Van Dyk wind tunnel technology helps keep paper on the belt for recyclers
DeftAir provides higher quality recovered paper at higher throughput
Van Dyk has introduced a new wind tunnel, called DeftAir, to aid in preparing material for optical sorting, and which allows for the processing of light material such as paper at a higher throughput.
Intelligent sorting devices including optical sorters and robots on the QC line are an integral part of today's MRF systems. According to Van Dyk Recycling Solutions, this technology is more capable than any other of making intelligent decisions based on the visual or material characteristics of an item. However, in order for these machines to perform their best, however, the material on their infeed line must first be properly prepared in order for it to be most efficiently recognized and sorted. Intelligent sorting technology performs best when it is fed a single layer of similarly sized material.
According to Van Dyk, typically, light sheet paper and film start to fly up and drift when a conveyor speed approaches 550-600 feet per minute. DeftAir is installed on an optical's acceleration belt and blows a steady stream of air onto the belt to stop fibre and other lightweight materials from floating as it accelerates. Air flow is applied at the same speed as the conveyor to maintain the relative speed of the material.
Using DeftAir, a belt can reach speeds of 800-1,000 feet-per-minute without causing light materials to float. The optical sorter receives more throughput, and because material is in a single, steady layer, it is fully recognizable. DeftAir allows recovery rates to rise while accuracy is maintained or even improved, and operators can dramatically increase paper quality while achieving high production rates.
DeftAir can be installed in conjunction with optical sorting upgrades or retrofitted in front of existing optical units. According to Van Dyk, several DeftAir units have been installed in North America so far, with more on the way.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.