Sensor-based sorting has had a wide range of industrial use in automating and speeding up the process which requires substances or objects to be segregated from each other. The high demand for goods including raw materials, food, minerals, and waste recycling has increased the pressure for high-speed sorting. The first part of this paper presents a comprehensive theoretical and practical survey and comparison of current sorting methods relying on the use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sorting methods are classified among other things, which portion of the EM spectrum is it, background noise rejection capacity, sample size limitations, sample chemistry limitations, sample surface cleanliness, spatial resolution capacity, spectral resolution, and feed rate limitations. The analysis focuses on color or visible light sorting, gamma-ray sorting, infra-red sorting, x-ray transmission-based sorting and x-ray fluorescence sorting, coupling the findings to the classification criteria outlined. We see a need to define a universal sorting scheme that will in general be applied to most sorting tasks. To do this, the final part of this paper re-looks at the x-ray transmission and x-ray fluorescence sorting scheme in line with the established limitations and proposes a dual x-ray transmission and fluorescence method to mitigate the challenge affecting the different schemes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Computer Science
- General Materials Science
- General Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering