Our 2017 Review

A Look Back at Our News & Blogs from 2017

2017 has been another busy and exciting time for Bunting Magnetics Europe with some great news stories.  In this blog we look back at the past 12 months and review the stories that hit our headlines.

January

bunting_master_magnetsWe started the year by announcing that Bunting had acquired leading UK Magnetic Separator and Metal Detection company Master Magnets.  This changed the Magnetic Separator landscape in Europe.

At the same time, the Bunting team was exhibiting at the Arabplast exhibition in Dubai.  The plastics focused event was attended and visited by plastics professionals across the region.  Sales were even made on the stand!

Our 7th of our 8 Magnetic Separator Myths examined the impossibility of achieving 100% metal separation.

To finish off January, we announced record sales in 2016 despite the backdrop of Brexit and political uncertainty.

February

We started the month with our 8th Magnetic Separator myth, asking if it was possible to block a magnetic field.

Bunting also joined the British Plastics Federation, reflecting our longtime involvement in the sector providing metal separation solutions.

Bunting at Exposolidos 2017

Our exhibition focus in the month was Exposolidos in Spain with our local representative SMED Tecnica.

In February, we also asked the question of whether our Environmental future is simple down to design?  This was written in response to the growing awareness of the environmental impact of waste that would gradually intensify through the year.

We finished off the month with the launch of the Teardrop Tube Magnet, ideal for use in fine powders where bridging might be an issue.

March

The strength of a Magnetic Separator is often expressed in ‘gauss’.  However, the vast majority of people are unable to measure gauss and so we showed a simple practical way to check the magnetic power using a simple spring balance.

Our 9th Magnetic Separator myth highlighted the dangers of strong Magnets and our 10th myth looked at ways to easily and safely clean captured metal off  Magnetic Separators.

We also investigated a US FDA report stating the ‘Ingesting Metal Fragments Can Cause Injury‘.

In March, we exhibited at the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics show in Farnborough UK.

April

Metal is commonly found in spices and we examined a typical plant and identified the best locations for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.

We also reported that we sold a record number of Plate Magnets in 2016 for export to Indonesia and 28 In-Line Magnets to a German baby food producer.

New Bunting Sales EmployeesWith the continued growth of the business, we were thrilled to announce the appointment of two new sales engineers, Tom Higginbottom and Gordon Kerr.

In April, UK supermarket Morrisons was hit by a metal-in-food scare and we looked at how this could have happened and ways in which such a problem could have been prevented.

May

Our Food Safety theme continued in May when, during a metal separation survey, we found large amounts of metal safely captured when processing rice.  Our Perfect Plant review assessed the best methods and equipment location to ensure that metal is removed from Processed Vegetables.

Exports continued to proved successful with the shipment of a HFS Drawer Magnet to a Plastics recycling company in France.

Our technical review in May reviewed the effect of high temperatures on Rare Earth Magnetic Separators.

June

There was a political flavour to news in June after the UK’s general election and we investigated what the leading parties were promising with regards to the environment.  At the same time, Bunting and Master Magnets were jointly exhibiting at Waste 17, a major UK recycling show in Manchester.

The week after, Bunting supported local representative BMS France at the FIP Solution Plastique exhibition in Lyon, France.

To mark the UK’s Food Safety Week, we reviewed recent cases of ‘metal’-in-food’ and the potential implications for the manufacturer, sales outlet, and customer.

July

Denis_Elkins_Bunting_Magnetics_Europe-2176In July, we were thrilled to announce the successful transition to ISO9001 2015 Quality and the ISO14001 2015 Environmental Standards.

In the media there was increasing attention on the issue of plastic waste in the environment and we commented on the necessity of a global strategy for Plastic Waste.

August

The environmental theme continued in August asking if the UK could realistically increase their metal packaging recycling rate by 10% by 2020.

September

As a prelude to RWM17, the UK’s largest waste and recycling show, we looked at 3 UK Waste and Recycling Facts such as asking how much waste do we actually generate?

