VIRTO GROUP, the largest deep-frozen vegetable company in Spain, and one of the most important in Europe, has undertaken a new project in which it has opted for TOMRA. Thus, at its central plant in Azagra (Navarra), the company has renewed its selection machinery with 11 Nimbus BSI +.
This center for mixing, packaging, storage and distribution of deep-frozen vegetables is one of the most technologically advanced in the sector.
Even in these difficult times at all levels due to COVID-19, VIRTO GROUP continues to grow and undertake projects to continue offering superior quality in its products.
In this way, the company has carried out the renovation of its old sorters for the classification of deep-frozen vegetables and has incorporated, in their place, 11 Nimbus BSI + from TOMRA.
These are in addition to 22 TOMRA optical sorting machines installed in the group's various factories, including the Helius, Genius, Blizzard and Sentinel II models.
The Nimbus BSI + selector, and its BSI (Biometric Signature Identification) technology, stands out for its high performance, its ease of configuration for the operator when introducing new programs and for having a minimum false rejection, less than 1%.
Once the TOMRA sales team understood VIRTO's needs, it was thought that the Nimbus BSI + technology could deliver excellent results to meet their needs. Obviously there was a lot of work ahead, but this did not daunt either the VIRTO team or the TOMRA team.
In the adaptation process, small modifications were made to the chassis to fit the company's selection lines and a validation was carried out for a month prior to the contract where the high added value of the BSI + technology could be seen.
The installation of the 11 Nimbus BSI + for the 8 production lines, 3 of them double for more complex products, has been carried out during the months of July, August and September 2020. Currently, the 11 Nimbus BSI + are in charge of carrying carry out the final selection process for frozen vegetables and other mixed products that the company distributes in large stores.
The company has 8 specialty centers in Murcia (El Raal, Santomera), Badajoz, Segovia, Zaragoza, La Rioja and Navarra (Azagra, Cortes, Funes) and has an international presence in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, USA. ., Portugal and Brazil. Its product offering is very wide. Thus, in addition to deep-frozen vegetables, it offers legumes, fruits, mixes, rice, pasta, cereals and vegetable-based dishes.
Nimbus BSI +: maximum efficiency, minimum false rejection
Francisco Casas, Head of Selection of VIRTO GROUP:
“We have always had good teams, but we wanted to get closer to 100% efficiency. With BSI + technology we achieve results in a simple way when programming the machine and with minimal false rejection. TOMRA's BSI + technology has great potential, although we are still at the beginning, as we have just finished the installation."José Antonio Baldero, technical director of VIRTO GROUP, explains the reason for choosing TOMRA:
“We have a path to go to make the most of the machines' potential to get the best possible performance with the least rejection. The reality is that the new TOMRA units are capable of doing some things that were previously complicated. In short, it provides a better solution to our needs."
“The main objective was to take a leap towards new technologies in regard to the selection of foreign matter. Specifically, we wanted to be able to offer even better product quality to our customers. We opted for TOMRA because we saw that the BSI + technology had greater possibilities and was more advanced than what the competition was offering us."
“So when TOMRA left us a machine to test, we realized that this technology was the best suited to our specific situation and needs. And not only in the detection of foreign matter, since with the own technology that TOMRA develops we have expanded to other product specifications."
Alejandro Palacios, Area Sales Manager at TOMRA Food for Spain and Portugal
“We did a lot of internal tests and saw that this technology worked very well with deep-frozen vegetables, so we agreed with VIRTO on an on-site validation. At the beginning of 2020 we brought them a Nimbus BSI +, they tested it for a month and we could confirm that this team did everything we thought it would work really well."Versatile technology and traceability
“It was an effective technology in detecting foreign bodies and strange plant matter (even dangerous plants, like Jimson weed). In addition, he claimed to minimize false rejection. TOMRA's BSI + technology brings added value in the deep-frozen vegetable sector as it achieves what other machines cannot."
The Nimbus BSI + selector works by detecting the biometric characteristics of objects and is capable of detecting a large amount of foreign bodies and unwanted plant matter.
As Francisco Casas explains:
“In our case, the difficulty lies in the enormous variety and quantity of products that we have. Each product has its specific defects and its diverse origins, both vegetable, animal or marine. The fact of not working with a single product implies that we have to continually make changes in the programming."Alejandro Palacios:
“Therefore, the ease of configuration of the Nimbus BSI + is an advantage for us. Fine-tuning all the programs will take a while, but we're already starting to get better results, especially with products that contain the most complex ingredient mixes.”
"Regarding the potential of the BSI + technology, when we were doing the validations, we were struck that, even with the ingredient mixtures, the Nimbus still gave results very similar to those obtained when working with a single product."
“Although the behavior of the machine is already good, I am convinced that the results in the coming months will be even better. Without a doubt, this technology gives us a plus."
In addition to the benefits of the Nimbus BSI +, the benefits of TOMRA Insight should also be highlighted.
This information transforms the classification process into an operational process, turning it into a strategic management tool that allows making decisions based on real data collected from TOMRA units at each step of the value and production chain.
TOMRA Insight enables the team to generate data during the process, collecting it in the cloud.
José Antonio Baldero:
“It is one of the greatest added values of the BSI + technology. Having knowledge of what the machine is doing is going to be very important when optimizing the performance of the equipment."Good collaboration in difficult times
"It allows making decisions such as being able to trace the type of foreign matter that is being discarded and even determine the good or bad agronomic areas, if it should be expanded in one or the other, and so on."
"It is a very powerful tool to carry out real-time monitoring and make decisions to improve the business."
Despite the mobility difficulties, TOMRA has been able to be present in the process and wanted to closely monitor this interesting development and project.
Thus, both companies have been able to work side by side in the installation and commissioning of the equipment.
“We have had the physical presence of TOMRA technicians, who displaced personnel from the Belgium headquarters. We want to appreciate this effort in such a difficult situation. When the situation got complicated for the trips, the follow-up was done from TOMRA Spain. So it was not necessary to use remote assistance."José Antonio Baldero:
"The situation has been difficult for both parties, but the follow-up by TOMRA has been excellent. They have been pending on the project, so it has been a success in this situation so complicated by COVID-19."Alejandro Palacios:
“I want to thank VIRTO for the trust it has placed in TOMRA and its BSI + technology. With it we have been able to demonstrate the high efficiency in the detection of vegetable matter and foreign bodies with a minimum false rejection."
“This increases the performance of the deep-frozen vegetable production lines. Collaboration with them has been very simple; both parties have worked very well and in a very organized manner throughout the validation process."