The new Flake Purifier multi sensor sorter was instrumental in S+S Inspection winning the £1.7M order to equip the new mixed plastics recycling facility being built by Greenstar WES with funding from WRAP (Waste & Resources Handling Action Programme). In a three way contest, S+S Inspection was the only supplier to provide an integrated system that achieved the high performance standards demanded.
The new facility, a world first for Greenstar WES, will process 20,000 tonnes of mixed plastics from household and consumer recycling collections per year.
The nature of the plastics to be sorted, a mixture of margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, meat trays and other consumer packaging, presented significant sorting problems placing demanding requirements on the sorting and separation equipment. The new S+S Flake Purifier uses a combination of NIR (Near Infra Red) and CCD (Charge Coupled Device) cameras to reliably sort even mixed plastics flakes. New technology polymer type identification by NIR absorption characteristics can separate a single combination of colour and plastic type, such as light blue PET, from a mixed material stream.
In the configuration for the Greenstar WES installation, S+S uses Varisort machines to sort mixed plastics, colour sorter variants of the Flake Purifier to separate coloured plastics and the NIR version of the Flake Purifier as the final stage to separate flaked polymers into pure final product streams.
S+S will deliver the sorting and separation equipment in September 2010 and the new facility is planned to come on stream in early 2011.