As the electronics market expands exponentially, more and more efforts are made to prevent discarded electronics from ending up in landfills.
Culling those items from the main waste stream can be a daunting task, but equipment designed to facilitate that process is available.
“Anyone who has worked with e-waste understands the inherent difficulties in metering this waste stream. Typically this material is reduced in size in a shredder and gets transferred into a storage hopper prior to metals recovery. Getting the e-waste out of the hopper becomes the challenge. Electronic waste entangles intensely inside the hopper, the angular pieces do not convey uniformly – they interlock – and wires link together forming large clumps, making the entire process difficult to accomplish effectively,” stated Dick Reeves, resource recovery industry manager, General Kinematics (GK).
These inherent difficulties inspired engineers at GK to design equipment with unique vibratory techniques for use in e-waste streams. “Lab results show that GK vibratory feeders break up clumps and single out pieces to provide a metered feed. The amount of energy that is transmitted into the e-waste via GK technology eliminates hang ups and rat holes in the hopper. Also, GK vibratory feeders evenly spread out the material for an enhanced transition to the metals recovery device. The result is maximum recovery of metals through our e-waste processing system,” Reeves concluded.
Hamos is a leader in the area of electrostatic separation technology. Hariolf Jung, managing director, stated, “Black plastic is in many pieces of technical equipment – such as telephones and laptops. This makes production and storage easier – but makes recycling more difficult. This plastic material is not detectable with conventional separation processes, but we’ve developed a process which sorts black plastic from other materials. When recycling electrical and electronic equipment, large amounts of high grade engineering plastics such as ABS, PS, etc. are involved. Approximately 50 to 70 percent of those items are black plastic.”
Jung further explained, “Various processes are commonly used to sort colored plastics. Mixtures of plastics from domestic refuse are mostly separated into single fractions in sorting plants, mostly with the aid of fully automatic sorting equipment. The camera systems utilized are near infrared technology. The system detects and evaluates the near infrared spectrum reflected by the plastics. Black plastics do not reflect the radiation, however, so no spectrum can be recognized – and black plastics then, cannot be sorted this way.”
Cody Gonzales is a sales associate at Hustler Conveyor Company. The firm designs, manufactures and provides complete solutions for sorting and separating recyclables. “We provide a wide variety of heavy duty separation equipment that includes eddy current separators, trommel screens, magnets and sensor sorters. Our eddy current separators are available in eccentric or concentric models depending on the application. Our separators provide comprehensive performance with high grade rare earth magnets, adjustable belt speed, splitter chute and access doors for cleaning and are useful to our customers who must process electronics for recycling.
“Our trommel screens are designed to size and classify materials such as nonferrous and ferrous scrap. Each unit can be sized according to specific applications and requirements. There are many challenges in our industry such as increasing the purity of the product, and making systems safer. By engineering our separating equipment to have the flexibility to adjust and accommodate each customer’s material mix, our equipment provides a more pure end product. Safety is always a top priority and Hustler Conveyor Company meets or exceeds all OSHA safety standards,” he concluded.
MSS offers optical sorting equipment for the recycling and waste management industry. The company recently introduced three new sensor-based technologies for electronic scrap applications. The L-VIS™ utilizes a high-resolution color camera technology and is designed for color and shape sorting applications to extract high-value commodities (printed circuit boards, copper, etc.).
“It provides excellent separation accuracy (up to 98 percent) and is available with a proprietary shape identification software algorithm specifically designed for sorting different types of wires. Even the smallest particles can be accurately identified and sorted. A corresponding high-resolution air jet array provides the fastest, most accurate ejection possible,” said Felix Hottenstein, sales director. The Cirrus™ features a new high-resolution near-infrared sensor array providing accurate sorting of different engineering plastic resins such as ABS, HIPS, PC, PC-ABS, etc.
Hottenstein stated, “Like all other MSS technologies, the Cirrus accurately sorts targeted commodities using advanced identification algorithms and corresponding precise high-pressure air jets. Our Metalsort™ product is based on induction sensor coils and the all-metal detector for ferrous, nonferrous and stainless steel can be integrated into a processing line as a stand-alone module or as an upgrade to the L-VIS or Cirrus. All three new sensor technologies allow MSS to be on the forefront of general industry trends such as sorting of smaller particles.”
The exact sensor configuration is tailored to each specific processing application and a user-friendly touchscreen user interface allows the operator to change sort recipes on the fly with the touch of a button. All of MSS’ units are offered in various sizes between 32” and 96”.
MSS, a division of the CP Group, offers equipment for single-commodity facilities processing plastics, paper, glass, e-scrap, metals, beverage cartons, etc. or commingled recyclables and mixed waste plants for single-stream, dual-stream, MSW, RDF, C&I, C&D, etc. The CP Group designs and manufactures material recovery facilities and recycling equipment for single stream recycling, construction and demolition waste, commercial and industrial waste, waste to energy, municipal solid waste, electronic waste and more.
September 2014 Edition of American Recycler News