Plastic recycling is an area where one can easily observe the benefits of using optical sorting technology. Separating the milling or otherwise fragmented plastic using an optical sorter enables the automation of the recycling process, significantly increasing efficiency and de facto reducing the cost of separating plastics into individual colour fractions – thus increasing the percentage of re-used plastics.
In the case of recycled waste, the optical sorter works perfectly with complementary technologies such as flotation and electrostatic sorting.
Colour sorting is one of the steps in the recycling process to broaden the range of applications and increase the cost of the later obtained regranulates. It also works well for internal recycling of production waste.
SmartSort sorters are used in the recycling of waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and end-of-life vehicles (ELV), thanks to the cooperation of colour cameras and InGaAs cameras, which are capable, for example, of detecting rubber contaminants in black plastic and help to remove other foreign bodies.
Cloud colour cameras, in collaboration with energy-efficient LED strips and different colour backgrounds for increased contrast, make SmartSort sorters ideal for sorting transparent materials such as PET flakes.
The SmartSort sorter software not only detects assortment defects that exhibit a difference in colour or shade but also removes contaminants such as different shapes and sizes.
The InGaAs near-infrared cameras of our own patent complement the capabilities of our devices with detecting contamination indistinguishable in terms of colour, shape and size, supporting the SmartSort sorter especially in removing foreign bodies such as metal, plastic or glass.
Optical sorting by colour is not the only application of our optical sorter – it is also used after the process of regranulation as well as in the production of virgin granules. Cloud cameras, which are the base of the SmartSort video recognition technology, are capable of recognizing defects in the granulate processes even if they differ from the correct particles by a spot in a different shade.
A well thought-through device layout, an efficient feed system and auxiliary components for controlling material flow ensure optimum and reliable performance, regardless of calibre, elasticity and friction features of the granules or milling.
Operation in difficult dusty conditions is facilitated by automatic operation of brushes and wipers in the detection area and the internal architecture of the device is adapted to the installation of aspiration systems.
The air filter unit mounted on each device extends its life cycle, protecting primarily the valves that throw away the defective material from the negative impact of the environment.
SmartSort optical sorters consume small amounts of electricity and can be customized even for low-voltage network operation. The demand for compressed air in our devices has also been optimised, allowing for the cooperation with smaller compressors.
The service life of parts before any replacement is half to two years.