Optical Sorting Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2020-2030

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Optical Sorting Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2020-2030

Status : March, 2023 | Semiconductor & Electronics

Report Digest

Optical Sorting Market Analysis, Insights

Optical sorting, also called as digital sorting, is the automated process of sorting solid product using cameras or lasers. Optical Sorters can recognize size, image, shape, structure, etc. based on the sensors used in them.

Manufacturers are using image processing, a highly efficient technology for detecting the quality of minerals. Main factors driving the growth are awareness regarding efficacy in reducing labour cost, and delivery time, especially in the food industry.

Key Drivers

An Increase in Productivity

Productivity increases and errors are reduced because of automation. Industries are switching their applications to automation reducing the effort of workers and to maintain the quality of product. 

Applications in Belt Platforms

The application of optical sorting in belt platforms is likely to provide an impetus to growth. Optical sorting provides high sorting accuracy and low carryover ratio in various applications such as food, recycling, and mining. Belt sorting process improves food quality and minimizes contamination. Its high performing capabilities for frozen food, fresh or dried vegetables, processed food etc. continues to garner the attention of end-users.

High Accuracy of NIR Sorters and Hyper-spectral Cameras

NIR sorters use infrared imaging technology which scans the chemical and then offers accuracy in separating process. Technology driven NIR sorters and cameras allow accurate separation. Mineral sortation process is highly complex and requires maximum effort from the workers. With growing penetration of automation, the process has become very reliable and stress-free. Market players are on a mission to innovate and provide highly efficient methods.


High Initial Investment

The advanced technologies used in optical sorter machines increase its expenses and this has been a key factor for reluctance on part of end-users. According to analysis, end-users are aware of the benefits of using optical sorting, however, due to the current investment climate, many are in holding pattern.


Growing demand for IOT-based devices and smart systems

The advent of next-generation technologies such as AI and IOT based devices has augmented the development strategies of the product. As the use of the product is easy, several end-users have been deploying optical sorters on a large scale. In 2018, a waste management company in UK, invested nearly 4.45 lakh pounds in automated sorter to upgrade its plastic processing facility.

Covid-19 impact on Optical sorter market

As the Covid – 19 started, the market saw a decline in manufacturing and demand of optical sorters in the year 2020. Considering the advances in vaccine development, and overall recovery in the economy, it is expected that the long-term prospect of the optical sorting market will be bullish.

Optical Sorter market – Competitive Landscape

The key market players are focusing on launching advanced, yet competitively-priced optical sorting machines to consolidate their position. Market players are collaborating with stakeholders across the value chain to recover from the impact of the COVID-19. Some of the prominent companies profiled in the report include:

  • Allgaier Werke GmbH
  • Binder + Co AG
  • Buhler AG
  • CP Manufacturing
  •  National Recovery Technologies LLC
  • Satake Corporation
  • Tomra Systems
  • Steinert GmbH
  • Newtec A/S
  • Pellenc ST
  • A/S Cimbria
  • Raytec Vision SpA
  • Key Technology, Inc and many others.

In October 2020, KWS Sementes invested in TOMRA’s food sorter equipment ZEA to automate its product lines.

In October 2020, Key Technology, a firm in US launched a product namely, VERYX Bio-Print digital sorter. The key use of the product is that it combines NIR detection with colour cameras.  

In October 2020, Satake launched an optical sorter named FMSR-IR. It is an all in one machine with latest RGB technology, IR, and the machine also has shape sorting capabilities.

In May 2020, TOMRA company launched TOMRA 3C, a new optical sorting machine efficient in sorting and product yields. 

Optical Sorter market- Regional Outlook

North America continues to hold largest market share and the market is expected to grow at a steady pace through 2030. In North America, many food processing operations rely on automation processes. Further, access to capital & investment for North American end-users is relatively less cumbersome. Considering the growing focus on automation and efficacy, the US will continue to be one of the leading markets for optical sorting globally.

In addition to North America, Asia Pacific is also witnessing a steady growth owing to the demand for the separators in the mining industry. High investment by companies in APAC regions is driving the market growth. Increased labour cost is a concern in APAC and thus automation is being adopted in high scale.

Optical Sorter market – Segmentation

  • By Platform
    • ADR systems
    • Channel Sorters
    • Mechanical Graders
  • By Market
    • NIR sorters
    • Hyper spectral cameras
    • Combined sorters
  • By Application
    • Food: Vegetables, Dried fruits, nuts, meat, sea-food, grains, cereals and pulses.
    • Recycling: Plastic, paper, glass, organic waste, e-waste, metal.
    • Mining: Minerals (Precious or Industrial)
  • By Geography
    • North America
    • Rest of the World

Key Q&A

What is the optical sorting market size?

The optical sorting market is currently valued at USD 1.85 billion, and it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 9% through 2030

Will Camera-based optical sorting machines grow in demand?

Yes, demand for camera-based optical sorting machines is likely to witness an increase, owing to higher accuracy and precision

What has been the historical growth rate for optical sorting market?

Historically, the optical sorting market has grown between 7% to 8%. The COVID-19 induced sluggishness has led to a blip in sales; however, the long-term perspective on the market remains positive.

Which industry accounts for the highest demand for optical sorting machines?

The food industry accounts for the highest demand for optical sorting. Growing focus on precision-based sorting in the food industry is likely to provide an impetus to sales.

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  • Accurate Trend Analysis
  • Regional Assessment
  • Industrial Analogy
  • COVID-19 Impact

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Regional Assessment

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Industrial Analogy

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COVID-19 Impact

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  • How has COVID-19 affected the market?
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  • What are the major threats that will dent the growth prospects of the market?