Supporting Tomorrows Engineers Week

Bunting Managing Director Highlights the Importance of Developing Future Engineers

The UK’s Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (6-10 November 2017) highlights the need for the development of young engineers.  The organisation identifies that 186,000 people with engineering skills will be needed annually through to 2024.

We talk with Simon Ayling (Bunting Europe’s Managing Director) to find out the importance of such initiatives.

220px-IKBrunelChains
Isambard Kingdom Brunel

“The United Kingdom has always had a fantastic engineering and manufacturing reputation.  We have had engineers whose work has changed history including Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), who was the engineer behind the building of the Great Western Railway and even redirected the River Taff in Cardiff, and in more recent times Sir Tim Berners Lee who invented the World Wide Web.

In the UK Bunting designs and manufactures engineered products and equipment at two sites.  Our Bunting Magnetics manufacturing plant in Berkhamsted focuses on magnet technology, utilising the magnetic forces to develop magnetic systems that power wind turbines and and drive electric motors.

At our newly acquired Master Magnets manufacturing facility in Redditch we specialise in the design and manufacture of Magnetic Separation equipment.  These systems use magnetic forces to separate materials and are used widely in recycling and mineral processing.

In both operations we depend heavily on the engineering skills of our employees.  We have a Technical Sales Team, with engineering backgrounds, who are skilled in assessing a client’s problem or requirement.  In the offices we have Engineering Teams, designing magnetic based solutions.  Once the design has been confirmed, our skilled engineers on the shop floors then have the responsibility of building the equipment.

Without engineers, our business would not exist.

However, the number of people who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering is a concern.  In fact, when many young people leave school they are unaware of the exciting opportunities in engineering.

Bunting Magnetics Magnetic Assemblies

A career in engineering will be dynamic, challenging and exciting, unlike many others.  We are designing and building equipment that is helping the environment by automatically recovering aluminium cans from waste (Eddy Current Separator).  We design and supply magnetic materials and magnetic assemblies for commercial and military aerospace partners with some bespoke components supplied into the satellite industry.  Our magnetic equipment makes a difference.

Initiatives such as Tomorrows Engineers Week will hopefully encourage companies like us to shout about what we do and ignite the imagination of our future engineers.  We need you!”

For further information on Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please contact us on:

Review of the Bulk Solids and Powders Industry in Poland

Tom Higginbottom Reports Following Attending the SyMas Exhibition

Last week, our Sales Engineer Tom Higginbottom spent 2-days at the SyMas Bulk Solids and Powders exhibition in Krakow, Poland with Bunting’s local representative, TEKPRO.  Whilst at the show, he gained an insight into the present state of the market and potential opportunities for UK exporters.Bunting_at_SyMas17-17

Tom gives us his insight in the show, local feelings about BREXIT, and the market in general

“SyMas was a really good show with a busy footfall.  There was a lot of equipment on show, from manufacturers based all over the world.

From the type of enquiries and from talking to clients and our distributor, it is clear that the bulk solids and powders sector is growing.  Despite being a member of the EU, Poland remains an emerging nation and wages are still lower than in more developed European countries like the UK, Germany and France, but that gap is closing.  Their skill base is very high and consistently improving.

There is a lot of Western European investment and many of the manufacturing facilities are state-of-the-art.  This matched with the lower wage cost and workforce skills make the Poles very competitive in both European and global markets.

It was interesting speaking with the Poles about the UK leaving the European Union.  Generally, people thought that being a part of the EU makes it possible to compete with larger economies such as China and the USA.  Brexit has introduced an unknown factor and there was a feeling that, without the UK, the EU would have less negotiating power on the world stage.SyMas Tube Magnets 2

I think that the growth of our local representative TEKPRO highlights the expanding market and potential opportunities in Poland.  Since they were founded 10 years ago, they have expanded their workforce from 4 to 84 people.  It is an exciting time and we are working closely with them to maximise our sales potential in Poland.

At the show we received enquiries for both Magnetic Separator and Metal Detectors, including 3 specific projects where clients require Pneumatic Self Clean Drawer Filter Magnets and Drum Magnets.

