Plastic Recycling Machines: Sorting (Part 2)

Plastic Recycling Machines: Sorting (Part 2)

In our previous article about plastic recycling machines we already explained several machines for sorting and separating different plastics and waste materials. We talked about the tire debeader, bale breaker, label separator, sorting table and color sorting machine. Today we continue with some more separation and sorting machines.

Magnetic Separator


Often plastic and rubber waste can contain steel parts that were integrated in the original product or that were mixed during the waste collection process. The steel parts can not only degrade the quality of the recycled product but also damage machines that were not intended to process steel parts. A magnetic belt running above a conveyor belt can pick out all these steel parts and collect them in a container for disposal.

Metal Detector


Despite many efforts to clear the plastic waste from metal contaminants by means of automatic or manual sorting, there still can end up some metal parts in the material flow at the entrance of the recycling line. To ensure high quality recycled plastic and protect the machines from damages, a metal detector can be installed at the beginning to stop the input flow when a metal part is detected so it can be removed before any damage or quality issue occurs.

Non-Ferrous Metal Separator


Plastic products can often contain metal parts like aluminum, messing or copper locks or joints. In addition, could aluminum cans have found their way in between plastic bottles waste. These metal contaminants can have bad influence on the quality of recycled plastic or rubber. To remove these metal parts from the plastic or rubber waste, a special technique is used that creates an electro-magnetic field that expulses conductive objects and collects them in a separate container.

Vibrating Sieve


A vibrating sieve separates particles based on their size. This can be particles of the same material to ensure a certain particle size or it can be to separate dust and fibers from the actual product. The perforation of the sieve decides the size of the particles that can pass though. The vibration of the screen takes care of a smooth flow of material and a qualitative separation of the smaller particles.

Metal-Plastic Separator


Certain products contain equal amounts of metals and plastic. This is the case with electric cables for example where the aluminum or copper core is completely covered in rubber and plastic. These plastic and metal fractions are bound so closely together that the only way to separate them is to cut the product into tiny particles. After cutting the particles can be separated based on their different mechanical characteristics. This separation is realized with an inclined vibrating screen that uses the natural frequency to guide the metal and plastic parts into different directions.

Plastic Recycling Machines: Sorting (Part 1)

Plastic Recycling Machines: Sorting (Part 1)

One of the main tasks in recycling waste material is to separate the different fractions or remove contaminating materials from the valuable main part. We have several solutions available to separate different plastics or metals from plastic and rubber.

Tire Debeader


Especially useful for a semi-automatic tire recycling line is the tire debeader. There are different techniques available to remove the steel bead from the tire before starting the actual recycling process. By removing the bead on forehand, investment money can be saved for more expensive machines to crumble and separate the steel from the rubber. This method is especially economical for lower capacities.

Bale Breaker


In many cases, waste material is pre-sorted and tied up in bales. To start recycling the material these bales have to be opened so the material can be treated separately. The bale breaker breaks the straps around the bales and loosens the objects contained in the bales. This makes it possible to wash off dust effectively and sort out contaminating materials such as metals before starting the actual recycling process.

Label Separator


When dealing with hard plastic objects like bottles or containers that contain labels, there can always be some label material left even after intensive washing and sorting. The label separator working with air is an efficient way to remove the remaining labels from the recycled material and to improve the purity of the recycled material.

Sorting Table


At the sorting table, the waste material passes by on a belt conveyor while workers on fixed positions analyze the waste and pick out foreign materials. Collection bins or discharge holes are fixed on each position to easily remove the sorted out contaminants from the sorting platform.

Color Sorting


For high-end customers with strict requirements to the quality of the recycled material our color-sorting machine is indispensable. The color sorting machine works with optical color recognition and sorts out the particles with a different color. It can be used to separate differently colored materials or to sort out remaining contaminants to increase the purity level of the recycled material.

