International News

Separation equipment delivers a higher yield of recyclables

Destroying and recycling unwanted, recalled or retired merchandise can lead to an array of opportunities – and profit – for those recyclers with the right separation equipment. So when Nick Wildrick of Total Product Destruction (TPD) decided to upgrade his operation for greater yield, the majority of the company’s investment went toward new metal separation products.

TPD began its operating life destroying fully packaged CDs and software but today handles “anything that is not breathing”, according to Wildrick, who oversees 30 employees in the growing operation. In fact, the company’s mission statement offers clients a “cost-effective, convenient, reliable and confidential alternative to the time-consuming task of disposing of defective or returned products that will never find its way to the open market”.

More than half of the 1000 tonnes per month of incoming material is post-industrial plastics, with the remainder consisting of small appliances, auto parts, pharmaceuticals, toys, clothing, shoes and even larger objects such as backyard grills.

That facility is now home to an Eriez 61cm x 30cm (24” x 12”) SS Magnetic Rare Earth (RE) drum in housing and a Concentric 122cm (48”) wide REA eddy current separator with vibratory feeder. “This now enables us to produce a cleaner product because we can get a wider variety of metals out of the products we end up shredding,” Wildrick said.

The process begins when merchandise is brought into the facility and conveyed through a shredder to bring the particle size down to 76mm (3”). It is then granulated to reduce the material to a 13mm (1/2”) to 6mm (1/4”) size. At this point, the company used a series of drawer-type magnetic grates to eliminate ferrous particulates, but ultimately switched to the more effective Eriez RE drum in housing.

“The drawer magnet was not a high volume tool,” Wildrick said. “Since we switched to the drum in housing, we can now take out much larger volumes of ferrous [materials]. And it’s self-cleaning so we don’t have a lot of downtime with this piece of equipment.”

The granulated material is fed through a steel hopper, which has a non-magnetic stainless steel portion near the drum to prevent the hopper from being magnetically induced. The chute-type feed hopper provides increased efficiency of separation by regulating the material flow and burden depth to the face of the RE drum. It also prevents material from plunging directly onto the drum shell, ensuring long-term shell performance.

After ferrous removal, the remaining recyclable material moves through a 111cm wide x 91cm long (44” x 36”) feeder positioned before an Eriez eddy current separator (ECS) built to “extra tall” specifications. The ECS has 1.5m (5’) of clearance from the bottom of the discharge hoppers to the floor, allowing enough space to place a series of large container bins or gaylords that capture the recycled aluminium, brass and copper material, plus plastic, paper and wood. The ECS with vibratory feeder, conveyor, discharge chutes and frame measures 315cm high x 254cm wide x 500cm long (124” x 100” x 197”).

The key components of the ECS include an easy flow hopper, electromagnetic vibratory pan feeder, a tough urethane conveyor belt, high revolutions per minute (RPM) RE arched eddy current rotor, adjustable splitter and discharge chutes, magnetic rotor, drive and belt conveyor. The external rotor shell is a high strength composite material that rotates at the conveyor speed. The internal, concentric RE arched rotor with alternating polarity turns at a much higher RPM than the external shell to separate particles of non-ferrous metals.

Through the induction of eddy currents and the resulting repelling forces, the alternating magnetic field selectively repels the non-ferrous metals and physically separates them from other materials with minimum product loss. Many components are adjustable, including splitter location, belt speed, rotor speed and hopper opening.

The combination drum in housing and ECS provide a higher yield and a cleaner plastic material that TPD can sell to compounders and extruders, according to Wildrick. The separated metals are sold to the recycled metals market. This means higher profits for the company and less waste sent to landfill.

Eriez is recognised as a global specialist in separation technologies for both the recycling and aggregates streams. The company’s Australian operation is based in Epping, Victoria.

Source: Eriez Australia

Leave a Reply