Attending the SyMas show was really worthwhile and allowed me to gain an insight into the market which simply is not possible without being at the exhibition.

krakow

And Krakow was a beautiful city.  I have never been before and found the people wonderfully friendly and the historical buildings beautiful.”

For further information on removing metal contamination from bulk goods, powders and granules with Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please contact us on:

Other relevant Bulk Goods, Powders and Granules Articles

 

Developing Business in Poland at SyMas 2017

Bunting Support TEKPRO at International Trade Fair for Powder & Bulk Solids Technologies in Krakow, Poland

As part of their export business development strategy, Tom Higginbottom from Bunting will be supporting their Polish distributor TEKPRO at SyMas, the powder and bulk solids trade fair in Krakow, Poland (18-19 October 2017).

SyMas is an international exhibition focused on the processing, transport and storage of bulk goods, powders and granules.  TEKPRO are on stand A68.Bunting_at_SyMas17-2

Company TEKPRO Sp. z.o.o. was founded in March 2007 by Danish company TEKEMAS A/S  and the Swiss Dietrich Engineering Consultants sa .  They specialise in providing individual equipment and complete plants to handle and process bulk materials to the Polish market.

“Attending the exhibition and supporting the TEKPRO team is very important,” explained Bunting’s Sales Engineer Tom Higginbottom.  “Being at SyMas allows us to gain an understanding of the market, meeting existing and potential customers, and discussing the industry in general.”

Bunting_at_SyMas17-1TEKPRO will be displaying Bunting FF Drawer Filters and Grate Magnets on the stand.  Tom and the TEKPRO sales team will be giving advice to visitors about eradicating the problem of metal contamination using both Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.

“Over the next 2-days it will be great to have an opportunity to get to know the TEKPRO team.  We will also take the opportunity to provide some additional training.  We are really looking forward to the show, and spending time in a very beautiful city,” said Tom.

For further information on removing metal contamination from bulk goods, powders and granules with Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please visit the TEKPRO stand at SyMas or contact us on:

Other relevant Bulk Goods, Powders and Granules Articles

The Challenges of Removing Fine Iron from Powders

Magnetic Separators Designed for Processing Powders

Removing metal contamination when the tramp metal and material is granular is far more straightforward than when in a powder form.  To determine the best solution to remove fine iron contamination from powders, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the way the fine materials behave.

Powders are produced and used in a wide variety of industries including food, pharmaceuticals, refractories, and chemicals.  It is estimated that 80% of materials used in industry are in a powdered form.

flour-791840_960_720A ‘powder’ is defined as fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance.  The nature of a powder means that the handling and processing tends to be problematic as powders exhibit similar properties to both solids and liquids.

Metal contamination, commonly in an iron form, can be introduced into a material at any stage within a process.  Tramp metal that is undetected and remains in the product before the powder production stage, becomes significantly reduced in size and, subsequently, increasingly difficult to extract.

Magnetically susceptible metal contamination (i.e. iron) is commonly removed using Magnetic Separation Equipment, which traps metal using Ceramic Ferrite or Rare Earth Neodymium Iron Boron (Neodymium) Magnets.  Although there are Magnetic Separators where the magnetic field is produced via an electrical current, the vast majority utilize permanent magnets such as Ceramic Ferrite and Rare Earth Neodymium Iron Boron (Neodymium).  Ceramic Ferrite Magnets produce low strength but deep magnetic fields, while Neodymium Magnets create the strongest permanent magnetic presently commercially available.

Where Does The Metal Originate?

Metal contamination commonly originates in a powder from two sources:

  1. Primary large tramp metal, such as a nail, screw or bolt;Tube Cartridge Magnets Bunting Magnetics-5
  2. Primary or Secondary fine tramp iron. Primary fine iron or magnetic particles are often present in the raw material.  This originates from primary processing, transportation, or even naturally occurs in the original material.  Secondary fine iron originates from a larger tramp metal source that has been reduced in size during the process.  Typically, this could be from a nail, screw or bolt that has been through a size reduction process, or from damaged or worn processing equipment.  Another common source of secondary fine iron contamination is rust, falling into the process from weathered and worn processing equipment such as chains, hoists, and building cladding.