Plastic Recycling Machines: Transport

Plastic Recycling Machines: Transport

Often we get questions from people about what machines they need to handle their materials. Often, it’s not that clear what the purpose of every machine is and what recycling machine you need to reach your goal. Therefore, we are starting a new series of posts where we will try to explain different recycling machines and their purposes. Today we will start with explaining more about transport and how material is moved from one machine to another to automate the whole recycling process. The type of the material decides mainly what mean of transport should be used. There are different solutions available for solid objects, dry bulk materials and wet bulk materials.

Belt Conveyor


The belt conveyor is mainly used for solid objects. It can be for the input into the line or intermediate transport between machines within the line. The belt conveyor can be suitable as well for dry bulk material such as plastic or rubber flakes. The advantage of the belt conveyor is the open access to the passing material, which is especially useful during the sorting process. Machines and workers can screen the material as it passes by and remove contaminating materials.

Blower Fan


For the transport of bulk materials such as plastic and rubber flakes or powder to higher levels the blower fan with transport tubes is the most compact and efficient solution. A strong blower fan accelerates the air, which blows the bulk material with ease straight into the height without occupying much space on the ground. With this process material can be elevated to many meters above the ground.

Screw Conveyor


The main function of the screw conveyor is to transport wet bulk materials like washed plastic flakes or wet rubber particles. The position of the screw blades and the complete enclosure provides the ideal circumstances to achieve efficient transport of the material. During the process, the heavy water is removed and no energy is wasted to move the water with the plastic or rubber. The water is collected at the bottom of the conveyor in a reservoir and easy to discharge.

Plastic Recycling Machines: Shredder

Plastic Recycling Machines: Shredder

The shredder is a must-have machine in the plastic recycling process, especially if your company deals with heavy and bulky objects. It differs from other recycling machines (e.g. crushers) by quick and continuous crumbling of any input material. Let’s see how the shredder machine works.

Industrial shredders can be used for different kinds of materials: wood, biological waste, rubber, tires, aluminium, paper and carton, foam, electric devices. But in our article we will focus on shredding plastics.

Single-shaft shredders are perfect for plastic recycling especially for well-sorted in advance material

Some single-shaft plastic shredder machines crumble the material through tearing, i.e. by pulling it with a force strong enough to make the plastic come apart. This method does not guarantee a uniform size of the particles. That is why many companies, including BOMAC Industries, advice to use shredders that perform shearing motion. It means that shredders cut plastic waste with hard-metal knives and provide a uniform output size.

The process starts when you fill the crushing chamber of the industrial shredder with plastics. In a single-shaft shredder, a hydraulic push block pushes the material down into the cutter shaft. It is necessary because some plastic items tend to ‘float’ on top of the cutters and need some ‘help’ to go through. Double-shaft shredders usually do not have hydraulic push blocks, as two shafts of blades are successful at crumbling material without additional ‘support’.

If a foreign object falls into the crushing chamber by accident, the shredder machine can be stopped, and a flap can be opened in order to easily remove the object.

The next stage of the process is cutting.  In short, the cutting system of the shredder machine consist of one or several rotors, knives, gears and a drive-belt. Rotor diameter may vary depending on your needs. For example, BOMAC Industries offers single-shaft shredders with the rotor diameter ranging from 280 mm to 800 mm, and double-shaft shredders with the rotor diameter ranging from 210 mm to 610 mm. Knives are mounted on the rotor, and their geometry can be modified in order to meet specific need of the clients. These cutting systems can crumble a broad range of plastics: PET, PP, PE, PS, PVC etc. With industrial shredders it is possible to process small items (e.g. PET bottles) as well as large objects (e.g. pipes). Components of the shredder’s cutting system normally can be quickly removed and replaced, which means a minimum downtime.

 Single- Shaft Shredders VS Double-Shaft Shredders

Screens guarantee a uniform size of particles

There are some differences between single- and double-shaft shredders that are important to study. No machine can suit all your needs, and knowing advantages and disadvantages of both types of shredders will help you to make the best choice.

