NRT Launches new Optical Sorter with advanced technology, new easy access design

The new SpydIR®-HS can be integrated with Max-AI®

Nashville, Tenn. – April 24, 2023 — National Recovery Technologies (NRT), has announced the new SpydIR®-HS optical sorter, a Near-infrared (NIR) platform with multiple technological advancements including nearly 10x the detection resolution with the addition of a Hyper Spectral Imaging (HSI) camera, double the air ejection precision, integration with Max-AI® VIS (Visual Identification System) and lifetime calibration. The optical unit also features a new easy access design for improved maintenance and safety, a design now available on all NRT Optical Sorters.

“We’re excited to bring this ground-breaking optical sorter to the industry,” said Chris Ulum, NRT Managing Director. “This is more than just an incremental update—the SpydIR®-HS combines multiple advancements to boost recovery and reduce contamination. With the increased demand for recovered plastics to meet the recycled content goals of the consumer products industry, the launch of this new optical sorter couldn’t be more timely in light of this urgent challenge.”

“The SpydIR®-HS is a culmination of years of research and development focused on improving detection while retaining NRT’s unique technology including its proprietary In-Flight Sorting®,” said Thomas Brooks, Chief Technology Officer for Bulk Handling Systems (NRT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHS). “In addition, optimized software gives operators greater sorting flexibility, utilizing the full spectrum detection system to set custom thresholds to optimize recovery and for quick target profiling changes.”

The broad spectral diversity of HSI combined with NRT’s robust software algorithms creates an optical sorter calibrated at the factory that doesn’t need routine or auto calibration. Lifetime calibration is an improvement over NRT’s previous market-leading auto calibration, which itself was an advancement compared to the manual calibration necessary with other industry optical sorters.

The new sorter can be integrated with Max-AI® VIS, adding another layer of intelligence to the high-volume detection system for targeted recovery, said Brooks. As examples, the combined unit can eject or suppress PET trays from a PET material stream or eject HDPE-N containers from a mixed HDPE stream. In addition, the SpydIR®-HS can be paired with NRT’s MetalDirector™ for targeted recovery of metals.

“The SpydIR-HS is a fundamental building block for the future of autonomous processing,” Brooks said. “The capabilities of this optical sorter, coupled with Max-AI® VIS and BHS’ Total Intelligence Platform, is a huge leap forward.”

Numerous units of the new optical have already been sold and will be installed in multiple systems starting later this spring.

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