Case study - Saubermacher – Austria - Processing plant for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

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Courtesy of REDWAVE - a division of BT-Wolfgang Binder

Customer

Founded in the 1979 as a small family- owned company, Saubermacher has developed into a group with around 3,800 employees and 75 locations with holdings in Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania.

On 10th November 2010, the ecycling- park in Unterpremstätten was taken into operation, as the first electro-waste processing plant in the Alps-Adriatic region.

At the end of 2012, the e-waste processing plant entered a second stage of expansion.

Task

The aim was to implement an automatic separation of composite materials, in order to achieve higher yields as well as to optimize all steps of the recycling chain.

The remaining materials were to be crushed, broken down, granulated, and sorted according to colours and materials.

For reasons of space, the sorting machines were placed outdoors and had a variety of sorting programs that could be easily and quickly selected, depending on the task.

Solution

The first REDWAVE sorting machine extracts a mixed residual metal fraction.

In a second step, the REDWAVE sorting machine separates the residual materials according to colours.

Depending on requirements, the REDWAVE sorting machine can be used flexibly to sort either green printed circuit boards or different coloured plastics.

This can be set by simply pressing a button and new sorting programs can be expanded or changed at any time.

Plant Description

In a pre-sorting cabin, cable and pollutants, such as liquids, capacitors, or batteries are manually removed from the electronic waste and disposed of.

In the process plant, a shredder dismantles the WEEE appliances such as toasters, cell phones or PCs into their individual components. An overband magnet then removes the ferrous parts. The rest is crushed enabling plastics and non-ferrous metals to be separated. Plastic and composite materials – the main elements of electronic devices – are sorted separately in separate stages and crushed to fine granules. This allows an eddy current separator to remove more of the nonferrous fractions (for example copper and aluminium).

Stage 2: Enhanced sorting for increased raw material yield

While in stage 1 ferrous and non-ferrous metals are automatically separated and printed circuit boards and composites are manually sorted, in stage 2 an automatic separation of the manually sorted materials is performed. These are crushed, broken down and granulated, while a REDWAVE sorting machine extracts residual metals and a second REDWAVE sorting machine sorts by colours (e.g. green for the extraction of printed circuit boards). A material recovery of up to 90% is achieved, while the remaining 10% is thermally recycled.

Technical Data

Machine Type 1: REDWAVE 1000 M V80 2W - All metal detector

  • Feed material: Plastic mixture and metals from old electrical appliances
  • Capacity: Max 1.5 t/h
  • Sorting system: All metals detector (BTW in-house development)
  • Grain size: 10 – 50 mm
  • Working width: 1000 mm
  • Sorting system: Acceleration belt / discharge from bottom to top

Machine Type 2: REDWAVE 1000 C/A V160 2W - Colour sorter

  • Feed material: Plastic mixture from old electrical appliances
  • Capacity: Max 1.5 t/h
  • Sorting system: Colour line scan camera (BTW in-house development)
  • Grain size: 10 – 50 mm
  • Working width: 1000 mm
  • Sorting system: Acceleration belt / discharge from top to bottom

Testimonial

Manfred Koegl, the Plant Manager for WEEE recycling facility, based at Unterpremstätten in Austria: 'We are extremely satisfied with the design and sorting quality of the REDWAVE machines. The co-operation with REDWAVE was very professional and requests were always immediately adressed.'

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