Best Sorting – Press release

Japan Tobacco Group (JT Group) approves Belgian Electronic Sorting Technologies’
(BEST) Foreign Matter Detection-system.
As the tobacco market is increasingly under pressure, facing rigorous regulations worldwide, leading
manufacturers are searching for the most efficient, premium quality control equipment. While the removal
of FM (Foreign Matter) or NTRM (Non Tobacco Related Materials) is a specific field of expertise, many
techniques and technologies apply. One of them is the ‘optical’ technology.
Market analyse on the sorting technologies
In 2008, the JT Group decided to execute a detailed market analysis on the
latest technologies used in optical FMD-systems. During this process, the JT
Group learned that the technology had greatly evolved since their existing
laser-based FMD equipments were implemented, making it impossible to
further upgrade them with the latest technologies available.
In order to compare the current units with the latest sorting technology,
a long-term evaluation test was required. The main focus was to increase
NTRM removal/sorting efficiency by decreasing error rejection levels, while
looking into the new/enhanced sorting criteria available (such as biological
characteristics of tobacco).
Following this, a series of short-term tests was executed. Further required long-term tests in a real production
environment were organised at the JTI Trier GmbH facility. These evaluations were performed during almost the whole
of 2009.
BEST provided its laser sorters
BEST Sorting provided its latest laser technology for sorting tobacco. Both its HELIUS™ free fall
laser sorter and its TB5™ high capacity belt laser sorter (with a HELIUS hardware processing
platform) were put to the stand for long-term evaluation. Each unit was integrated into the
Primary Tobacco expansion-processing line and evaluated in real production conditions by the
facility team.
The Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Global Engineering team also led several off-line tests
on PMD-conditioned Tobacco-lamina (tobacco blends incl. Virginia, Burley, Oriental and/
or reconditioned tobaccos) in different percentages. The tobacco industry evaluation testprotocol
was used (seeded tests) as JT Group’s specific targets were set forward. Criteria such
as ease of maintenance, operatability (blend management, blend changes), line integration
complexity, user-friendliness, and stability of sorting were considered during the evaluation.
Tests with HELIUS™ free fall laser sorter and the TB5™ belt laser sorter were successful. Both the sorters complied with
the high standards set forward for this evaluation and requested by the JT Group.
Press release April 19th 2010
JT Group chooses BEST for a long-term partnership
The foundation for a long-term partnership was set as the JT Group decided, after careful analyses of the parameters set
forward during the evaluation, to approve BEST’s (laser-based) FMD-systems. As a result, the JT Group has already committed
to purchase multiple BEST sorting machines for various processing plants.
Mr. Tatsuya Shimada, JTI Global Engineering FMD-evaluation project leader, said that he became convinced of the quality
of BEST’s laser sorters after rigorous testing. “Both laser sorters satisfied the criteria we set forward, and the product range
they cover will ensure that the implementation meets the specifics of our production lines.” Furthermore, Mr. Shimada
commented upon BEST’s professionalism: if any observation was made, BEST’s responsiveness and the actions they
undertook to overcome them gave JT Group a good feeling about the kind of commitment BEST is ready to make and of the
resourceful solutions BEST is able to offer. For example, when asked if a local service team could be available for Japan Tobacco
Inc. facilities in Japan, BEST committed to setting up a specific operation and hiring competent service engineers to comply
with the very specifics towards minimal intervention time. BEST also agreed to make local spare parts available. Today, as
we speak, this action has nearly been completed and BEST Japan is scheduled to be operational before the first BEST unit is
supplied to JT’s Manufacturing Technology Center in Japan.
Mr. Steven Van Geel, BEST’s Area Sales Manager for the Tobacco branch, commented: “BEST is looking forward to this
new challenging partnership. We would like to thank the JT Group for this opportunity and the time they have dedicated
to the evaluation”. He further added that BEST is committed to making each of the different sorter integration projects a
success. Furthermore, Mr. Van Geel stated that BEST will be pleased to work with the different JT Group affiliates, while a
close relationship will also need to be maintained (or built-up if not already present) with the different primary processing
equipment integrators with which JT Group has established a relation in terms of equipment-supply. “Together with the
expertise of the JT Group, its integration partner(s) and BEST, we will make sure that any of the (to be) installed sorters will be
performing in the most optimal conditions, striving for a consistent NTRM free product.”
As a leading and pioneering designer and manufacturer, BEST will pursue comprehensive market research and continuous
development to further strengthen its position on the sorting market. Currently, several new developments are being tested.
Once they are ready for commercialization, any of these solutions will have the potential to be implemented within the
existing units, without any major additional cost.
Contact information :
Steven Van Geel
Area Sales Manager
T: +32 (0)16 740 309


#1 tommie boy on 07.19.10 at 8:08 PM

wow is this blog turning into a commercial?

#2 Chris Crawley on 07.21.10 at 2:13 PM

Hi tommy boy. Not really, although I can see why in this case you’d think so. It was posted because it’s relevant news from the Tobacco Industry.

#3 Tommieboy on 07.28.10 at 3:42 PM

ok just saw the cig site ad as an entry

#4 Troyan_san on 07.29.10 at 11:16 PM

it was very interesting to read
I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

#5 OTP Kid on 08.20.10 at 4:02 PM

This website is becoming a joke. Take these crappy ads down already LOU!!!!

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