Many questions –
many answers

“Our mission is to guarantee you first-class optical plastic sorting and exceed your expectations.”

FAQ – the most important questions and answers

Here we have provided the most important questions and answers for you. If you have any further questions, please send us an e-mail at or call us at +49 (0)2636 80 772 – 10.

During the compounding of plastic pellets, inevitable optical defects arise due to excessive temperatures, pressures, and shear forces in the extruder. These defects, such as burns (black specks) and discolorations, often go unnoticed in subsequent inspections, resulting in the delivery of defective raw materials. Consequently, these impurities can cause production issues or lead to defective products during further thermal processing. The sorting process aims to effectively separate and remove all such impurities.

The sorting machine utilizes cutting-edge, high-resolution camera systems to inspect plastic granules for optical properties such as black specks, discolorations, and other impurities. This inspection is carried out on the granules as they are in free fall or in flight. Upon detection of optical defects or faulty granules, a precise compressed air pulse is employed to separate them from the material flow.

Optical sorting plays a vital role in ensuring the quality of virgin plastic material by identifying irregularities and impurities before they reach the market. This process is crucial for meeting the required quality standards, as it ensures that only defect-free and high-quality plastic products are supplied to processors.

A trouble-free manufacturing process, the avoidance of hot runner blockages and associated machine downtimes, a reduction in incalculable complaint costs, and an increase in customer satisfaction are among the numerous benefits. In addition, the amount of production scrap is reduced, and unnecessary waste of resources is avoided.

SORTCO is a pioneer in fine screening. By using state-of-the-art machines and individualizing the setting parameters, even the smallest impurities in the range of 50 µm (0.05 mm) can be detected and successfully separated.

After receiving the goods, our process begins with careful preparation and laboratory checks in our warehouse. Next, the material is transported from the delivery packaging to the machines through efficient suction conveyors. To ensure high-quality output, the material undergoes a series of steps, including passing through a classifying screen to remove foreign materials and shape-deviating granules, and then through an air classifier to eliminate dust. Following these steps, the material undergoes optical sorting to achieve precise separation. Finally, the sorted and high-quality fraction is expertly packed into the packaging of your choice, ready for collection.

Yes, optical plastic sorting can effectively detect and separate foreign materials such as wood, paper, metal, and other unwanted contaminants. Using advanced cameras and sophisticated image processing algorithms, the optical sorting system can identify various materials and contaminants based on their optical properties like color, shape, size, texture, and other visual characteristics. When foreign materials are detected, the system employs targeted air streams to separate and collect them in separate bins from the main material flow.

Depending on the plant and the degree of contamination, we can sort between 300–5,000 kg per hour. In a two-shift operation, up to 100 tons can be sorted daily. However, it’s important to consider the impact of maintenance and cleaning requirements on the overall sorting capacity.

When delivering goods by truck, we follow a systematic process to ensure accuracy and efficient handling. Upon arrival, the goods are first weighed on our calibrated truck scale, ensuring precise quantity recording. Our skilled warehouse specialists then utilize forklifts to unload the goods and carefully place them in our warehouse for further processing.

When your carrier arrives for pickup, our warehouse specialists once again use forklifts to load the sorted goods onto the carrier’s truck. To guarantee safe transport, your carrier will secure the goods for their return journey, ensuring they arrive back at your premises in excellent condition. Our streamlined process ensures smooth logistics and maintains the integrity of the sorted goods throughout the delivery and pickup phases.

At SORTCO, we highly value order and cleanliness, and in addition to ISO 9001:2015, we strictly adhere to the BRC (British Retail Consortium) standard. The BRC’s ‘Global Standard for Food Safety’ specifies stringent safety, quality, and operational criteria that food manufacturers must meet to comply with legal requirements and ensure consumer protection. Our customers have the opportunity to verify the effectiveness of our practices through their own process audits conducted at our company. This transparency allows them to have full confidence in our sorting capabilities, making SORTCO a reliable choice for sorting plastics intended for medical technology or the food sector.

