29 August 2019 by Lucy Pegg

Equipment news round-up (29/08/19)

With news on; Robot-equipped C&D processing line operational in California; Wetherby expands and installs new waste baler; Geocycle North America takes delivery of UNTHA waste shredder, and; BHS-Sonthofen increases copper recovery.

Robot-equipped C&D processing line operational in California

An advanced waste sorting facility equipped with robotic picking units – provided by ZenRobotics – is now operational at Zanker Recycling in California.

Zanker Recycling are now using ZenRobotics Heavy Picker robot arms at their California plant

The new line is expected to increase both waste recovery rates and overall processing capacity – Zanker believes the use of AI robotics will differentiate the company from its competitors. The four ZenRobotics Heavy Picker robot arms were procured through Plexus Recycling Technologies.

The robots operate 20 hours per day with total system production of 150,000 tonnes per year, increasing diversion of recyclables by 20%. The ZenRobotics Heavy Pickers will do the heavy lifting on the bulky material sort line, with each of the four arms will be picking 2,000 picks per hour and sorting objects weighing up to 30 kg.

ZenRobiotics’ Rainer Rehn, said: “We’re excited to see ZenRobotics Heavy Pickers at work in this advanced materials processing facility. The growth potential on the US market is substantial. Robots are ideal for long operating hours and designed to increase process efficiency.”


Wetherby expands and installs new waste baler

Wetherby Group has installed a new compact waste baler in the UK as its organisation continues to expand.

Andre Botwright, group operations manager for Wetherby Group

The manufacturer of performance building products is now using a RWM75 machine, supplied by Yorkshire based Riverside Waste Machinery, which had provided Wetherby with a baler in the past.

Baling equipment at Wetherby’s Dalton site needed updating, to improve efficiency and enable the company to maintain its commitment to recycling, the company said. Waste materials produced at the factory include cardboard, clear and laminated plastics and waste paper bags.

Andre Botwright, group operations manager for Wetherby Group, said: “With the recent introduction of our state-of-the-art powder plant, and its market leading packaging capabilities, we found that a new baler would be required, to keep up with the control of excess materials.”

The baler is used to compress volumes of plastic and cardboard, equating to the production of around ten plastic and eight cardboard 75kg bales per month. Each bale is around 12 cubic feet.


Geocycle North America takes delivery of UNTHA waste shredder

Geocycle has taken delivery of an UNTHA XR mobil-e waste shredder in South Carolina.

Geocycle has taken delivery of a new UNTHA waste shredder

The company – which is the daughter company of global cement giant LafargeHolcim – will use the two 177hp motors on the new shredder to process non-hazardous post-industrial waste at its site in Dorchester. A <3” RDF fuel will be created and used for energy recovery at the nearby Holly Hill cement plant.

Currently configured to manufacture 10 tonnes of alternative fuel per hour, the plant aims to generate 35,000-40,000 tonnes of RDF per year.

Nicolae Cuzuioc, Geocycle’s director processing expertise and business development, said that the new UNTHA model had capabilities that had made it a crucial part of the plant since they trialled a model in 2018.

“Every day we are learning that the XR has capabilities we didn’t previously think were possible,” said Mr Cuzuioc.

“So, I am really excited to see what the future holds for our facility, as we begin to process even more heavy solids using this robust machine.”


BHS-Sonthofen increases copper recovery

BHS-Sonthofen has developed a new procedure for processing ‘meatballs’ – the internal winding of an electric motor with its steel or aluminium outer casing removed – which increases the amount of copper recovered.

Copper ‘meatballs’ can now be processed using a Rotorshredder

Electric motors and motor armatures represent a small fraction of waste from incineration or large shredders, but they are difficult to cleanly separate by type. However, they can contain up to 22% copper by content.

The new procedure features a Rotorshredder for separating, subsequent materials separation, and the purification of copper in a rotor impact mill.

The method was developed by BHS-Sonthofen in response to a Dutch customer’s need to optimise the recycling of electric motor and armatures due to the increasing demand for high purity metals.

Nikolas Kaufeisen, Sales Manager at BHS-Sonthofen, explained the development of the process.

He said: “The most important requirement, along with high product quality, was that the discharged material be of the highest purity possible. In order to attain this goal, we conducted a thorough and in-depth analysis of the process together with the customer.

“The result is a solution that improves the process in several ways, one that is tailored exactly for this specific application.”

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