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tb5™ tobacco sorting machine by tomra

The TB5™ belt laser sorter is the optical sorting solution for high capacity lamina sorting (post threshing at Green Leaf Tobacco/PMD processing lines), ensuring customer satisfaction at all times by removing any non-tobacco related material (NTRM).

With up to twelve individual laser signals, the TB5™ detects all NTRM based on color, structure and size from a stream of good product.


The in-feed belt arrangement is optimized for sorting lamina. The pre-acceleration belt conveys the product at a speed of 2.5 metres per second. The product then transfers onto a dual high speed belt running at 5.5 metres per second and provides a mono-layer of product to the inspection area.

The top belt creates an air cushion which stabilizes the product without interfering with it.

Following an untouched trajectory, tobacco and NTRM are scanned in the inspection zone by double sided lasers. A few milliseconds later the defects are hit by powerful and precise air guns and diverted to the reject area. The good product continues untouched on to the production line.

The TB5™ can handle up to ten tons per hour of lamina tobacco. The concept is modular and customizable, enabling easy integration to match the feed rates of the line.


  • Detects on color, structure and biological characteristics
  • Accurate detection with up to twelve laser signals, double sided inspection
  • Operator friendly with touchscreen and graphical user interface
  • Calibration free
  • Maximum efficiency in any condition thanks to hermetically sealed optics
  • Superior reliability, data is processed by hardware digital processing so there is no sorting interruption if software crashes
  • Capacities up to ten ton per hour
  • Error reject recycling in option


  • Lamina (mainly PMD, often GLT)

Technical specification

 TB5 1600 T/BTB5 3200 T/B
Capacity10,000 kg/h (22,0462 lb/hr) 21% MC - 65kg/m³ (4.05 lb/ft³)20,000 kg/h (22,0462 lb/hr) 21% MC - 65kg/m³ (4.05 lb/ft³)
(L x W x H, mm)
9,600 x 4,000 x 3,800 mm (377.95 x 157.48 x 149.61")9,600 x 5,700 x 3,800 mm (377.95 x 224.41 x 149.61")
Infeed belt width1,600 mm (62.99")3,200 mm (125.98")
Air pressure input6 - 7 bar6 - 7 bar
Electrical consumption3ph: 30 kVA3ph: 45 kVA