The separation and detection of tramp metal is easier when the metal contamination is in a larger form and can be successfully removed using a wide range of suitable Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.  Magnetic Separators using standard strength Ceramic magnets, with deep magnetic fields, are ideal.  A good example is the Plate Magnet, often installed in a chute, in a housing, or as part of an In-Line Magnetic Separator.

Quicktron05A_Sodium Bicarbonate 2

Larger metal contamination is also easier to detect on a Metal Detector.  Metal is detected as it passes through the coil of the Metal Detector and an automatic reject system removes it from the flow.  For detection, the magnetic field generated by the Metal Detector has to see a state change.  Finer sized metal produces a lesser state change and thus increases the difficulty in detection.

In a project in Pakistan, a processor of fine Sodium Bicarbonate is using a Quicktron Metal Detector to remove the larger tramp metal.

Removing larger tramp metal with a Magnetic Separator and Metal Detector prior to the processing stage not only prevents the metal from being reduced in size (e.g. converted into a secondary source of fine iron contamination), but also protects delicate processing equipment such as granulators, shredders, and mills from being damaged by the metal.

Once in a powder form, there are processing parameters to consider when assessing the optimum method to remove fine iron contamination.

How Does a Powder Flow?

When a powder is sprinkled, it remains light and free.  However, when the same powder is vibrated or compressed, it may become very dense and even lose the ability to flow.

Individual grains in a powder cling to each other in clumps, in accordance with the Van der Waals force.  This coagulation often results in the fine iron being trapped in among clean product.  The ability of any Magnetic Separator to attract, hold and separate the fine iron is dependent on the iron being as close to the magnetic field as is physically possible.  If the fine iron contacts the surface of a Magnetic Separator with a high strength magnetic field, it will be held.  However, when the fine iron is held inside a coagulation of powder, then it could be held out of the reach of the maximum magnetic force.  Thus, it will not be separated.

The way a powder flows impacts on the design of the Magnetic Separator.  Powders flowing in a hopper may experience classic flow problems such as ratholing, bridging or flooding, all of which could be exacerbated by the design of Magnetic Separator.

Different Designs of Magnetic Separator

Plate Magnets Bunting Magnetics-9797High strength magnetic fields, as produced by Neodymium, are needed to capture fine iron metal contamination.  There are four main magnet configurations suitable for handling powders.

  1. Tube Magnets (also known as Rod Magnets and Cartridge Magnets), often in a multi-rod Grate configuration;
  2. Flat-faced Magnetic Plates;
  3. Cone-shaped Magnets;
  4. Magnetic Drums with a curved magnetic arc;

Although occasionally a Tube Magnet may be used on its own, it is more commonly part of a larger multi-cartridge Grate system.  The Magnetic Grate is designed to fit inside a hopper, or can be supplied complete with a housing (i.e. as a Drawer Filter Magnet).ff-neo-4

In operation, powder falls freely onto the surface of the Tube Magnet where fine iron strikes the surface and is held by the strong magnetic field.  To ensure that the powder makes contact with the Cartridge surface, deflectors are often deployed above the gaps between the Cartridges.

Powder build-up on the surface of a Magnetic Cartridge will reduce the separation efficiency.  Also, in severe cases, a slight build up on the surface of the Cartridge may quickly cause a blockage of the whole housing.

Such blockages can be prevented by ensuring that there is optimum space between the Magnetic Cartridges.  Also, in some cases, the mounting of an external vibrating motor on the side of the hopper or housing will provide enough disturbance to prevent any material coagulation.  The frequency of the vibration needs careful consideration as it could affect the flow ability of the powder.  Additionally, when vibrators are used, the Magnetic Cartridges need to be manufactured to withstand prolonged periods of vibration.

Bunting Teardrop Tube Magnet

‘Teardrop’ shaped Tube Magnets are specifically designed to stop the build-up of fine powder on the surface.  The sharp edge of the teardrop faces up into the product flow and allows material to flow around the edge and into the magnetic field.  Magnetic particles are captured and held underneath the Tube Magnet.

Flat-faced Magnetic Plates are ideal when it is possible for the material to flow over the surface.  For fine iron removal, the Magnetic Plates would use high strength Neodymium Magnets.  This magnetic field is further enhanced when a Tapered Step is added to the face of the magnet.  Captured iron migrates behind the step and away from the material flow, reducing the risk of re-entering the cleansed product.