Single-shaft shredders are perfect for plastic recycling, especially for dense, well-sorted in advance material. This type of recycling machines can produce small uniform particles. Material is processed by the shredder as many times as needed before the desired size is reached. It happens due to special screens with holes of a pre-defined size that are located under the cutting mechanism. When the particles are small enough, they fall through these screens.  However, special attention should be paid to maintenance of this type of shredder machine. In order to keep efficiency high, knives should be always well sharpened, and no foreign objects should fall into the hopper. There is a risk that the damage to the machine will be done before the foreign object is removed.

Double-shaft shredders are well suited for plastic recycling process as well. One of their main advantages is that such machines can crumble contaminated waste, and the risk of damage is much lower.  Operating costs for double-shaft shredders are very low as well. However, if no screens are used, these industrial shredders will produce particles of a different size.

It is always a good idea to consult with shredder manufacturers to discuss machine configurations that will work best for you and make your recycling line run smoothly.

 

BOMAC Industries strives to provide innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.

How to Choose Plastic Recycling Machines

How to Choose Plastic Recycling Machines

Choosing high quality recycling equipment that suits your needs is an important step in setting up your recycling operations. In this article we will guide you through the main types of plastic recycling machines.

If you collect or buy mixed plastic waste, you first need sorting and washing equipment. For example, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) should be recycled apart from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Good sorting machines will have sensors that are able to detect specific polymers. NIR detectors can recognize a large variety of plastics (e.g. PVC, PS, PA) and guarantee about 96 percent separation. X-ray detector can recognize only PVC with a bit higher guarantee level – 99 percent. You may want to use a combination of detectors and add manual sorting at the end of the line to minimize risk of automation failure.

Another important step in recycling process is size reduction. Here you can choose between crushers and shredders. They have basically the same function: to cut plastic items into small pieces. Crushers are usually very compact and are more suitable for smaller items like bottles, bags, buckets etc. BOMAC Industries offers industrial crushers that, while remaining compact, are designed for continuous operation, and are capable of cutting heavy and bulky objects.

Shredders take more space than crushers. They are perfectly suitable for quick and continuous crumbling of heavy and dense materials. Some single-shaft shredders perform more of a tearing motion. They are relatively slow and do not guarantee the same output (size of pieces can vary). This is the reason why BOMAC Industries offers both single-shaft and double-shaft shredders with durable hard-metal knives and optimized knife geometry: they guarantee consistent results. These machines are also very energy-efficient and produce little noise. Generally, shredders require good maintenance: you want to make sure that no foreign materials (e.g. a piece of blade) get inside the machines, otherwise they can be damaged. It is also important to keep the knives sharpened.

You need pulverizers in order to grind the plastic into powder or tiny granules. They are especially useful for recycling heat-sensitivity plastic (PE, PVC) as these machines have automatic temperature control. Pulverizers are easy to maintain, guarantee accurate output size and offer a possibility to vary input speed. BOMAC Industries also provies pulverizers with hard-metal friction discs and long-life drive belts.

Extrusion lines are usually the last ones in the recycling process. Extruders melt raw plastic and form a continuous profile (e.g. plastic or WPC pellets, pipes, sheets). Thickness and diameter can be varied depending on your needs and types of resin. You may choose between single- and twin-screw extruders. Energy and maintenance costs are comparable, however twin-screw extruders are more expensive and offer more benefits. For instance, they are more flexible, productive and offer higher output quality. With twin-screw extruders it is also easier to control the temperature of materials, and their transportation is very stable. As a result, little residual is left, and you have a possibility to change production material without interrupting the machine for cleaning.

You may want to go one step further and use the plastic you recycled for manufacturing new goods (e.g. plastic bags, cups, bottles or cutlery). For that you will need thermoforming lines. This equipment is suitable for different types of plastic films and sheets (PE, PP, PS, PET): it heats the raw material, forms a specific shape and advances it to the trim station. The main advantages of thermoforming lines are high automation, ergonomic controls and variety of output speed. When the equipment is installed, you only need manual checking of the products for defects and packing. Employees aren’t exposed to the hazardous areas.

