Intelligent sorting devices, such as optical sorters, robots and humans on quality control lines, are integral in today’s material recovery facilities (MRFs). However, for these machines and personnel to perform their best, infeed material must first be properly prepared. Van Dyk Recycling Solutions, Norwalk, Connecticut, has introduced a new wind tunnel called DeftAir to aid in preparing material for optical sorting.
According to a news release from Van Dyk, DeftAir helps process light materials at higher throughput. Typically, light sheets of paper and film start to fly up and drift when a conveyor speed approaches 550 to 600 feet per minute. DeftAir is installed on an optical sorter’s acceleration belt and blows a steady stream of air onto the belt to stop fiber and other lightweight materials from floating as the belt accelerates.
With DeftAir, air flow is applied at the same speed as the conveyor to maintain the relative speed of the material, according to the news release from Van Dyk. The belt can reach speeds of 800 to 1,000 feet per minute without causing light materials to float. The optical sorter receives more throughput, and because material is in a single, steady layer, it is fully recognizable, the company says.
Recovery rates will increase, while accuracy is maintained or improved, Van Dyk says, allowing operators to increase their paper quality while achieving high production rates.
Van Dyk says it has installed DeftAir units for several customers so far, with more planned in the future. DeftAir can be installed in conjunction with optical sorting upgrades or retrofitted in front of existing optical sorter units that need to improve their performance on paper separation.