Recycling centers are stepping into the 21st century with an eye on efficiency by embracing automation at every step possible. This emphasis on utilizing the latest technology is allowing them to reduce costs and increase their capacity for materials in dramatic ways. As more and more people begin to wake up to the need for recycling on every level, the growth of this industry must accommodate the increased influx of material. The new efficiency that this industry is beginning to cultivate uses technology that takes on many forms. Balers, belts technologies, and sorting machines are the key components in the machinery that is spreading so rapidly.
Hundreds of balers and types of processing equipment are available on the open market for recycling centers. However, these machines can only be used at optimal levels when materials are sorted beforehand. In order to address this need, the technology in a sorting machine has become the new front for innovation. There are essentially two types of sorting machines that are leading the market at this point in time: laser sorters and digital optical sorters. Each of these techniques offers its own advantages when it comes to the recycling process.
The optical sorting machine allows for the automatic sorting of a large number of materials including glass, papers, eWaste, plastics, and metals. The applications for this kind of sorting technology reach into many sectors of the recycling process. They can be installed in conjunction with single stream recycling and dual lines. They can be used in conjunction with municipal solid waste processes and construction or demolition waste in single stream recycling as well. The level of efficiency that optical sorters present can benefit complex processes in addition to single-commodity sorting lines.
Laser sorting processes offer some slightly more advanced benefits. These sorting installations can be modified to handle a variety of different materials on the same line. This ability eliminates the need for recycling centers to install multiple platforms for different materials. In most cases, the existing hardware can be converted. There is also no limit on the materials that can be sorted as well. Everything from papers to iron ores can be isolated through the laser process. The flexibility of this kind of system is based on the way in which the sorting is accomplished. The technology judges each item based on its color, structure, and shape. Manipulating these variables can allow the system to distinguish virtually any known material. The product being evaluated is then separated into an acceptance stream and a rejection stream.