Bunting Master Magnets at RWM17

After exhibiting at RWM, there were many questions being asked by exhibitors and visitors about the future of the event despite the importance of recycling and the global waste problem.

October

Bunting Magnetics Europe at Interplas 2017

The UK’s leading plastics show, Interplas, is held every 3 years and, as in previous years, it was very well supported by both exhibitors and visitors.  The environmental issues associated with plastic waste was gathering momentum.

Removing metal from fine powders can be extremely difficult and we produced a technical report looking at the best techniques and ideal equipment.

Tom Higginbottom attended the successful Bulk Solids & Powders show SyMas in Poland with the local Bunting representative TEKPRO.

November

The Manufacturing and Engineering industries have been concerned about the lack of young engineers and hopefully initiatives such as Tomorrow’s Engineers Week will help address this issue.

We were also excited to report two consecutive record sales months in September and October.  2017 was proving to be as successful as 2016.

Our latest Perfect Plant review focused on the brewing of beer and ensuring that all metal is removed to protect delicate processing equipment and the taste of the beer.

December

Pantomine BlogThe BBC TV series Blue Planet had highlighted the global problem of plastic waste in our oceans.  However, as the pressure increased on the plastics sector, we asked whether Plastic was the Pantomime Villain of the recycling world?

We hope you have enjoyed reading our news and blogs in 2017.  If there are any topics that you would like reviewed, then please get in touch and send an email to Paul our press officer (press@buntingeurope.com).

For further information on Magnetic Separators or Metal Detectors please contact the Bunting team on:

Is Plastic the Recycling Pantomime Villain?

Pressure Grows on Plastics and the Environment

In 2017 the media has gradually increased the pressure on the plastics industry by highlighting the effect of waste plastic in our global environment.  This focus shows no sign of going away, with the UN oceans chief stating that Ocean plastic is a ‘planetary crisis’.  

plastic-trash-in-oceans-and-waterways

Ironically, in many cases plastics are primarily used because they reduce weight and thus save energy and our natural resources.  Plastic packaging also significantly reduces food waste by keeping it fresh and is used when transporting food around the globe.

The world’s first fully synthetic plastic dates back to 1907 when the material bakelite was invented in New York by Leo Baekeland.  He also coined the term ‘plastics’.  Since then plastic has become one of the most versatile and used materials on the planet.

So why have we fallen out of love with plastic?

In July, we reported that academics were predicting that there would be 12 million metric tonnes of plastic being in landfill or the natural environment by 2050.  The recent David Attenborough nature series Blue Planet II shown on BBC1 has shown how waste plastic is found in our oceans, even reaching the depths of the Mariana Trench.

However, as highlighted by the British Plastics Federation at the UK’s waste and recycling show RWM (held in Birmingham, UK September 2017), the ‘plastic waste’ problem is complicated.

bunting_metal_separation_module_recapture_plastics-7611The fundamental global problem is that 2 million people do not have access to solid waste collection (United Nations).  The properties of plastic that make it so useful in our everyday lives also makes it difficult to breakdown and easy to get blown and transported away from the rubbish dump and into the local environment.  Gradually, this plastic waste will migrate down to the sea.

The larger problem is the origin of plastic waste.  In the developed world of the USA and Europe, investment in research and technology means that those countries only contribute approximately 2% of the plastic found in oceans.  82% is estimated to originate in Asia (The British Plastics Federation).

The problem is not just a ‘plastic waste’ issue but a ‘waste’ issue in general.  Plastic is not the only product being thrown away and ending up in our oceans.  Industrial waste is a huge problem, but is presently not the focus of attention.  In many developing countries dealing with waste is simply not their most important problem to address.  Malnutrition, housing, transport, jobs are all higher on the list of priorities.

Plastic has become waste’s ‘pantomime villain’.

This global problem needs a global solution.  There is no doubt that the designers of plastic products have a huge responsibility and need to consider the consequences of ideas such as introducing plastic microbeads into cosmetic products.

