Clean news. No labor.

Clean news. No labor.

Custom Content - Brand Vision | Bulk Handling Systems

BHS technology creates pure fiber and lowers operating costs for long-term profitability.

July 11, 2018

At Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), we know your material recovery facility’s (MRF’s) operating scenario – from incoming material to your existing operation, costs and markets – is unique. That’s why we don’t push the same solution to all our customers. Instead, we combine the industry’s absolute best technology and foremost experts to creatively attack your challenges. In doing so, we deliver advanced technology with precise and predictable results to make your system profitable.

Our FiberPure™ System is no exception, though it is exceptional, guaranteeing the industry’s best removal of cardboard and other contaminants from the fiber stream. With this system, you will create a highly marketable news product as well as an exceptionally pure cardboard stream while taking on more tonnage and decreasing your labor costs. That’s a powerful combination of benefits from a powerful combination of technology brought to you by BHS, NRT, Nihot and Max-AI®.

Going beyond NIR to target OCC

We immersed ourselves in research to fully understand the challenges currently facing MRF operators. According to our findings, before quality control (QC), the news stream typically contains about 50% news by weight, depending on the region. We also learned that cardboard, or old corrugated containers (OCC), accounts for anywhere from 40-50% of the overall fiber stream by weight, depending on the region.

When purity is paramount, as it is in today’s market, you must attack contamination with the technology that is absolutely best able to detect and eject it. Take the growth of small cardboard boxes in the fiber stream – the Amazon effect – as an example. When it comes to removing these boxes from the news stream, the best technology is certainly not NIR (near infrared) optical sorters. NIR detection is extremely well-suited for some applications, but when it comes to differentiating cardboard from news, it doesn’t provide the full picture. NRT’s ColorPlus™ technology addresses this capability gap in NIR sorters using high-resolution RGB detection cameras. The ColorPlus identifies brown grades and multicolored boxboard at a rate of 15 million pixels per second versus the 120,000 pixels per second that NIR detection offers. This technology is the only way to make a clear distinction between fiber types, and by employing it, we deliver a clean news stream and a highly pure OCC product.

Because we precisely target and capture cardboard from the news stream rather than ejecting it along with plastics and metals, we create an additional valuable commodity instead of another mixed stream. More pure, valuable commodities and less residue? I think we can agree that’s a goal every MRF operator wants to achieve.

All about accuracy

Before removing card from fiber, many of our customers benefit from the positive sortation of fiber from other materials. NRT’s SpydIR® optical sorter is ideal for this application. Not only can it positively eject fiber away from contamination or target contamination, including metals and plastics, it removes them from the fiber stream.

NRT understands that detection and ejection are only the first steps in efficiently sorting material using optics; accurate ejections are meaningless if the product remains uncaptured. The solution is controlling airflow, creating an aerodynamic environment that guides the flight of the paper and cardboard to assure a highly pure result. In combination with NRT’s plug-and-play enclosure, our In-Flight Sorting® technology detects and ejects material after it has left the belt and is in flight, providing unmatched accuracy. Other optical sorters typically detect material on the belt, ejecting the material later. In-Flight Sorting makes all the difference in commodity purity.

But we didn’t stop there. Our air separation specialists at Nihot have partnered with our optical sorting experts at NRT to give In-Flight Sorting technology new meaning. The FiberPure optical sorter combines NRT’s technology to optically detect and eject plastic film with Nihot’s specially designed film ejection hood, pneumatically conveying the ejected plastic film for collection (pictured above).

This solution creates three fractions: fiber, plastic film and other rigid plastics that are ejected but not light enough to be aspirated by the ejection hood.

Max visibility

When NRT optical sorters are combined with BHS’ Max-AI Visual Identification System (VIS), operators achieve an unprecedented level of visibility and control of the sorting process.

We at BHS are working to create fully autonomous and intelligent MRFs, and Max-AI VIS is key to this solution. VIS identifies materials, capturing and communicating this information to other technology in use at your MRF. In the case of the already famous Max-AI AQC (Autonomous QC), Max-AI technology communicates to and directs a robotic sorter. And now we’re adding Max’s groundbreaking detection capabilities to our optical sorters to enhance their capabilities (pictured right).

VIS in collaboration with an NRT SpydIR optical sorter adds another level of detection capability to the machine. When used in combination with a device set to detect fiber, VIS can identify the cardboard in the material stream and instruct the optical unit not to fire on that material. It’s yet another way for a MRF operator to purify fiber, positively ejecting the paper while leaving the cardboard to default with a high degree of accuracy, thanks to Max-AI. Our advanced and proven technology provides our team of experts options; the custom solution we engineer for your MRF depends on your unique scenario.

Max-AI VIS is also a cost-effective way to monitor material composition, employing multilayered neural networks and a vision system to see and identify objects the same way a person does. The technology gives you insight into the contents of the incoming material stream, something that previously could be done only with manual audits. In addition to identifying the incoming material stream, Max-AI VIS verifies product quality or monitors the quantity of recyclables in a MRF’s residue stream.

Reducing labor

The Max-AI AQC-2 completes the “no labor” FiberPure solution with artificially intelligent robotic sorting. Max knows what to target in the same way a person does – through training, sight and thought. The robotic sorters then remove contamination and recover commodities, leaving behind a highly pure news product while using zero manual labor.

The Max-AI AQC-2 features two robotic sorters and can sort on belt widths of up to 72 inches. The AQC-2 recovers cardboard, containers and plastic film and removes contamination to create a clean news product.

A QC sorting position should make discriminate picks without losing valuable commodities. An optical sorter cannot accomplish this, and in some cases is too expensive of an option when commodity loss is factored in. By implementing the Max-AI AQC-2, the remaining outthrows and prohibitives can be removed and sorted without the loss of paper; but, more importantly, without the cost of manual labor. Commodities, including card and plastics, are also captured. Because Max doesn’t take breaks and works multiple shifts, you get twice the productivity with minimal variable cost increase.

This innovation allows MRFs to run longer with significantly lower operational expenses. It produces more products with increased purity, captures accurate data for reporting and adapts over time to the changing material mix without major capital expenses.

When you invest in the FiberPure System, you’re proactively applying a high degree of automation and separation accuracy into your MRF, significantly increasing your quality and production while lowering your cost per ton.

I know you want to achieve new levels of commodity purity without the expense of additional labor. What are you waiting for? Contact us today to learn what a custom-tailored FiberPure System can do for your operation and bottom line.

Learn more an contact BHS for your custom FiberPure Solution at


The author is Rich Reardon, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Bulk Handling Systems (BHS). Eugene, Oregon, USA, 866-688-2066,,