Envirotec

More conveyor power for Biffa Polymers to expand recycling capacity

Recycling machinery specialist Middleton Engineering has installed a second bespoke conveyor to enhance processing requirements at Biffa Polymers, said to be the world’s first food grade High Density Polyethylene (rHDPE) recycling plant, based at Redcar in Cleveland.

Designed and manufactured at Middleton’s facility in Somerset, the new conveyor forms part of a separate new recycling line for mixed post-consumer rigid polypropylene (PP). This produces high quality mixed plastic flakes for onwards distribution and forms part of the continued expansion of production capacity at Biffa Polymers. Earlier this year the plant announced a £6.5 million investment to double output for its HDPE recycling capacity to some 20,000 tonnes from early 2017.

The new conveyor, which has an overall length of 9.3 meters, is designed to meet precise process requirements from Biffa and transfers material from a shredder, up to the in-feed conveyor for a granulator. It incorporates a 600mm wide cross-stabilized 3-ply rubber belt, with a rising section angled at 25 degrees to carry material currently at a rate of 1.5 tonnes per hour. Sprung castor wheels maintain belt tracking while 50mm high cleats across the belt together with valances to either side at 275mm high, prevents material from slipping back to ensure a consistent feed rate.

A special feature to further improve waste stream purity and quality includes a magnetic head drum for separating ferrous contamination at the head of the belt or discharge end of the conveyor. This provides secondary metal protection with continuous separation, trapping metal debris as the drum rotates, while clean product is discharged. A stainless steel chute diverts the unwanted material into a collection bin below.

Lock off emergency stop switches, safety pull gantries on the rising section and SCADA controls to fully integrate the conveyor with the other machine processes complete the installation.

Alan Edwards, project and improvement engineer for Biffa Polymers said: “Running the Poly Prop processing line 24/7, as with all our production processes, requires robust and reliable equipment. Selecting Middleton Engineering for this new conveyor was the obvious choice. The company takes the time to understand our requirements, is quick to resolve issues and support has been excellent.”

Middleton Engineering, which has been supplying balers and recycling equipment to Biffa for over 15 years, including sites in Bradford, Cardiff, Grimsby, Hull, Dewsbury and the Isle of Wight, installed its first conveyor to Biffa Polymers in 2015 following modifications to the granulator on the recycled HDPE bottle recycling line.

Mark Smith, engineering director for Middletons said: “Repeat business is always a strong signal that clients are happy with the quality and durability of the machinery we design. Biffa’s Redcar facility is a plant we know well and it is good to know that Middleton conveyors are playing a small part in diverting plastics from landfill, to be recycled time and time again.”

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