TOMRA celebrates 15 years of X-ray sorting of aluminum
TOMRA's X-TRACT has harnessed the power of dual energy X-ray transmission with high-resolution and high-sensitivity sensors for the aluminum market since 2007.
As demand for aluminum continued to grow in transport and building sectors that year, the amount of aluminum produced from scrap globally had grown from 1.1 million tons in 1980 to 8.8 million tons.
According to the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), refiners and remelters also played instrumental roles in meeting demand in 2007. They produced close to 20 million tons of recycled aluminum from old and traded new scrap, including ingots for casting, rolling and extrusion. Today, more than 33 million tons of aluminum scrap is recycled globally every year. European Aluminium projects a 40 percent increase in demand in Europe by 2050, and the potential to meet 50 percent of this demand with recycled, post-consumer aluminum.
Built for high performance separation of aluminum from heavy metals based on density detection, X-TRACT features innovations for enhanced image sharpness and faster integration times. Its performance is a result of its built-in software intelligence and field-proven design.
Depending on the application, X-TRACT comes with an optional X-ray power supply up to 1,000 Watts for high throughput processing of multiple materials and grain sizes, including 0.20 to 1.57 in (5 to 40 mm) aluminum fines and copper wires. The machine's software-based Dual Processing Technology offers simultaneous object and area processing of adjacent and overlapping objects, eliminating the need for additional sensors.
Additionally, TOMRA-developed software has enabled the X-TRACT FINES unit to consistently achieve 98 to 99 percent purity levels in high throughput applications.
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.