VIDEO: NRT Optical Sorter Combined with Nihot Air Separators

BHS Targets Plastic Films & Fibre with Combination of Recycling Technology

Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) - has developed a plastic film identification and removal system, utilising its FiberPure™ Optical Sorter.


Optical sorting equipment manufacturer, NRT – a part of Eugene, Oregon based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) - has developed a plastic film identification and removal system, utilising its FiberPure™ Optical Sorter.

The company said that the system also has the option of a pneumatic extraction system from Dutch firm Nihot, also a part of BHS.

The combination of the NRT FiberPure Optical Sorter and Nihot air extraction system is said to create a one-step approach, enabling operators to better capitalise on the evolving mix of fiber and film than with standalone air or optical equipment.

It is also claimed to significantly lower labour costs and maximise the purity and recovery of both fiber and plastic film.

BHS explained that the combination of the NRT FiberPure Optical Sorter and Nihot air extraction system was designed to fill a gap in the market for a technology solution to separate plastic film from high volumes of fiber with high purity rates on both fiber and film.

In this application the company said that a stand-alone NRT optical sorter is capable of detecting and ejecting on film or fiber and creates a high quality split between these materials.

However, when the integrated Nihot air extraction system is installed it will also upgrade the ejected materials with a density split creating an even more pure fiber and film fraction.

The combination is said to allow operators to use their existing sorting process for two- or three-dimensional sorting as it is easy to retrofit, the Nihot air extraction system can also transport materials to any desired position in the process, making this automated solution an easy retrofit with a fast return on investment.

According to the manufacturer, the combination of sensor-based sorting technology and air technology is helping recycling companies throughout the world achieve ground-breaking recovery and purity results in some of the most complex and challenging plastics or fiber recycling applications.

UK based waste and recycling firm Biffa chose BHS as a partner for adding a specialised 8 tonne per hour glass clean-up system and container clean-ip system to its existing Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Aldridge, UK.

The aim of the addition was to increase the quality and recovery of glass, fiber and clean containers. According to Biffa’s divisional engineering manager Neil Arlett the container clean-up system, featuring a NRT FiberPure optical sorter and Nihot air extraction system, paid for itself in nine months.

The NRT FiberPure is said to remove an additional 3 tonnes per hour of fiber from the existing container line, increasing mixed paper recovery as well as the purity of containers with the result that the container line manual sorting was significantly reduced.

Based on the results of the Aldridge facility Biffa was said to have now ordered a second NRT FiberPure™ Optical sorter to upgrade their Edmonton facility as well.

Whether processing single stream recycling or mixed MSW, all 2D material coming from a BHS Polishing Screen is fed to the NRT FiberPure optical sorter using the entire width of the acceleration infeed conveyor.

The company explained that by use of an air curtain the material will stabilise on the belt. In this case the optical sorter is setup to target film depending on the material stream to maximise recovery.

BHS said that this is the optimal point in its operation process for the simultaneous identification of film types followed by the extraction of these materials. The FiberPure detects and ejects material in flight and the plastic film fraction is aspirated via an opening above by a Nihot air extraction system.

Non-ejected material (i.e. paper) lands on a default conveyor and heavier plastics are captured in the far chute (such as partially filled plastic bags).

At the end of the process the clean plastic film is captured in a Nihot Rotary Air Separator (RAS) which separates the light material (fractions) from the conveying airflow and discharges the materials into a bay or onto a conveyor.

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