Optical sorter involves a set of automated dedicated systems that focus on automating the process of sorting solid products, using cameras or laser beams. The optical sorter is used to sort various food commodities such as agricultural seeds, coffee, confectionery, fruit, grains nut, meat and seafood; recycling material such as plastic, organic waste, metal, paper; mining material such as industrial minerals and precious metals. The various advantages of an optical sorter include increase in productivity, producing high quality commodities, and reduction of labor costs. The various components of an optical sorter include feed system, optical system, image processing unit, and separation system unit. The feed system is typically utilized to feed the high speed conveyor belt in order to spread the material into a single layer. The material is accelerated and scanned by various cameras or sensors to detect the material. As the material passes under the light, some of the light is absorbed by the materials that are placed on the belt, while other light waves are reflected. These reflected light waves are recorded by a series of camera lenses pointed at the conveyor belt. Each material reflects a unique light wave that is read by the spectrometer, and it is used to identify different types of materials. Once the material is identified, the material is ejected either by upward ejection or downward ejection. Optical sorting can be employed to identify and separate diverse materials including wood, plastics, and glass. Presently, various vendors are making continuous enhancements with lenses and cameras, and building systems that are quicker and better at picking and recovering materials.
The main drivers for the global optical sorter market include increasing automation in industries in order to increase productivity and growing need to reduce delivery and process time in the food industry. Furthermore, stringent government regulations and policies regarding food security and increasing labor costs involved with it are boosting the market significantly. However, high capital investment and consistently rising operations and maintenance costs are major restraints of the global optical sorter market.
The global optical sorter market can be segmented based on product type, platform type, application, and region. In terms of product type, the global optical sorter market can be classified into cameras, lasers, NIR sorters, hyperspectral cameras, and combined sorters. Based on platform segment, the global optical sorter market can be segregated into belt, freefall, lane, hybrid, and others. In terms of application, the global optical sorter market can be divided into food, pharmaceuticals, tobacco processing, waste recycling, and others. In terms of region, the global optical sorter market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America.
Expansion of the food industry has led to productivity, economic, efficiency, and environmental pressures due to the rising demand leading food supply complex and multifaceted. This is helping in boost the demand of optical sorter market in the food industry. Moreover, stringent regulations for food safety in North America has prompted various food companies to comply with these standards that can be achieved through automation.
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Major players operating in the global optical sorter market include TOMRA, CP Manufacturing, Binder, Satake, NEWTEC, Buhler Key Technology, Pellenc ST, Allgaier Werke, Cimbria, GREEFA, Raytec Vision, National Recovery Technologies, Sesotec, and STEINERT. These companies are investing significantly in R&D in order to incorporate new technologies in their systems and develop new products to increase their market share in the global optical sorter market.
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