In the electronic recycling industry, manual laborers are often used to separate certain commodities in sorting line applications. One common area that uses this approach is separating Circuit Boards and Copper from the Eddy Current throws which is mostly aluminum in content. Whether copper, aluminum, or circuit board with a copper substrate, all are conductors and are separated together when run over an eddy current separator. Depending on the volume processed and non-ferrous metals content, demand for the pickers can vary frequently making it difficult to staff a pick line properly. In this particular case, the client had a used color sorter previously installed in another line sorting glass that they wished to re-configure for this new application. Due to low eddy current volumes relative to the input in the shred line, an acceptable payback is quite difficult and applying used machinery is relevant.
The company needed an automated system that would improve the commodity recovery percentage and reduce labor required to operate the shred line. To enable an acceptable budget, existing equipment in their inventory was employed. The re-programming of the color sorter was not trivial and would require cooperation from the manufacturer.
As a company who has deep experience in electronics shredding and recovery, Converge Engineering was able to design and build a solution that fit the customer’s needs.
Converge Engineering was able to develop and manufacture a new high intensity LED light bar to replace the light source in the used sorter in addition to changing the software with OEM support for this new duty. Several used conveyors and stands were applied to the sorting line along with new elements including a dust collector and electrical controls.
This new stand-alone aluminum sorting and upgrade system consists of a bin-dumper, batch feeder, infeed conveyor, feeder pan, slide type color sorter, discharge splitter, dust collector, air compressor system and integrated control panel.
- The company spends less labor per ton of non-ferrous metal produced
- Aluminum quality is consistently above previous baseline
- Recovery of precious metals is also improved and now consistent over tonnage
- The system can also be used as backup metal sensor separator since the sorter also has a metal detector built in