Optical Sorter Market is set to grow owing to the latest technological advancements such as automation industries. Rising labor costs are compelling the industries to use automated systems to perform time-consuming and critical tasks. The manufacturers are increasing the focus on the adoption of automation for increasing the productivity.
Growing usage of these systems across several industries, such as food and pharmaceutical industries, is expected to propel the optical sorter market growth. Vendors of these systems have developed advanced sorting and peeling systems, which boost the processing capacity, ensure food quality, and increase the profitability. Furthermore, the use of this equipment reduces food wastage. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in 2010, the number of hungry people in the world increased to 925 million. The Optical sorter market allows the food industry to reduce the wastage by about 5% to 10%, which is equivalent to about 25,000 trucks of potatoes per year.
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Strict government regulations concerning food safety and rising labor costs are some of the reasons for the growth of optical sorter market. Food and drug administration (FDA) has set certain rules and laws to ensure the quality of food, which needs to be adhered to very strictly to avoid inquiries from the FDA. Food and drug-related organizations adopt optically enhanced sorting equipment to meet the quality of their products.
Major restraint in the optical sorter market is the high initial capital investment required to set up the machinery. For instance, mini color sorting machine by the Pugos Technologies costs around USD 8,500 per unit. It is very difficult for small companies to invest in the machinery. Furthermore, these systems require a high degree of maintenance and technical expertise for operation.
Advancements in detection technologies are providing viable opportunities for optical sorter market growth. Infrared detectors are used in infrared imaging technology that operates at a low temperature. This technology helps in optical sorting and reduces the processing time eventually. This technology enables sorting of different products on the same conveyor belt.
Optical sorter market is characterized by lasers, cameras, NIR sorters, and hyperspectral camera. The hyperspectral camera-based optical sorter market is expected to grow significantly, due to the increased efficiency of length defect analysis and EVM & FM removal. These are widely used to attain the desired efficiency with low false rejection rates. The high applicability of these products in the food industry is expected to create opportunities for the optical sorter market growth.
The optical sorter market consists of products built on platforms including lane, freefall, belt, and hybrid. The belt platform is expected to witness a significant demand owing to the increased applicability of this platform in the mining and food industries. These platforms provide lower carryover ratio and high accuracy. Hence, these platforms are widely used in high-capacity operations such as potato or vegetable products prior to freezing, drying, or canning, allowing to minimize the risk of food contamination and result in an improved product quality.
Optical sorter market caters to the requirements of industry verticals including food, mining, and recycling. The applications of this equipment in the food industry are used for fruits & vegetables, seafood & meat, dried fruits & nuts, pulses, grains, and cereals. The food application segment will increasingly demand these products due to the growing demand for high-quality food products, a high degree of automation in these industries, and shorter delivery cycles.
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The U.S. optical sorter market is expected to gain momentum due to a high demand for these machines in the food industry and stringent FDA regulations in the country. The food industries in the country have already adopted the automation technology and have the early mover advantage in the industry. Also, strict regulations for food safety in North American countries are the main reasons for the companies to adopt the technology.
Europe optical sorter market is expected to gain momentum due to the rapidly generated electronic waste. Electrical and electronic scrap is the highest growing waste type in the region. The recycling of these materials has become vital, as this kind of waste consists of a wide range of materials. ANDRITZ MeWa, the German plant builder, has built a state-of-the-art WEEE plant that incorporates optical sorters in the UK for the waste management company. The plant processes recycled hi-fi systems, refrigerators, computers, and other electrical & electronic waste.
Some of the key players in the optical sorter market include TOMRA, CP Manufacturing, Buhler, GREEFA, Key Technology, NEWTEC, Binder, Satake, Pellenc ST, Allgaier Werke, Raytec Vision, Cimbria, Sesotec, and STEINERT. The companies are continuously investing in the R&D for product innovations, particularly software developments. The companies are also entering into strategic partnerships with regional leaders to expand their presence. For instance, Sesotec GmbH and Pellenc ST have entered into a new partnership agreement to complement their individual market and product portfolios. This will allow the companies to distribute their plastics recycling equipment in Japan, the UK, & France and metal scrap sorting equipment in Japan & France.
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