If you consider procuring recycling machines and have questions, do not hesitate to contact BOMAC Industries. We are happy to help!

BOMAC Industries strives to provide innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.

How to Set Up a Plastic Recycling Line

How to Set Up a Plastic Recycling Line

Your company regularly produces plastic waste, and after considering all potential benefits you decided to start recycling. Setting up a recycling line can be complicated, but not if you plan all steps in advance! In this article we will guide you through the most important steps any company should consider in order to successfully launch its own recycling line.

First, collect and analyse data. You want to understand what kind of plastic you currently use in the production cycles, and how it can be collected for recycling. Decide for yourself what you are going to do with recycled material: will you use it in subsequent production cycles or will you sell it? It is also essential to investigate competitors who are few steps ahead and already started recycling. What do they do? Can their processes be improved?

Second, know your expenses. It is vital to know what quantities of plastic you need in order to keep your recycling processes economically feasible. To answer this question, consider costs associated with:

  • recycling equipment,
  • storage and\or recycling space,
  • salaries for employees,
  • collection process (including vehicles to deliver plastic waste).

Setting up a recycling line can be costly, so you want to make sure that you choose the best recycling equipment for your specific purposes, be it crushers, shredders, extrusion lines, blow molding or thermoforming lines. In short, the recycling process consists of the following stages: sorting (manual, automatic or mixed), separation, granulation, washing, rinsing, drying and transforming flakes into pellets. There is no universal solution for every situation. Every recycling line is unique, so consult with a recycling machine manufacturer and decide on what combination of recycling machines will work for you.

Furthermore, consider if you have enough space to install the equipment. If not, you may want to rent or buy a spot to which vehicles have an easy access. Separating plastic from dirt or other types of garbage is an important step, so you also want to have a connection with a water treatment system and stable energy supply. Do not forget to make sure that your company has all the necessary documents (permits and licensing) and is ready for inspections.

Third, plan the collection process. Now you know how much plastic you need to make profit. Is it possible to collect this amount? If you collect plastic waste directly from consumers, establish good communication, install special recycling kiosks (like some major beverage companies do) or offer your costumers incentives for every used plastic item they bring back to you. Your company may also cooperate with volunteers or local centers for collection and disposal of plastic waste.

Once you have completed previous steps, you are ready to start!

 

BOMAC Industries strives to provide innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.

Recycling Plastic Bottles: 4 Reasons to Start

Recycling Plastic Bottles: 4 Reasons to Start

Beverage industry first introduced PET plastic bottles to consumers in 1970-s. These bottles were quickly accepted because they were much lighter than glass and almost impossible to break. PET is also recyclable, however very few beverage companies actually collected their bottles and used them in subsequent production cycles. Today the industry is changing: the major players have already started recycling, some smaller brands even use 100% of recycled PET. See why you should start recycling as well!

Big players are in

PepsiCo is an early adopter of recycling practices, for instance for about a decade it has been encouraging consumers to give back used bottles through recycling kiosks in shops and gas stations. As a result, currently about 10% of PepsiCo soft-drink bottling containers have post-consumer recycled PET. By 2018 the company aims to increase the container recycling rate to 50% in the USA. All these efforts bring to company significant financial benefit: Plastic Bottles Today report says that in 2013 alone “PepsiCo initiatives reduced the company’s packaging costs by more than $55 million across the brand’s global operations”.’

The Coca-Cola Company on the contrary has been struggling to establish effective packaging collection methods; most of the 100 billion plastic bottles produced every year become waste. However, recently the company announced its intention to change its recycling strategy. Coca-Cola plans to approve a deposit system in Scotland. It also aims to use less plastic in packaging and increase the levels of recycled or renewable materials up to 40%.

Nestlé Waters has similar priorities and leads programs to encourage bottle collection all over the world, however it cannot ensure constant high volumes of recycled PET (r-PET) supply. That is why the company doesn’t consider using r-PET for its major brand yet. At the same time Nestlé Waters claims that its Canadian brand MONTCLAIR produces 100% r-PET bottles.

