With the opening of its new flake sorting Test Centre in Parma, in Italy, Tomra has not only created a new R&D facility for its own use. The new centre will also allow the company to considerably extend its service offering to customers around the world.
Tomra, the Norwegian-based expert in the development of sensor-based sorting solutions, officially opened the new centre during an event held on 22 September under the theme ‘Testing is Believing’.
Fabrizio Radice, vice president and head of global sales and marketing at Tomra Recycling, explained the need for the new facility, noting that the company had observed an increasing demand for flake sorting tests and a strong market push for high-quality recycled plastics.
“This requires the purest material fractions across all plastics applications, and the respective technologies and solutions need to be identified, developed, and optimised. This will happen in our new facility, while closely collaborating with our customers and partners,” he said.
The centre will test plastics flakes from customers around the world, who will simply ship their plastic flakes to Parma. These are then processed by Tomra’s flake sorting machines.
Based on the test analysis and results, Tomra will recommend the most suitable machine, process and sensor configuration for the customer’s defined sorting requirements and goals. Customers are provided with an entire business case tailored to their needs before making an investment.
TOMRA’s customers have been benefitting from this concept that has been offered globally. The Parma location is a favourable one, as it can be easily reached via the international airports of Milan, Bologna, Verona and Bergamo.
Radice also discussed the role of Tomra as a ‘One Stop Shop Solution’, and the company’s goal to accelerate and shape the development of the sector through its application and industry expertise, consultation, and the most advanced technologies. The new Test Centre will be a major factor in achieving this, said Alberto Piovesan, segment manager plastics EMEA & Americas. “Within only 1.5 years, we established a place where new ideas and innovations are born to best respond to current market trends. More importantly, we are working on solutions that are indispensable for any sorting and recycling plant targeting to successfully upgrade plastics,” he said.
Issues such as output quality will be addressed at the new centre, he said, with Tomra focussing on new solutions aimed at meeting both customer and market needs. Current market trends have resulted in high demand for recycled polyolefins, yet recycling rates remain low. Tomra sees increasing potential in polyolefin recycling, and will further devote effort and expertise towards innovating PO-applications.
As Radice said, summing up the key takeaways from the opening ceremony: “We are dedicated to shaping the plastics recycling segment and contribute to it with our comprehensive expertise, technologies, and, finally, our passion and commitment to enable greater circularity of our resources. With our new Test Center, we are moving ahead and focusing on the development of new solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.”
Tomra Recycling designs and manufactures sensor-based sorting technologies for the recycling and waste management industry. It is part of Tomra Sorting Solutions, which develops sensor-based sorting and process control systems for the food, mining and other industries. Founded in 1972, Tomra Systems ASA has sales of approximately €985 million and employs more than 4,300 people.