The disposal of lightweight packaging or plastics will pose a major challenge for us and our environment in the future, because not only do they occur in large quantities with considerable volume, but they also have the lowest recycling rate of all materials. Although the waste is collected separately in a recycling bag or bin and for the most part, also conscientiously separated from the rest of the waste by the population, handling composite materials in the processing and recycling process often proves difficult.
New German packaging law
Packaging law was revised in 2019 in Germany so that sorting plants must now achieve a higher recycling rate. Packaging must therefore be sorted by type of plastic PET, Tetra, Cartons, PP, PVC and HDPE/PE. Metals, such as those used in the cosmetics industry, are additionally separated into ferrous and non-ferrous.
Only then can the extracted fractions be passed on in compressed form to a specialist company that produces recyclate in the form of pellets or flakes, thereby achieving 99% purity.
SPLITTER technology – the best way to begin the process chain
According to the German Federal Environment Agency, around 18 million tons of plastic waste was generated in Germany in 2016. However, it is not the weight but the large volume of the material that poses the greatest challenge when sorting for recycling. The material goes through a wide variety of screening and separation stages in the sorting plant, during which it is gradually distributed. Therefore, most of the volume clearly occurs at the beginning of the process chain in the first screening step. SPLITTER technology is built for this situation thanks to its high throughput. A SPLITTER screen deck can process a large material flow of lightweight packaging per hour with relatively small dimensions.
However, the greatest advantage of the SPLITTER in the process chain is the roller track effect, which is created by the well-conceived positioning of the spiral shafts in the screen deck. Most of the lightweight packaging is packed in bags and delivered to the sorting plant. After these have usually been split by a bag opener, they flow into the sorting process. Thanks to SPLITTER technology and the associated roller track effect, bags, large film or other disruptive long pieces can be separated in the upper grain during the first screening step, which often has a positive effect on the accuracy of the screening. Long pieces are separated in the upper grain so that they can be largely avoided in the lower grain. Films are also separated via the roller track effect and do not become entangled in the screen deck. In contrast to other screening technologies, this can also prevent clogging.
Patented SPLITTER technology – advantages for you:
The patented SPLITTER technology is not comparable to other screening technologies. This unique technology offers several advantages when sorting lightweight packaging:
- High throughput with a comparatively small screen surface
- Flexible grain adjustment through screen gap adjustment
- Wear and tear resistant with little cleaning effort needed
- Low power consumption
- No dynamic loads
- Low noise
Stationary sorting plant
Reference project Hubert Eing Kunststoffverwertung GmbH
Various separation techniques are used in the system:
- Vibrating screens
- FE separators and NE separators
- NIR separator
- Heavy material separator
- Several film suction devices
Anlagenbau Günther GmbH is able to plan, construct, manufacture and deliver complete solutions for stationary systems. For example, the lightweight packaging sorting plant was built in 2019 by Hubert Eing Kunststoffverwertung GmbH to the latest specifications.
In total, the input material is divided into eight different plastic fractions plus ferrous, non-ferrous and heavy goods. The system therefore meets the current requirements for the recycling thresholds without the need for manual re-sorting.
Material is brought into the process on a chain belt conveyor assembly. A shredder rips open the bags and distributes the loose material over two material flow lines. A double SPLITTER screen deck is used to process the two material flows thereby ensuring high throughput. It reliably relieves the material flow of long pieces and oversized materials such as film and bags. The fine fraction first passes through a vibrating screen, an opposing NE and FE remover, an air separator and several near-infrared systems (NIR separators) that sort the various plastics into PET, Tetra, Carton, PP, PVC and HDPE/PE based on their physical properties.
The compression of the output streams takes place fully automatically in the material bunkers. The resulting sorted fractions are transported via buffer storage in batches on a long conveyor belt to the press and compacted for further processing. The remaining plastics, which cannot be sorted for recycling, pass through a heavy material separator before they are processed into alternative fuel. The exhaust air from all screen systems and transfer points is fed into dust-extraction equipment and cleaned in accordance with applicable legal requirements.
Plant engineering and after sales service
The GÜNTHER service portfolio also includes electrical installation, circuit diagrams and system programming for the project. Three control points are available to control the system. Approx. 50 conveyor belts, approx. 110 tons of steel construction and approx. 500 m inspection walkways were installed on a total area of 2400 m². With after-sales service, the customer always has to a contact person and reliable delivery of spare parts.
The SPLITTER DUO comprises of two SPLITTER spiral shaft screen decks and is therefore particularly well suited for processing large, voluminous material flows. It is designed for use at the beginning of the process chain as a pre-separator.
The stationary SPLITTER UNIT with its compact screen deck is particularly suitable as a first step in the process chain for processing solid waste such as lightweight packaging, commercial and domestic waste, metal scrap, slag, waste wood and much more.
The tracked SPLITTER F2 is a true omnivore and uses the patented screening system to separate materials that are difficult to screen (e.g., lightweight packaging, domestic and commercial waste, bulky waste, organic waste, landfill dismantling) into two fractions without clogging and coiling.