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:

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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:

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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:

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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: