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Sorter cuts power use

The use of a unique permanent overband magnetic sorter used in the Cheney Manor refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF) plant in Swindon offers a potential £5,200 annual reduction in electricity use.

The plant, which became fully operational in the spring, should divert 48,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste from landfill a year.

The plant’s developer Swindon Commercial Services (SCS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, appointed Canadian firm Machinex Industries to provide the custom-made sorting equipment for the facility. And Machinex ordered custom made magnetic sorting equipment from British engineering firm Magnapower for the facility.

To meet the strict standards for RDF and SRF, an electromagnetic sorter is typically used to separate ferrous and non-ferrous metals. But operating costs are high, with such a device working across a 1,500mm conveyor at a 400mm gap likely to use more than £100 a week of electricity, assuming a 16-hour day and a five-day working week.

So Magnapower designed a permanent overband maget-based sorter. It provides an even coverage across the conveyor, a more consistent separation of material and purer end product. The high force deep-field magnets are arranged in such way as to reduce leaked magnetic flux and so increase efficiency.

Due to the size of the material being sorted, Magnapower added an alternating pole discharge system to the overband machine. This helps to release small metal components which are trapped within steel, ensuring the sorted material meets the RDF and SDF requirements.

The sorter offers a potential £5,200 annual reduction in electricity use due to the permanent magnet requiring no electrical power, and risk hazards are also significantly reduced.

Jonathan Ménard, Machinex Industries sales engineer, said: “The permanent over-band magnetic sorter specified for the Cheney Manor facility is an excellent example of how innovation can help to reduce running costs within the waste industry.

“The sorter not only effectively and efficiently sorts the shredded material, but it does so without electricity, ensuring running costs for the facility are kept as low as possible.”

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