As well as being fitted into chutes, Magnetic Plates are incorporated into housings.  The Plate Housing Magnets resist bridging and choking to remove tramp iron and ferrous fines from flow-resistant bulk materials.  The stainless steel housings mount easily to enclosed spouting or directly on processing equipment.

There are optional square, rectangular, and round adapters for easy connection to existing chute work.  A baffle at the top of the housing helps break up clumps and directs product flow over the unit’s two powerful Plate Magnets.

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet

Plate Magnets are also used in In-Line Magnets and there are two designs:

  1. Gravity In-Line Magnets (GIM) – The Plate Magnets are positioned in round, sloping spouting where material is under gravity flow.  For effective tramp metal capture, the spouting should be angled no more than 60° from horizontal;
  2. Pneumatic In-Line Magnets (PIM) – These designs are for use in dilute phase pneumatic conveying systems (up to 15psi). They can be installed easily with optional factory-supplied compression couplings and work best in horizontal runs with the plate magnet down to take advantage of material stratification;

Another design of In-Line Magnet is the Center-Flow, although the magnetic field is generated in a Cone configuration instead of a Plate.  The Magnetic Cone is positioned in the center of the housing, allowing the powder to flow in the space left between the housing.  Center-Flow In-Line Magnetic Separators are commonly used in dilute-phase pneumatic conveying lines up to 15psi.

To achieve optimum contact with the product flow, a conical magnet is suspended in the center-line of the housing.  This tapered, exposed-pole cartridge has a stainless steel “nose cone” to direct the flow of materials around the magnet.  The tapered poles of the cone magnet allow ferrous fines to collect out of the direct air stream.  Additionally, the trailing end of the magnet is an active magnetic pole and holds any tramp metal that is swept down the cone.

Both types of In-Line Magnet are designed with clamps and doors to enable easy access for cleaning.

drumIn specific applications, a high strength Neodymium Drum Magnet will enable the best level of separation.  The Drum Magnet is gravity-fed, usually via a Vibratory Feeder.  The Drum Magnet has a stationary high-strength magnetic arc positioned inside a rotating outer shell.  When material flows onto the drum magnet, the magnetic field projected by the stationary magnetic assembly inside the shell captures fine iron and holds it securely to the drum’s stainless steel surface.  With contaminants removed, the good product falls freely to a discharge point.  As the drum rotates, the captured fine iron travels along the drum surface and out of the magnetic field, where it is discharged.

There are various magnetic field configurations possible, but the most suitable for removing iron from powder is one that produces a Radial Magnetic Field.  This ensures that once captured, the fine iron does not leave the Drum surface until it moves out of the magnetic field.

Processing powder on a Drum Magnet presents more difficulties that other designs of Magnetic Separators.  Firstly, it is recommended that the Vibratory Feeder has an air bed to produce a consistent feed of powder.  Standard Vibratory Feeders may deliver powder in clumps, significantly affecting the separation performance.

Secondly, the shell of the Drum Magnet should be rotated at high speeds.  This will result in some of the powder pluming, and this can be minimized by keeping the distance between the end of the Vibratory Feeder Tray and the rotating surface of the Drum Magnet to a minimum.

The high rotation speed of the Drum Magnet significantly reduces the amount of product lost to the magnetics.  This is because there is less material on the surface of the Drum at any one time, reducing the chance of entrapment.

The use of Drum Magnets operating at high rotational speeds has been very successful in removing fine iron from abrasives, refractories, and other applications where the material has a high specific gravity.

Ensuring Powder is Metal-Free

As the demand for finer and purer powders increases, so does the need to remove even the finest iron.  Understanding the properties and behavior of the powder is vitally important when considering the optimum method of fine iron separation.  Often the ultimate solution is a series of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors located at strategic points within the process.

For further information on removing fine metal contamination from powders with Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please contact us on:

Recycling Business Development in France

Bunting Europe and Pronix Talk About Opportunities in the French Recycling and Waste Sector

At the RWM 2017 recycling and waste exhibition (12th – 14th September, NEC, Birmingham, UK), we caught up with Bunting’s Dave Hills (Head of Sales) and Alex Jarosz from the Bunting distributor in France, Pronix.

