ColorPlus-R Allows Sorting of Opaque Objects : New NRT Optical Sorting System Allows Separation of Black Plastics for Recycling

National Recovery Technologies optical sorting plastics colorsort
© National Recovery Technologies

Nashville, Tennessee based optical sorting systems manufacturer for the recycling industry, National Recovery Technologies (NRT), has launched a new system which detects materials based on colour analysis and object recognition and is able to recognise opaque objects, such as black plastics.

The manufacturer explained that in common with all of its ColorPlus models, the ColorPlus-R employ transmissive detection, placing the material between the light source and the detection camera. Transmissive detection is claimed to provide the strongest signal strength and accuracy.

According to NRT its In-Flight Sorting® technology, processing up to 50 million pixels per second, is able to detect and immediately target each object in flight.

In addition to transmissive detection, the ColorPlus-R has added a second LED light source above the material to facilitate reflective detection. Whereas opaque materials were previously only recognised as objects, the ColorPlus-R’s is said to be able to simultaneous use of reflective and transmissive detection makes possible colour analysis.

“The real advantage to the ColorPlus-R is the ability now to recognize the color of an opaque object with extreme confidence and in a fraction of a second,” commented NRT President Matthias Erdmannsdoerfer. “For example, black plastics pose a problem to our customers, particularly in Plastic Recycling Facilities where accuracy is ultimately defined by the parts per million.”

“Black plastics absorb too much light for near infrared detection by polymer type, so with this new equipment we can effectively remove this type of contamination,” he added.

The company also explained that the composition of black plastics can be unknown and are problematic in Waste to Fuel operations where end-product specifications require a particular material recipe.

Other ColorPlus-R applications include the separation of white containers from other coloured opaque plastics, separating coloured inert objects such as glass, or removing browns from a news stream.

The ColorPlus-R uses NRT’s new platform, launched in 2016. The integrated trajectory control guides the internal airflow to eliminate swirling and increase recovery.

The manufacturer added that the entire ColorPlus line is equipped with long-lasting LED lighting to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. The light source, combined with In-Flight Sorting technology, also allow the equipment to auto-calibrate to maintain consistently high recovery rates while eliminating the time and hassle of manual calibration.

The first ColorPlus-R will operate at SUEZ’s Altens Easte (Aberdeen) Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to remove OCC from mixed paper. Installation is underway for an expected Q2 startup.

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