe; Stefan Ranstrand, president and chief executive officer of TOMRA; Dr. Volker Rehrmann, executive vice president and head of TOMRA Sorting Solutions; Martin Hypký, TOMRA Sorting Solutions’ local manager and operations director – food; and Jarmila Répássyová, deputy mayor of Senec.
In addition, more than 200 TOMRA personnel, city officials, media members, employees and guests attended the ceremony, which was followed by a tour of the facility and a demonstration of many of TOMRA’s sorting machines such as the new Blizzard.
The Blizzard free-fall sorter offers a cost effective alternative to the company’s existing high-end sorters, Helius and Nimbus. It detects and removes unwanted discolorations, foreign material and misshapen produce from the product stream, thus maximizing profit.
TOMRA Sorting equips the Blizzard with pulsed LED technology and multiple infrared (IR) wavelengths, combined with a specially designed color capabilities camera. The LED technology has a lifetime of more than 50,000 hours, so requires virtually no replacement. It also provides for very stable output, with its calibration frequency kept to a minimum. An extra advantage of the LED lighting is low heat production, so no extra cooling device is needed. The optical camera set-up is totally modular and flexible, thus guaranteeing better detection of specific defects, depending on the application.
Promoted a highly cost effective optical solution for frozen food processors, the Blizzard offers a small footprint, can comfortably replace older generation systems and easily fits in to existing processing lines. It can be installed just after IQF tunnels or prior to packing lines. The system assures stable detection and handles both mono and mixed color products, meaning it can work with the complete color palette, including ready-to- eat meals.
Its open design was developed with the specific sanitary requirements of the frozen food industry in mind. Additionally, the Blizzard’s components are easily accessible for operators. The sorting machine eliminates flat surfaces and integrates open easy-to-clean legs and hygienic door locks.
Another advantage of the Blizzard is the installation of transportation hooks and positioning of the electrical cabinet at its rear end. A high-frequency electromagnetic shaker is also installed on the machine frame, minimizing vibration and making the system ultra-compact.
Pointing out that the Blizzard is ideal for producers of IQF vegetables and fruits, Bjorn Thumas, market unit director for TOMRA Sorting Food, added: “Our customers will save considerably on cost and maintenance.”
TOMRA Sorting Solutions has an installed base of more than 10,000 units in over 80 countries worldwide. In addition to serving the food processing sector, the Akershus, Norway-headquartered company provides sensor-based sorting and processing technology to the recycling and mining industries.