Pronix has been developing business in France for Bunting Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors for the past 18 months.  Alex Jarosz has the specific responsibility of developing business in the waste and recycling sectors and had travelled across from France to attend RWM.  We asked why he felt that visiting RWM was important.

Bunting Master Magnets at RWM17

Alex:  “This was the first time since the acquisition that we had the opportunity to meet the Master Magnets team and visit their facility in Redditch.  In the days leading up to the show, I’ve been able to have some product training, which has helped broaden my knowledge and understanding.

Master Magnets have an extensive range of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors specifically designed for the recycling and waste sector.  With the acquisition, it is really exciting to be able to offer these to customers in France.”

Alex also explained that he was in the UK to discuss the details of a new metal recycling project.

Alex:  “We are working on a new project where the customer is looking to supply a complete Metal Separation System (Drum Magnet and Eddy Current Separator).  We could all (Pronix, Bunting and Master Magnets) review the project in detail to ensure that what we are proposing is what the customer needs in terms of separation and installation.  The visit has been invaluable.”

We then asked Alex about the state of the recycling and waste sector in France.

Alex:  “In May 2017 we had an election and new government.  This always affects business confidence.  The waste and recycling sector in France has been struggling, with a great deal of restructuring.Bunting Master Magnets at RWM17

However, our new president Emmanuel Macron has put the circular economy and recycling at the heart of our government’s economic model.  In fact, they have stated that they are aiming for the use of 100% of recycled plastics through the economy by 2025 as part of their aim to have a 100% circular economy.  The present recycling rate for plastics is 21% and so we anticipate huge changes and investment in new waste recycling plants.”

We asked Dave Hills about Alex’s visit to the UK.

Dave:  “18 months ago we started working with Pronix to develop business in France.  At the start we had very little, if any, presence in France, but Pronix have steadily changed that.

The acquisition of Master Magnets has significantly expanded our product portfolio and opened up new potential in France.  It is an exciting time.”

Pronix will be exhibiting at Pollutec 2018 (27th – 30th November, Lyon) the next major waste and recycling show in France.

For further information on Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators, please contact us on:

Other relevant waste and recycling articles:

 

Environmental Issues Highlighted at Interplas 2017

Interplas Exhibition Well Supported by Plastics Industry 

On the morning of day 2 of the Interplas 2017 exhibition (26th – 28th September, NEC, Birmingham, UK), BBC Radio 5 Live featured a news item reporting that UK pub operator, JD Weatherspoon, had decided to stop using plastic straws.  This announcement highlighted the challenges facing the plastics sector.

Bunting Magnetics Europe at Interplas 2017

Interplas 2017 is the UK’s premier show for the plastics sector and proved to be a great success.  As experienced at many UK trade exhibitions, the footfall was not as seen at shows in the USA, Germany or other European countries, but the visitors to the Bunting stand had specific metal contamination issues in their plastics production process that needed a solution.

However, plastics and their environmental impact continue to hit the headlines.  Indeed, there were two large posters on the stand of the British Plastics Federation asking:

“As we supply equipment both to companies manufacturing primary plastic products and recycling plastics, we see the problem from both sides,” said Dave Hills, Bunting’s Head of Sales.Bunting Magnetics Europe at Interplas 2017

“Even when manufacturing primary plastics, it has been common and good practice for companies to recycle and reuse their plastic waste for many years.  Indeed, this often necessitates the need for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, removing any rogue metal introduced during this recycling process.”

“However, the real challenge is collecting, processing and then producing a usable plastic product from recovered secondary plastic materials.  Again, we have installed Metal Separation Systems to remove ferrous and non-ferrous metals (eg at Recapture Plastics), but there remain challenges with the end market for the final recycling-sourced plastic product.”

There appears to be a growing appetite for focusing on the issue of plastics in the environment.  The implementation of charges for plastic bags by firstly the Welsh, and then the UK governments may be the first of many initiatives to reduce the use of plastic products.  The latest announcement by JD Weatherspoon about banning plastic straws is expected to be followed by similar announcements by other major coffee shops and food outlets.

