German recycling equipment manufacturer, STEINERT, has launched a non-ferrous metal separator for a variety of fine-grain materials.
The company explained that to develop the EddyC FINES system it teamed up with Galloo, one of Europe’s biggest recyclers. In 2013, Galloo wanted to expand and began to conduct studies into more efficient ways of extracting non-ferrous metals from fine-grain material. Galloo contacted the engineers at STEINERT, asking them to develop a flexible machine concept for three different input materials: automobile shredder residue (ASR), incineration bottom ash and electronic scrap
STEINERT said that the challenge with this task was that the input is extremely fine material, with grain sizes of 0.5–10 mm. The goal was to enable the three different materials to be to run through the system flexibly without any drop in the separation rate. Engineers wanted to further optimise the separation of non-ferrous metals out of the fine-grain fraction and, at the same time, simplify the machine’s operation and maintenance.
To tackle the problem STEINERT adapted the output to the machine’s requirements and developed a splitter that it said can handle the three different types of fine-grain material.
Fine gearbox adjustments can be made to the splitter which are said to enable it to get to within a few millimetres of the material, separating even the tiniest particles. The machines now runs at Galloo in two shifts for a total of about 16 hours per day.
“We are now buying input material from Germany, Denmark and the UK, because the system runs so reliably,” said Galloo R&D Officer Luc Waignein
After the installation withGalloo, STEINERT’s development and design team began to work on additional features especially for the fine-grain sector, leading to the creation of the new STEINERT EddyC FINES.
The manufacturer added that the EddyC FINES has a frame structure which allows the belt to be replaced in 10 minutes.
“Changing the belt of an eddy current separator often takes a company half a day, with up to three employees and heavy lifting equipment needed to perform this task,” explained STEINERT technical director, Dr. Nico Schmalbein.
According to STEINERT, with EddyC FINES two employees can carry out a belt change with nothing more elaborate than a spanner - a big benefit for Galloo. “We now need fewer personnel for belt changes and there is less downtime,” said Waignein
New Bottom Ash Metal Recycling Facility
Galloo is also building a new facility that will recover exclusively non-ferrous metals from grate ash. The ash contains up to 6% iron and up to 3% non-ferrous metals.
However, according to STEINERT the particles are very small, measuring only 0.5 - 4mm and as a result of the previous experience Galloo is using the new EddyC FINES in the facility
The system’s splitter plate has to be precisely adjusted in order to separate the metals from the fine incineration bottom ash material.
“A gearbox now enables users to set the splitter plate with millimetre precision along three different axes and adjust it even more accurately to the parabolic trajectories of a wide variety of materials. In addition, a corresponding upgrade enables the program-controlled system to focus on predefined points of the parabolic trajectory,” explained Schmalbein.
“In combination with a continuously adjustable eccentric magnetic pole drum, this system can achieve optimal separation results,” he added.
The system features a pole drum with an eccentric pole system which rotates at 4000 rpm over a working width of 2 metres.
The non-ferrous metals separator has a rapidly rotating magnetic pole system that induces eddy currents in the non-ferrous metals transported on the conveyor belt. The resulting opposing magnetic field creates repulsion effects, which enables the non-ferrous product to be ejected from the stream of material.
The splitter plate in the parabolic trajectory separates the non-ferrous product from the remaining stream of material.
“We made sure the splitter plate was adjustable so that the system can react to a variety of input materials. Before we did this, we analysed the flight properties of various materials and used this information to work on the settings,” said Jochen Schäfer, a design engineer at STEINERT. “The splitter can be adjusted to specific trajectories in order to accommodate a variety of separation tasks.”
Waignein added: “Ten years ago, you could only obtain standardised devices on the market. It was impossible for us to adapt them to our specific needs. That’s why we are extremely happy that we and STEINERT have been able to jointly develop a system that precisely meets our requirements.”
Galloo has been cooperating with STEINERT since 1985, when the recycler bought its first non-ferrous metals separator. Galloo is a special customer for STEINERT as well, because the recycler has provided the engineers at the development and design department with valuable feedback for the past 31 years.
“That’s why we decided to draw on Galloo’s practical experience when we updated the splitter in 2016. The large amounts of fine-grain material prompted us to solve this problem and create a very profitable solution for our customer,” concluded Hoffmann.
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