Automation keeps advancing at recycling sorting and shipping plants.
Increasingly mechanized sorting and plastic bale strapping were among the processing innovations outlined by a panel of equipment suppliers at the European Paper Recycling Conference, which took place in Brussels in early October.
Thomas Telscher of The PAAL Group, Georgsmarienhütte, Germany, provided attendees with an overview of the DOKON plastic bale strapping system now offered by the company.
According to Telscher, the polypropylene “yarn” provides a strapping material that is safer (no recoiling wires when bales are broken at the mill) and that is not subject to corrosion when bales are stored outside. Telscher said, though, that the DOKON system has a “high compatibility with the existing de-baling system” at many mills.
A pulping study conducted by PAAL Group found that the polypropylene yarn is totally recovered by the first screen at the pulping mill and that no trace of polypropylene fibers was detected in the pulp or paper.
Other speakers on the panel, which was moderated by Engel Visscher of KIC International in the Netherlands, outlined advances in automation at recycling plants, particularly in regard to separating various paper grades from an inbound mixed stream.
Tom Eng of TiTech Vision Sort focused on the role of optical sorting, while Gerhard Glawitsch of Austria’s BT-Wolfgang Binder, Andre Matula of Dutch equipment maker Bollegraaf Recycling Machinery, and Christian Makari of Austria’s Binder + Co. AG provided overviews of how combinations of conveyors, screens and other sorting and separating techniques can allow recycling plants to function with fewer manual sorters.
While much of the sorting and separating equipment has been designed and is being built in Europe, some presenters noted that it is often being more widely accepted in North America, where commingled recycling plants are more common. “A lot of the information we’ve gleaned from the U.S. is just now entering the U.K. market,” Bollegraaf’s Matula commented.
The European Paper Recycling Conference was hosted by the Recycling Today Media Group and took place at the Hilton Brussels.