At Interplas 2017, the vast majority of the exhibitors were focused on primary plastic production.  With the ever-increasing global focus on environmental issues, we wonder how different the exhibitor and visitor make-up will be at Interplas 2020.

For further information on Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors for removing metal during the primary plastic production process or in a recycling operation, please contact us on:

 

RWM17 Exhibition Review

Bunting Magnetics Review the UK’s Leading Waste and Recycling Show

On the 12th to 14th September 2017, the focus for the UK’s recycling and waste industry was the RWM 2017 exhibition (NEC, Birmingham).  Bunting Magnetics, along with their acquired business Master Magnets, were demonstrating metal separation on an Eddy Current Separator (for non-ferrous metals) and Stainless Steel Separator.

Bunting’s Dave Hills (Head of Sales) gave us his thoughts on the show:

“We [Bunting and Master Magnets] have come away from the show with some very high quality leads.  In fact, our sales team will be visiting potential customers this week and we are organising urgent tests at our site in Redditch.

The number of visitors to RWM17 appeared to be down on 2016, with day 1 and 3 particularly poorly attended.  The middle day was really busy and this was when we generated the vast majority of the leads.Bunting Master Magnets at RWM17

As in previous years, we had Magnetic Separation equipment operating on the stand to stimulate interest.  And, as usual, our plan was successful with some of the enquiries being a direct result of visitors seeing a large lump of stainless steel being magnetically attracted and separated.  Our ethos of ‘Seeing Is Believing’ was correct and this has now moved onto the next step with the planning of more extensive tests at our Master Magnets plant.

Bunting Master Magnets at RWM17

It was also great to see our Permanent Overband Magnets being displayed on a Terex Ecotech mobile recycling system in the external exhibition area.

Despite the positives, our major concern going forward is that the number of visitors to RWM continue to fall each year.  As openly discussed with exhibitors and visitors, there is a good argument for the show to be held every two-years instead of annually.  Indeed, many German exhibitions are only held every two or even three years.  There are possibly not enough new developments in the waste and recycling sector to justify visitors attending the show every year.  However, despite those concerns, the organisers simply seem intent on an annual show with the announcement of RWM18.

At this year’s show, many exhibitors openly admitted that they would not be attending RWM in 2018.  This continued contraction of the primary exhibition for recycling and waste in the UK is a real concern.  An honest and open review, with input from visitors and exhibitors, is needed.  RWM should be a showcase for the whole waste and recycling industry, but further contraction may put it at risk of closure.

Only in time will we [Bunting and Master Magnets] be able to measure the return on our investment in RWM17, once we been able to visit and speak with visitors and assess how we can help them solve their metal separation problems..

We wish to thank everyone who took the time to visit our stand at RWM17.  Our team enjoyed the show and we will be in contact with you shortly.”

For further information on Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators, please contact us on:

Other relevant waste and recycling articles:

 

3 UK Waste and Recycling Facts

Environmental Facts and Figures For The UK

Next week is RWM, the UK’s largest waste and recycling exhibition, and we thought that it would be interesting to look at some of the present industry facts and figures.

Fact 1 – How Much Waste Do We Generate?

Even though we are in 2017, the latest waste statistics in the UK relate back to data from 2015.  The DEFRA report stated that households generated 26.7 million tonnes of waste in 2015, a fall of 1.1% on 2010.  This equates to 407 kg per person in 2015 compared with 421 kg per person in 2010.

There was also a fall in the generation of Industrial and Commercial Waste between 2010 and 2015.  In 2015, 13.9 million tonnes of Industrial Waste was produced compared with 12.6 million tonnes in 2010.  The fall in Commercial Waste was greater, with 15.1 million tonnes in 2015, down from 20 million tonnes in 2010.

Hanbury Plastics Bunting Overband Magnet-1

Fact 2 – Recycling Rates

The household waste recycling target agreed by the UK Government and the European union is 50% by 2020.  So how are the individual UK nations performing so far?

Fact 3 – Metal Packaging Recycling

The last figures from 2014 show that the total amount of metal packaging waste produced was 736,000 tonnes.  Of this, 428,000 tonnes (58.2%) was recovered and recycled, often using Magnetic Separation technology in the form of Overband Magnets and Eddy Current Separators.  In March 2017, the UK Government set a new target of 69% recycling rate for metal packaging by 2020.

