Today, recycling alone isn’t enough to maximise the use of the natural resources in our industrial sector. Smart companies can see the importance of implementing bulk handling systems which themselves are efficient to install, operate, maintain and replace.
Handling systems in the manufacturing industry normally use a lot of conveyors, but a collection of conveyors without any plan to optimising setup and performance can leave a company short.
Recycling is a growth industry, and companies within this industry are sourcing bigger and better turnkey solutions to handle large amounts of product.
According to Industrial Conveying (Aust) managing director, Don Erskine, the private sector waste minimisation is normally sought to eliminate double handling, bottlenecks and other general aspects of bulk handling that can waste production time. In a turnkey solution of this type, waste minimisation greatly reduces the need to recycling.
On the other hand, the community recycling sector overseen by regional councils is calling for bigger and more effective kerbside rubbish recycling solutions to meet public demand.
"We have been involved in various projects both at government (Council) level as well as in the private sector," said Erskine.
"Councils in particular have approached us for turnkey solutions to fully automate their recycling systems.
“This is so kerbside waste handling becomes an efficient and completely automated processing system to replace pungent refuse depots which are viewed as a thing of the past.
“Virtually every material has an after-life value now, so the more efficient the recycling methods the more profit can be realised from it.
"In the private industry sector however, this includes various industries including food processing, manufacturing, paper and cardboard production, and resource handling, we are normally asked for complete finish turnkey design and installation projects that can re-direct off cuts and ingredients (depending on the industry) back into the overall processing system.
"In the industrial arena, it is more appropriate to refer to this activity as re-use rather than recycling, as we help make use of the raw material before it can even be referred to as ‘waste’.
The company also develops entirely automated systems for handling large amounts of unsorted, mixed waste product without any human intervention at all.
It is currently conducting a confidential test scenario where a regional Council is handling all its kerbside waste with a turnkey automatic recycling system built around conveyors.
"This is world-class technology which councils in a modernised country such as Australia really should have as a standard recycling solution considering our status the industrialised world," said Erskine.
The solution provided by Industrial Conveying sees recyclables mix travel up an inclined conveyor while the following sortation occurs at various points along the belt in an automated rather than a manual waste handling system.
The system operates as follows:
- Paper and plastic is separated into its own area for further classification;
- The paper then runs through screens along a separate conveyor system to separate coarse paper from fine paper, magazines and cardboard; and
- The plastics are rapidly detected by lasers that read the molecular structure of each item. These plastics are then ejected into types of plastic by using air jets.
Meanwhile, on the main conveyor:
- A strong magnet picks up any steel product’
- A spinning magnet assembly locates and separates aluminium; and
- Bottles and glass products are left to slide down the conveyor where optical electronics separates these into colour groups.
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