Bunting BPI-6151In the UK, we presently recycle 29% of our plastic and our target for 2020 is 57%.  The figure is so low due to the complexity of the process and economics.  Magnetic Separators, Eddy Current Separators and Metal Detectors remove metal and there is other technology to sort by colour and plastic type.  However, producing a useful plastic from waste that can be introduced as a raw material into primary plastic production (such as happens with aluminium and steel) is presently exceptionally difficult.  Until that happens, plastic waste will continue to pose a problem.

For further information on separating metal from plastics during the production of the virgin product or during the recycling process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Other articles on Plastics Recycling include:

Getting Metal Out of Beer

Ideal Locations for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors in a Brewery

Thankfully, it is very unlikely that you will ever find a piece of metal in your glass of beer.  However, when tramp metal in the form of screws and nails is accidentally introduced during the brewing process, it damages processing equipment and can even affect the taste of the beer.  In this article we look at the best methods of ensuring that the brewing process is unaffected by tramp metal.

Bunting_Magnetics_Europe_Brewery_Plant

As with any food process, there are many locations where metal can be inadvertently introduced.  With raw materials being collected from the fields and then transported to the brewery in large trucks, contamination by metal and other materials is unavoidable.

Here we look at a typical brewery and identify where Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors could be located to remove any metal contamination.

Location 1 – Malt In-feed Line

When the malt is delivered by truck or rail, it is commonly pneumatically transported into storage silos.  A Pneumatic In-Line Magnet and/or Metal Detector would ensure that any tramp metal in the raw material feed is removed prior to storage.

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-2

A Pneumatic In-Line Magnet is designed to easily fit into a pipeline without causing any obstruction.  It has a magnetically strong Plate Magnet mounted on one side which attracts and holds any ferrous metal.  This is then manually removed on a regular frequency.

The Metal Detector identifies and then ejects any remaining metal contamination, both ferrous and non-ferrous.  As most metal contamination at this stage is ferrous, installing the Metal Detector after the In-Line Magnet reduces the amount of metal detection rejects and thus reduces the loss of product.

Location 2 – Prior to Milling

cartridge_magnetsGrate Magnets are commonly positioned in or above the in-feed hopper to the mill, especially if there has been no previous metal separation or detection.  A Grate Magnet is a series of Tube Magnets designed in a grid to fit inside a hopper.  For maximum protection of the mill, the Grate Magnet uses a set of high magnetic strength Rare Earth Neodymium Tube Magnets.  Such protection ensures that no tramp metal enters the mill where it can cause serious and expensive damage.

Location 3 – Hot Water Feed to Mash Tun

Bunting Magnetic Liquid TrapWater is a common source of metal contamination in food processing plants and is also the one in-feed material that is often overlooked.  The nature of water means that rust is common and a simple Magnetic Liquid Trap is used to attract and capture any rogue ferrous metal, even in a very fine form.  A Magnetic Liquid Trap is designed to be easily introduced into a pipeline, with flanges or any other connector.  Inside the body, high strength Rare Earth Neodymium Tube Magnets project down into the material flow, attracting and capturing any ferrous or weakly magnetic materials.  The Tube Magnets are removed from the process and manually cleaned.

Location 4 – Between Mash Tun, Lauter Tun and Brew Kettle

Magnetic Liquid Traps could also be located between the Mash Tun, Lauter Tun and Brew Kettle, especially is there has been limited protection earlier in the process.

Location 5 – Hops In-feed Line

Protection is important whenever raw materials are introduced into the process and Grate Magnets and a Quicktron Metal Detector will ensure that hops entering the brew kettle are metal-free.  This design of Metal Detector is for free-fall material.  As the material enters the metal detector, any metal is detected and then automatically rejected.  The Grate Magnet reduces the amount of material lost during the rejection process by removing any ferrous metal.

Location 6 – Between Brew Kettle and Whirlpool/Settling Tank

After the brew kettle , a Magnetic Liquid Trap, with special Neodymium magnets designed to withstand high temperatures, will provide final protection prior to settling.