To ensure the highest product quality, the sorting process undergoes continuous monitoring with random sampling throughout its entirety. We utilize state-of-the-art laboratory testing technology to control these random samples, maintaining them for 10 years for quality assurance purposes. As our valued customer, you can access the laboratory test reports by prior arrangement, granting you complete transparency and confidence in the sorting quality.

Yes, during the sorting process, materials that exhibit low contrast with optical defects due to their inherent color pose challenges. Therefore, it is essential that the contrast between the product and the defect is as strong as possible, as this significantly enhances the probability of detection and ensures a reliable separation.

The number of sorting runs required depends on various factors. Critical considerations include the level of contamination, the size of defects, the color of the product, and the type of color and shape deviations. Most importantly, the specific quality requirements or specifications you need are vital in determining the number of sorting runs. In some cases, multiple sorting passes may be necessary to achieve the desired or required quality.

At SORTCO, our primary objective is to attain the best possible result with as few sorting runs as possible. We aim to minimize unnecessary costs and provide you with the optimal solution to meet your sorting needs effectively. Our team strives to achieve high-quality results efficiently, ensuring your satisfaction with the final sorted product.

Indeed, the air separation process employed during sorting enables the removal of not only contaminants but also dust and airborne particles, further enhancing the overall quality of the end product. This dedusting process offers the added advantage of reducing the optical rejection quantity, contributing to a higher yield of sorted, superior-quality materials for your needs.

At SORTCO, we provide flexible packaging options tailored to your preferences. You can choose to have your sorted materials filled into your own octabins, big bags, or 25-kg bags. Additionally, for quantities up to 50 tons, we offer neutral packaging. If you have specific requirements for filling into other types of packaging, please contact us before placing your order to discuss your needs.

For your convenience, SORTCO welcomes a wide range of packaging options for delivering your goods, provided they meet the criterion of a minimum unit weight of 20 kg. Moreover, if your order exceeds 300 tons, we also offer the option of delivering as silo goods.

No, there is no minimum quantity. No matter what quantity needs to be sorted, we will gladly accept any order from you.

We handle the dust rejection fraction in a professional and responsible manner, ensuring proper disposal. As our valued customer, you have two options for the other rejected fractions. We can fill and prepare them for your collection upon request. Alternatively, we are more than willing to take care of the disposal directly. The choice is yours.

We employ cutting-edge sorting machines from various manufacturers, allowing us to respond in the most effective and flexible manner to every sorting request. These machines feature high camera resolution and exceptional sorting performance.

Our sorting systems deliver optimal results through single-sided and multi-sided, single-stage and multi-stage inspection options. This versatility enables us to reliably sort transparent, translucent, opaque-colored, and unreinforced or reinforced products with up to 80% filler content. The systems are particularly adept at eliminating black specks and discolorations.

To address cross-contamination concerns, such as foreign polymers, wood, cardboard, metal, etc., we utilize full-color sorting systems with a wide color spectrum. These advanced technologies ensure precise sorting, enhancing the overall quality of the sorted materials.

At SORTCO, we take immense pride in delivering unparalleled quality and exceptional service to our valued customers. Our mission is to provide you with first-class optical plastic sorting, ensuring that we not only meet but surpass your expectations. Your satisfaction is of utmost importance to us, and we are dedicated to catering to your needs with efficiency and precision. Count on us to go the extra mile to ensure your complete satisfaction and to uphold our commitment to excellence.

How do I contact SORTCO to get a quote?

To receive a quote, please contact SORTCO’s sales department by mail or phone:

Hilger Groß
Phone: +49 (0)2636 80 772 – 260
Mobile: +49 (0)151 152 072 46

Britta Klein
Phone: +49 (0)2636 80 772 – 261

Timo Weilbächer
Phone: +49 (0)2636 80 772 – 262