Reuse and recycle PET multiply times

PET bottles can be reused up to 15 times if certain conditions are met. Collect bottles from you consumers, transport them back to the factory, rinse bottles and refill them! Deposit systems can help you get the most of collected PET bottles. Packaging can also be recycled again and again with different methods. One of them is to wash, sort and re-melt packaging with high-quality recycling equipment. Another option is a chemical breakdown into PET’s raw components which are later purified and converted into new resin. In case PET bottles are too contaminated, they can be safely burned and thus used as an energy source.

Gain financially

We have already seen on PepsiCo example how profitable recycling can be. Using r-PET allows you as a company to cut energy consumption costs and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to the US and Canada Association for PET Container Resources, energy use and GHG emissions are reduced by 70-80% for every pound of r-PET flake used (when compared to virgin PET). Stanford University argues that one ton of recycled plastic saves 5,774 Kwh of energy, 16.3 barrels of oil and 30 cubic yards of landfill space.

Prepare for regulation changes in advance

European Union set common targets for recycling and plans to offer various economic incentives for producers. For instance, EU plans to recycle 65% and respectively 75% of its municipal and packaging waste by 2030. In order to achieve these targets European Commission has started working on the Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy. Its roadmap states that low rate of recycling and reuse of plastics is a big problem, and that currently the market for secondary plastic materials lacks strong incentives. European Commission aims to create right conditions to enable companies to “become more circular, resource-efficient and reduce its carbon footprint”.

 

Recycling will become a big trend, it is just a matter of time. So be prepared in advance! Start recycling your plastic bottles now!

 

BOMAC Industries strives to provide innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.

Recycling Technologies of the Future

Recycling Technologies of the Future

Recycling technologies develop very fast, especially when it comes to recycling plastics. About a half of all plastic garbage cannot be recycled today because of its initial design and composition. As a result, millions of tons of garbage end up in landfills, rivers and oceans, and represent an enormous ecological problem. For instance, plastic waste kills seabirds and turtles, and releases harmful chemicals into the soil. Many companies like BOMAC Industries try to solve this problem. They come up with innovative ideas, design new recycling machines, develop new technologies, and thus open a new market for recycling with billions of dollars of possible revenue.

Turning polystyrene into oil

Polystyrene is a very common material. It is used for producing test tubes, razors, yogurt containers, and food packaging (think of the boxes in which you get food in the fast food restaurants) etc. Polystyrene foams are also widely used in construction as they are good thermal insulators. However, available technologies for recycling polystyrene are not economically feasible. An American start-up came up with a new technology that can convert polystyrene back to crude oil. The company did it successfully before the oil crises. The main challenge for this technology is that it needs large amounts of the material, and some countries aim to minimize usage of polystyrene.

Undisclosed opportunities of recycling polyethylene

Polyethylene is everywhere. It’s the most popular type of plastic. It is used for producing bottles, plastic bags etc. Most of polyethylene trash ends up in landfills like polystyrene for the same reason – it is too expensive to recycle it. Some of the main issues are collecting small plastic items and then separating them from other types of garbage or unwanted chemical additives. Current technology doesn’t allow to efficiently sort items that are smaller than 60mm.

Another important issue is that it is hard to get rid of colour. Yes, all the logos and product information that you usually see on plastic packaging is one of the main reasons why your plastic bag goes to ocean instead of recycling loops. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation report says that colouring plastics reduces the value of the recycled materials up to US $300 per ton. Some companies already refuse from colouring bottles in order to use them in next production cycles.

These are just a few examples of what issues the recycling industry faces and how technology can resolve them. No doubt, if technologies ever allow us to recycle 100% of plastic waste, they will become the technologies of the future.

BOMAC Industries strives to offer innovative solutions for recycling plastics and offers a wide range of plastic recycling lines and machines for most common plastics and rubber, for example PET bottles, plastic film, car tires, PVC profiles etc.