Location 7 – Yeast In-feed Line

As on the hops in-feed line, a combination of a Grate Magnet and Quicktron Metal Detector will ensure that any metal does not enter the process.

Location 8 – Between Conditioning Tank and Filter

To protect the filter, a Magnetic Liquid Trap is often installed after the conditioning tank.

Location 9 – Prior to Bottling

p-TRON-GM-V2As in many food processing plants, it is good practice to install a Metal Detector (in this case a P-Tron) at the final stage of the process.  This provides a final stage of protection to ensure that any metal introduced into the process from damaged processing equipment such as the filter or in the pipes is detected and removed.

This is a typical example of a Brewing Operation.  However, each plant is unique and often a site visit is required to assess and recommend the best ways to ensure a metal-free end product.

For further information on removing Metal during the brewing process using Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, please contact the Bunting technical sales team on:

Other Food Plant Reviews include:

Bunting_Magnetics_Europe_Brewery_Plant

 

 

 

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:

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:

 

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:

Export Success at FIP Solution Plastique Exhibition

Bunting Magnetics Support BMS France at Plastics Show in France

Dave Hills, Bunting Europe’s Head of Sales, was on the stand of local distributor, BMS France for the duration of the major annual international plastics exhibition, FIP Solution Plastique, held in Lyon, France between 13th and 16th June 2017.  Dave gave us this report:

“Last week [13th to 16th June] it was hot and humid in Lyon.  And it was debatable whether the air conditioning in the exhibition centre was actually working.  However, the turnout for the show was fantastic.

FIP Solution Plastique is the number 1 show for the plastics sector in France.  There was a technically and globally diverse group of exhibitors present, all specialising in working in the plastics industry.

We were present to support our local distributor BMS France.  Being on the stand gave me the opportunity to develop relationships with the BMS team, deliver some product training, and also learn about the plastics market in France.  I also had the opportunity to meet the BMS Spain team, based in Barcelona.

It was also good to meet and talk with other equipment suppliers, many of who had equipment on display at the show.  It was interesting to hear their feedback on present market conditions.  We find exports visits such as this invaluable.

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Along with our Metal Detectors and Magnetic Separators, BMS had a wide range of equipment on the stand.  There were 3 operating Boy Injection Moulding Machines on one stand and a Woojin Injection Moulding Machine on a 2nd stand.

There were also 5 Wanner Granulators, and Pixargus had a live demonstration of their unique surface inspection and dimension measurement system.

The extensive range of products and the interactive nature of the BMS France stand made it one of the busiest at the show.

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It was interesting to think that all of the aforementioned equipment relies on the plastic pellets and raw materials being metal-free.  And getting metal out of plastic is our speciality.

BMS France was able to talk to visitors about a complete solution, with demonstrations of the quickTRON 03R Metal Detector and FF Drawer Filter Magnet removing both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Being in France also gave me an opportunity to hear people’s thoughts about BREXIT.  Unlike some other European countries that I have visited since the referendum, people in France have a very negative opinion about the UK leaving the EU.  In fact, many people asked whether the decision could be overturned.  This just highlights the importance of a negotiated exit that involves free trade.

However, the atmosphere at the exhibition was very positive.  Indeed, BMS France sold 2 Injection Moulding Machines at the show, which was fantastic.  And both will be protected by Bunting Metal Detectors and Magnetic Separators.

An excellent show and we will be back in 2018.”

For further details on the Bunting range of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors used to remove metal from virgin and recycled plastic, please contact our technical sales team on:

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Cases of Metal Found In Food

A Food Safety Nightmare

To mark the start of the UK’s Food Safety Week (19th – 23rd June 2017), we are looking at recent cases where there has been an issue with food safety with specific reference to metal contamination.

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Metal contamination is commonly found in foods as they are being processed.  Metal can be introduced at a number of stages including:

  • Originating in the raw food product prior to arrival at the processing plant;
  • During transportation of the foodstuffs to the processing plant;
  • In the process from process machinery wear or failure;
  • Accidentally by workers or during maintenance;

In the vast majortity of food processing plants, there will be a series of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detector to remove and identify any metal contamination prior to the finished food product leaving the factory.