Metal Packaging 2

The facts and figures indicate that changes are needed in the waste and recycling strategy to meet the revised targets.  At RWM it will be interesting to see and meet the companies who are involved in the recycling process, either undertaking the processing of waste or developing equipment to improve recycling techniques.

For further information on Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators for recovering aluminum and steel beverage cans, please visit us on stand 5P80 at RWM 2017 or contact us on:

Other relevant environmental articles:

Bunting Overband Magnet over Conveyor

 

 

Can UK Metal Packaging Recycling Increase by 10% by 2020?

Are Revised Beverage Can Recycling Targets Realistic?

Every year, consumers in the UK use approximately 14 billion steel and aluminium beverage cans.  Of these, approximately 59% are presently recycled.  In the March 2017 budget, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced new targets for 2020, with the metal packaging recycling rate rising to 69%.  We investigate whether this 10% rise is really achievable?

Present Beverage Can Recycling Figures

Bunting Vulcanis-1097Since the late 1980’s, there has been a huge change in the global attitude to waste and recycling highlighted by the fact that, in 1989, the UK’s beverage can recycling rate was just 2%.  Globally, the beverage can is regarded as being the most recyclable packaging for drinks.

By the end of 2017, the UK will be recycling 55% of all aluminium packaging and 76% of steel.  This is part of the 72.7% of all packaging used in the UK that will be recycled.

Using reported recycling rates for aluminium and steel beverage cans, it is estimated that 14.1 billion cans are produced each year, of which nearly 80% are aluminium.  Of the 14.1 billion, 5.8 billion end up in landfill.  It is believed that if all aluminium and steel cans were recycled in the UK, the number of green bins could be reduced by 17.5 million.

The reasons for need to recycle and reduce waste are mainly 3-fold:

  1. Reducing the amount of waste going to landfill;
  2. Reducing the amount of energy used to produce steel and aluminium (recycled aluminium uses 95% of the energy needed for virgin production and steel 75%);
  3. More efficiently using the planet’s dwindling resources;

How Can The New Targets Be Achieved?

Between 2014 and 2017, aluminium can recycling rates have increased by 9% (from 46% to 55%) and steel by 3% (from 73% to 76%).  As recycling rates reach higher levels, previous statistical trends show that the recycling rate growth slows.  The latest recycling targets (2020) are for a further 9% increase (to 64%) in aluminium and a 9% (to 85%) increase in steel.

Additionally, although these may be less relevant due to Brexit, in December 2015 the European Commission proposed targets of 65% of all packaging by 2025 and 75% by 2030.  Of this, the recycling targets for aluminium and steel were the same at 75% in 2025 and 85% in 2030.

These are significant increases in the recycling rates.  From trends over recent years, it is apparent that without significant changes in the way the UK recovers, handles, and recycles materials, the targets set by the UK government and those proposed by Europe will prove difficult to achieve.

Presently, there are several ways in which beverage cans are recovered including:

  1. Charity collection schemes, which commonly only collect aluminium due to the low prices for recovered steel cans.  These only account for a small percentage of all cans recycled;
  2. At designated can banks, where the only subsequent processing is separating steel from aluminium using a Magnetic Separator.  Again, this is a small percentage;
  3. From pre-sorted refuse, where households have segregated ‘recyclable’ waste into separate containers for processing in a Waste Sorting Plant.  This is a more automated system, with steel cans being commonly recovered off a conveyor by an Overband Magnet and aluminium cans either being manually picked or automatically separated using an Eddy Current Separator;Master Magnets Overband Magnet 2
  4. Automatically recovered from mixed waste, using Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators.  The source of the mixed waste includes:
    • Cans incorrectly put in the mixed recyclable rubbish for waste collection by households;
    • Waste collection from city centres;
    • Industrial waste collection;
    • Other waste sources

The challenge for the UK Government is identifying where improvements in can recovery can be made.  Further automation and less reliance on the general public may be required.

