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Light work of sorting at MRFs

Q: What is your product?

The Titech autosort is a multifunctional sorting system that recovers a wide range of material from different waste streams, single stream, packaging, paper, household waste and other sorting tasks.

Q: How does it work?

The Titech autosort combines near infra red (NIR) and visible spectroscopy (VIS) sensors into a universal modular sorting system. The VIS sensor, for example, can be used to recognise print media by CMYK spectral analysis.

Q: How is it different?

The autosort 4 uses a single homogenised light source, instead of lots of smaller separate lights. The light source is also integrated within the scanner as opposed to outside. The constant equal light signal – dubbed by Titech as Flying Beam Technology - coming back to the belt, results in more accurate sensor readings.

The unit also has a faster valve block, which means material can be ejected more speedily and accurately from the conveyer resulting in more accurate material separation.

Q: Where would it ideally be used?

MRFs and recycling facilities.

Q: What benefits does it offer? 

As well as offering more accurate readings, because the light is housed within the scanner it can’t be bit by large objects from the conveyer belt or by an operator bumping into it. Being self-cleaning saves time and money especially when most MRFs have at least 10 such units.

Q: Any more savings?

Because the unit only uses one light source, rather than lots of bulbs, it saves energy. Compared to its third generation unit, based on a three shift a day, five day a week operation the unit will save EURO 1,213 per year for each metre sorting width. The unit is more consistent, producing improved quality streams of recyclate.

Q: What about maintenance?

As well as having self-cleaning lamps, the sensor recalibrates itself so it doesn’t need to be reset every six months or so.

Q: Where it has been used?

The autosort 4 was unveiled at last month’s IFAT and will be launched in the UK later this year. Titech is already supplying ten units to a new MRF facility in Birmingham due to come on stream later this year and a prototype is being used in Germany.

Q: Cost?

The unit costs the same as the previous generation autosorters.

Q: What is its life span?

The unit should last at least a decade. Titech continues to service some of its first models, which are still going strong, despite being launched in 1996.

Q: How is it future-proofed?

The sensors are flexible and a programme to select clear PET bottles could be, for example, altered to detect clear and light blue PET bottles. Titech says any significant change in the waste stream is likely to pose problems for the MRF as a whole before it affects the autosort.


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