However, if the Magnetic Separator or Metal Detector is not operating to the optimum efficiency, or if there are no systems to remove metal installed, then metal end up in the food product being purchased by the consumer.

Recent Metal Found In Food Cases

These are some recent cases where metal has been found in food.

  1. In May 2017, William Santus & Co announced that Uncle Joe’s Liquorice & Aniseed Extra Strong Mints (35g tins) were recalled because there were fears that the sweets may contain small pieces of metal;
  2. UK supermarket Tesco faced a ‘metal-in-food’ safety warning in March 2017 when there were fears that the vegetarian product, Quorn Meat Free Mince (300g pack), was contaminated with small bits of metal;
  3. Lotus Bakeries UK Ltd recalled Lotus Biscoff Crunchy Biscuit Spread because the product may contain small pieces of metal.  This affected most of the supermarkets in the UK in March 2017;
  4. Metal Found In Morrisons Green BeansThe food company OK Food Inc (Oklahoma, USA) recalled more than 466 tons of breaded chicken because of possible metal in the food in March 2017;
  5. In the USA, Blue Buffalo dog food had to be recalled in March 2017 after a Lakeland woman reported that she had found metal.
  6. UK supermarket Morrisons was hit by a food safety scare in April 2017, when metal wire was found in green beans;

In all cases, the cost of recalling the product was significant, but for many it was not as high as the damage to the company’s reputation.

Other Food Safety reports relating to Metal-in-Food include:

For more information on preventing Metal Contamination Food Safety Scares, or to arrange a free onsite survey and audit of a particular plant or process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

Metal Detectors and Magnetic Separators at FIP Solution Plastique

Bunting Support BMS France at Major Plastics Show in France

Bunting Magnetics Europe distributor, BMS France, is exhibiting Metal Detectors and Magnetic Separators on stand D16/E13 at the FIP Solution Plastique show in Lyon, France (13th to 16th June 2017).  FIP Plastique Plastique has been the number 1 show for the plastics sector in France for over 30 years.

BMS France represent Bunting in France, providing local technical support to companies producing and recycling plastics.  BMS are based in Pringy and manufacture and distribute a wide range of products and equipment for the plastics industry.

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“FIP provides the ideal platform to showcase a wide range of metal separation equipment,” said Dave Hills, Bunting’s Head of Sales.  Dave will be manning the stand with the BMS France team in Lyon.

On the stand, BMS will be showcasing Bunting equipment including:

Quicktron Metal Detector

Gravity free-fall style metal separators are designed specifically to isolate and separate any contaminated material moving in the product flow.  Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are automatically detected and removed from the product flow, without any interruption in the production process.

FF Drawer Filter Magnets

FF Series Draw Magnets are perfectly suited for collecting and separating contaminant ferrous metal from gravity fed, dry, free flowing materials.  Housed inside are the extremely strong Neodymium Rare Earth Magnets which capture and hold small pieces of ferrous metal contaminant.  Made specifically for the plastics industry, this is the only available drawer magnet design that features temperature-compensated rare earth magnets.Bunting_FIP_Solutions_Plastique_17-1985

Grate Magnets

Grate Magnets or Magnetic Grates are manufactured with a 25mm Tube Magnet from high quality 304 Stainless Steel, with 316 Stainless Steel as an option for high corrosive applications.  They are available for Square or Round Openings and with optional baffles.  Standard sizes range from 100mm to 1000mm.  These Grate Magnets can be placed in hoppers or feed pipes to collect ferrous metals and are ideally suited when they can be easily removed for cleaning.

“As a leading supplier to the plastics industry, it is important that we are here at FIP.  It gives us the opportunity to meet and talk to plastic producers about metal contamination issues,” said Dave.

For further details on the Bunting range of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors used to remove metal from virgin and recycled plastic, please contact our technical sales team on:

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