(EMAILWIRE.COM, August 19, 2022 ) The optical sorter market is expected to grow from USD 2.6 billion in 2022 to USD 4.1 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 9.9% during the forecast period. Growing focus on automation to increase productivity in various industries sector is driving the market for optical sorter. Increasing adoption in the food industry for food processing activities and for reducing process and delivery time; increase in wages of the manual workforce in various countries; and stringent government regulations regarding food safety further drives the optical sorter market.
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The advancements in smart imaging sensors and powerful image processors make them increasingly appealing for optical sorting machines. Optical sorters analyse products that have been singulated and presented to the viewing area using reflected light. This can be accomplished by using low-friction inclined chutes or conveyor belts. Specially designed optical filters narrow the reflected light into specific wavelengths, emphasizing the difference between the acceptable and rejected product. Specialized CCD (charge coupled device), IR (infra-red), UV (ultra-violet), InGaAs (Indium Gallium Arsenide), or RGB (full color red/green/blue) cameras detect reflected light from the product and send it to be amplified and classified. Features and technologies of image sensors, image processors, and software determine the performance of an optical system. Imaging sensors employ 360º monitor and inspecting with stereoscopic multi-dimensional imaging to reproduce original material features and directly eliminate defective products. The capabilities of smart cameras have been expanded due to advancements in embedded imaging sensors and processors, allowing them to execute inspection activities autonomously. The optical sorter’s imaging sensors offers HD cameras with higher resolution, holographic flash camera for inspecting a variety of food items by detecting material’s circularity rate, linear rate, perimeter, and area, and so on. For instance, InGaAs technology improves the visibility of defects, allowing high-definition cameras to detect them. Even defects that are the same color as good products, such as sclerotia in sunflower seed, are more visible. Hefei Meyer Optoelectronic Technology (China), Cimbria (Denmark), Bühler (Switzerland), and Satake (Japan) are few of the companies that offer optical sorters based on InGaAs camera technology.
The market for hyperspectral cameras & combined sorters, on the other hand, is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period and account for the second-largest share of optical sorter market during 2022-2027. This technology increases FM (foreign material) and/or EVM (extraneous vegetable matter) removal, often achieving efficiency with very low false reject rates. The hyperspectral cameras are used to identify the unique fingerprint of the material. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) has been used in a variety of applications and industries, including the detection of rock minerals from airborne images and the detection of foreign materials in food processing.
The optical sorter market for belt platform is expected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2022 to 2027. Belt sorting equipment is widely used in various applications such as food, recycling, and mining, as they provide higher sorting accuracy and a low carryover ratio. Belt sorting equipment has high-performance capabilities for fresh, frozen, and dried vegetables and fruits, processed potato products, and nuts. This process minimizes the risk of food contamination further down the line and leads to improved product quality. Furthermore, it aids in the detection of minor flaws and foreign materials, improving ejection accuracy system, assisting in defect removal performance, and increasing sorter yield.
The optical sorter market for food applications is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growing demand for high-quality food products within shorter delivery cycles and growing automation are major factors driving growth in the optical sorter market for food applications. The food items are considered as essentials and with disrupted supply chains due to COVID-19, the food companies are keen on adopting the automation for their food processing to meet the strong quality norms and government regulations related to food products. This will affect the investments in food processing equipment, including optical sorters.
North America is expected to dominate the optical sorter market throughout the forecast period while growing at a significant CAGR between 2022 and 2027. North America is one of the early adopters of automation with deployment of optical sorter in food application. The market is driven by developments in optical sorting solutions by North American companies such as Key Technology (US), Machinex (Canada), NATIONAL RECOVERY TECHNOLOGIES (NRT) (US), and CP Global (US) to list a few. These companies replenish the growing demand for optical sorting machines by integrating the new-generation optical sorters with AI-based deep learning technology, hyperspectral cameras, cost-efficient & low power consumption sorters, visual recognition, and metal detectors to analyze material streams in various industries.
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