The need for an integrated approach
However, the implementation of a flake sorting machine alone will not help improve the overall yield and purity of recycled materials, unless it is part of a carefully integrated solution.
To achieve the highest purities, operators need to have a system which integrates pre-sorting and optical sortin with flake sorters, ideally from the same manufacturer. Pre-sorting allows plastic bottles to not only be separated from other types of plastic, but also by the color of the material. A precise pre-sorting process is an important step, because it reduces the bulk of color and material contamination, so when the resulting bottles are shredded and turned into flakes, the amount of remaining contamination is perfectly manageable by the highly-sensitive sensors of the flake sorter, which excel in detecting and removing the small contaminant particles generated during the shredding process.
Having perfectly matching systems in place to pre-sort plastics before the flake sorting begins makes it possible to fine-tune both pre-sorting and flake-sorting performance as a whole, according to the input material and contamination, which is crucial to improving the end result and to reach new levels of purity while increasing overall efficiency and yield
Benefits to the plant operator
With the decision for an integrated approach, plant operators can expect numerous improvements– both operationally and financially. An efficient pre-sorting process prior to flake sorting, can help reduce the need for manual sorting, as the sorting technology can remove any non-usable materials, which in turn supports decreasing operational costs (or mean human resources can be spent elsewhere within the recycling plant).
In addition, by using one supplier for both machines– pre-sorting and flake sorting – higher levels of accuracy can be achieved, as the solutions are built to work in unison. With the alignment of machines, a streamlined, one-stop service and maintenance solution is achieved, which means less downtime and increased overall capacity.
Integrated solutions in flake sorting to meet today’s and tomorrow’s requirements
For Governments and companies to meet the 25 per cent recycled content regulations and handle the increased demand of high-quality recyclates, a new approach to integrated recycling needs to be introduced. Modern, highly integrated pre-sorting and flake sorting solutions are set to be a key contributor to the future of plastic recycling.