On 31.03.2011 Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology honoured the cooperation partners RTT STEINERT GmbH and inno-spec GmbH with the ZIM Prize 2010 for the development of a new, automatic on-site materials sorting system using the newly developed smart camera “Spectral Eye” (Fig.). The ZIM prize was awarded by the initiative Central Innovation Programme SME (ZIM) in recognition of the strong innovative power of the two companies, which have developed an economical recycling application that produces almost pure material fractions. The sensor system was awarded the ZIM Prize 2010 in the “Cooperation projects” category in recognition of the partners’ successful cooperation for the development of a market-driven innovation.
The cooperation partners RTT STEINERT and inno-spec have made a decisive step forward in sensory technology by efficiently combining new technologies. Thanks to this new combination of spectral imaging, CMOS sensor technologies and the development of extremely fast data processing, RTT STEINERT and inno-spec have developed the “Spectral Eye” – a new form of smart camera for economical, fast and reliable detection of materials. The significantly improved price-performance ratio also opens up possible new applications. For instance, the sensors are now being used in the reverse vending machines developed by RTT for the U.S. market. These distinguish themselves clearly from classic units in terms of their performance and are capable of counting, separating, compacting and storing the empty containers in large quantities. Their special feature is their ability to rapidly accept the empty containers as bulk material – bottles and cans no longer need to be individually fed into the unit.