The Future

There has been a government focus on recycling and waste reduction since the mid-1990s.  In over 20 years, the aluminium recycling rate was only just exceeded 50%.  The latest recycling targets ask for another 10% growth in just 3 years.Bunting Vulcanis-1098.jpg

Also, given the present infrastructure of waste handling and recycling in the UK, achieving a recycling rate of 85% for any material will be difficult.  Steel Cans have always been a primary recyclable product, but what changes are needed to boost the present rate of 76% up by a further 9% in 3 years when it has only grown by 3% since 2014?

Setting recycling targets is simple, but achieving them without a solid structured plan will be challenging.

For further information on Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators for recovering aluminum and steel beverage cans, please visit us on stand 5P80 at RWM 2017 or contact us on:

Other relevant environmental articles:

Bunting Vulcanis-

 

Getting Metal Out of Plastic on the Bunting Stand at Interplas 2017

Bunting Magnetics Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors at UK Plastics Show

The latest Magnetic Separation and Metal Detection technology will be on display on the Bunting Magnetics Europe stand (Hall 4, Stand H11) at Interplas 2017 (NEC, Birmingham, UK, 26th – 28th September 2017).

Bunting FFS Magnet-0064A
Bunting FF Drawer Grate Magnet

Bunting Magnetics is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.  The European manufacturing headquarters are based in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, UK and they have an extensive overseas network of distributors and marketing agents.  In January 2017, the company acquired Master Magnets, significantly expanding their range of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.

“Interplas is the number one exhibition for the plastics sector in the UK,” said Dave Hills, Bunting’s Head of Sales, “and the show gives us a great opportunity to meet many existing and potentially new customers.”

Bunting Magnetics has a strong global relationship with the plastics sector.  Many of their Magnetic Separators have been designed specifically for use in the manufacture and recycling of plastics and plastic products.

The Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors on the Bunting stand at Interplas are designed to capture, identify and remove metal contamination.  The presence of rogue metal damages processing equipment and affects the end-product quality and reject rates.

Bunting BPI-6151

The FF Drawer Grate Magnet is specifically designed for removing magnetically-susceptible particles from plastic.  The standard model has 2 banks of Neodymium Rare Earth Tube Magnets mounted inside a sealed housing.  Other variations are available including a low profile design for positioning underneath large hoppers and silos. Magnetic Separators with Neodymium Rare Earth Magnets remove even the smallest magnetically-susceptible particles.  On the stand will be examples of extremely strong Magnetic Grates, Plate Magnets, Tube Magnets, and the industry-standard FF Drawer Grate Magnet.  Visitors will be invited to test the magnetic strength for themselves.

Bunting Magnetics Europe at RWM16“This combination [FF Drawer Grate Magnet and the quickTRON Metal Detector] offers the best method of removing metal from free-falling materials,” explained Dave Hills.  “The Magnetic Separator captures and holds any magnetically attracted metals such as steel screws, bolts, steel slithers from worn equipment, and even work-hardened stainless steel.  This always proves to be the bulk of the metal contamination.For a complete metal separation solution, the FF Drawer Grate Magnet is fitted above a quickTRON Metal Detector.  The Metal Detector then identifies and rejects any non-ferrous metals.

“Any remaining metal will be identified as it passes through the Metal Detector and then ejected.  The cleansed plastic can then proceed safety into the next stage of the process, whether than is to the extruder or granulator.”

A working, production-sized model of the combined FF Drawer Grate Magnet and quickTRON Metal Detector will be on the Bunting stand at Interplas.  Regular demonstrations will enable visitors to witness the capabilities of the complete metal separation system.

p-TRON-GM-V2
pTRON Metal Detector

A range of pTRON Metal Detectors designed for use in Pneumatic transportation lines will also be on display on the Bunting stand.

With the acquisition of Master Magnets, Bunting also has an extensive range of Magnetic Separators and Eddy Current Separators for the recycling sector.

“The combined experience of Bunting and Master Magnets means that we have a solution for most metal separation problems.  The Master Magnets Eddy Current Separator is an industry standard and is used to remove non-ferrous metals from plastics in recycling operations across the world,” said Dave Hills.

For further information on the Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors that will be on show at the Interplas 2017 exhibition, please contact us on: