The Sortex Z+ optical sorter
What is your product?
A plastic flake-sorting solution. This was developed after our experts identified firm market demand for a complete system. The solution we’ve created integrates our ultra-reliable optical sorting technology with pneumatic conveying systems. The result is less cost and downtime, with more plastic flakes and granules sorted as a result.
How does it work?
Our optical sorting technology combines bichromatic cameras, ground-breaking InGaAs and PROfile (shape) technology to identify and remove foreign materials, unwanted polymers and misshapen or discoloured polymers from plastic that is being recycled. Our solution integrates other innovative features, such as standardised airlocks, central aspiration for pneumatic transport and dust extraction, low-pressure air-jet filters and anti-clogging piping. The net result is stable optical sorting performance throughout the entire process.
Where would it ideally be used?
Unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling lines are ideally suited for our plastic flake-sorting installations. Each installation is specifically designed and installed to meet the customer’s specific needs.
How is it different?
Providing a fully integrated system ensures significantly more uptime and efficiency. The sorter has been designed with no moving mechanical parts, which helps to minimise maintenance. Self-cleaning technology and automatic calibration also reduces maintenance and cleaning.
The customised feeding system – which incorporates sensors, hoppers, a vibrator tray, chute and pneumatic conveying systems – is integrated with Bühler’s existing inspection technology, which offers double-sided viewing from up to four cameras per module. This helps to ensure the highest quality sorted product.
What benefits does it offer?
Chiefly, significantly lower costs, greater efficiency, more productivity, exceptional accuracy, less maintenance and downtime, ease of use. All of which ensures superb value for money. Our solution can also be integrated with a customer’s existing machinery.
Where has it been used?
Among others, it’s currently being used by Deceuninck, a Belgian uPVC windows and building materials manufacturer. As part of its new recycling line, our integrated system has helped them to increase yield from their recycled post-industrial and post-consumer uPVC input, thereby boosting productivity and profitability.
What savings have been made?
Deceuninck has saved on investment costs, for reasons I’ve already explained. In terms of operation, reduced abrasion, improved sanitation and decreased spillage helps to minimise downtime, which maximises production. Highly developed inspection, ejection and electronic systems ensures that product is sorted to exceptional levels of speed and accuracy.
What about maintenance?
Our technology is designed to minimise maintenance. The less maintenance required or the easier and less costly it is when it is required, the better for the customer. Our sales are also backed by support from highly qualified staff working within our global network of local customer service centres.
How is it future-proofed?
As a business we’re forward-looking, committed to technology innovation and we invest heavily in R&D to ensure that our sorting and processing machines continue to offer the very best quality, yield and performance.