Redcar-based Biffa Polymers, the food-grade HDPE bottle recycling plant, has installed a swan neck conveyor solution, designed and manufactured by Middleton Engineering.
Operating as part of Biffa Polymers’ milk bottle processing line for post-consumer plastics, the conveyor is designed to feed material at up to two tonnes an hour or 50 tonnes a day. It transports it from a high-speed electronic sorting unit, which removes non-compliant material to leave a clean HDPE waste stream, up into the granulator.
Chopped HDPE is then heated, extruded, cut into pellets and sold on for blow moulding new dairy bottles and other commodities.
The conveyor has been designed by Middleton to provide a consistent feed of material, minimise spillage issues between conveyor and granulator, and overcome overloading and jamming at the foot of the conveyor.
Martin Brass, engineering and maintenance manager at Biffa Polymers, said: “The new conveyor is running well, and the team reacted promptly to initial issues with the rubber belt untracking, and made permanent design modifications following our input.”
Middleton has since been awarded a further contract to design and supply a second conveyor to form part of a new milk bottle bale breaking system.
Bales of plastic bottles arriving at the plant will be broken open by the machine and transported through an opening into the building on the new belt conveyor, which rises from the floor at an angle of 31° to feed downstream processing. It has an overall length of 10.5m and speed controls to optimise flow rates.