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Motion control improves recycling efficiency

06 July 2020

As waste recycling industries increasingly look towards technology to improve efficiency and productivity, many are turning to motion control as part of automation systems that improve throughput and optimise processing quality.

With the already ubiquitous use of sophisticated automated systems in large-scale industrial waste processing plants, where significant improvements continue to be made possible, manufacturers of special purpose equipment are turning to problem solving for smaller food waste, general waste recycling and materials recovery requirements that are found, for instance, in industrial kitchens, restaurant groups, food outlet chains, supermarkets and logistics companies.

These application areas, just like their large scale counterparts, are characterised by the need to efficiently process waste material with minimal costs and maximum efficiency. By transferring the processing and materials recovery of bulk waste to outside contractors, in the form of foodstuffs, packaging materials and waste material from manufacturing processes etc., their costs are potentially much higher than in-house ´vertically integrated´ waste processing using specialised equipment that now increasingly serves these industries.

For food waste processing, smaller scale macerators remove liquid through centrifugal action with grey water directed to normal drainage systems. Dried solid waste can then be processed in further operations. More sophisticated food waste processing equipment can include compactors to compress food waste with the ability to not only remove water but also separate oils and yield the waste as a dry fibre suitable for biomass - these machines can provide significant ROI, not just in reclaimed costs for the re-use of the material and reduced outside contracting costs but also transport, labour and storage costs - as well as saving the environmental kudos.

Heason Technology can supply high-torque servo motor driven rotary actuators with for this type of equipment where torque control and rapid profile-controlled acceleration can deliver the precisely controlled high forces that improve process results and throughput times. Where machine size and its footprint are important considerations the higher power and torque ratios of these geared servo motors will realise a more compact machine design. Furthermore, the possibility of intelligent controls can bring additional benefits in machine operation, scalability and processing flexibility.

Compacting waste such as cardboard and packaging materials reduces volume and assists with disposal or material recovery processing - and is also made more efficient and productive with motion control. By compressing materials in machines fitted with competitively priced electric actuators driven by geared motors, high performance and high efficiency processing is possible for machines of all sizes. As opposed to machinery using hydraulic actuators, the processing remains clean and ultimately more controllable with the added benefit of quieter operation. The machines that fulfil these tasks include various sized equipment that can compact product into bin bags or wheelie bins, or for larger operations can include bailing for ease or transportation for other processes.

Heason Technology works closely with its customers across many industrial and research areas where its motion control components and sub-systems play important enabling functions for manufacturing machinery, test equipment and where other demanding high precision positioning tasks are vital. With a large product range encompassing mechanical and electrical/electronic components as well as motion control and industrial automation software from global distribution partners, Heason´s system integration expertise brings these component parts together with its own in-house design and build capability to deliver complete motion controlled sub-systems.  Such systems include single and multi-axis motion controls, servo or stepper motors and complementary drive technology with both standard and Heason designed customised positioning mechanics. Application areas include but are not restricted to aerospace & defence, printing & packaging, medical & laboratory automation, research & development, motorsports and industrial automation. For more information, visit www.heason.com.