New breakthrough technology at KMK Metals Recycling

   Thu, 29th Sep, 2022

KMK Metals Recycling has just begun the installation of new highly precise technology, in the form of the STEINERT KSS colour sorting system and MRB two-stage magnetic separation unit.

Colour sorting is one of the oldest ways of classifying materials using sensors to separate valuable residues. The detection of colour corresponds closely to the sensory perception achieved by the human eye. Using colour information alone, humans can distinguish between copper and brass or blue and green circuit boards, for example.

The human eye is able to perceive colour information in the visible light spectrum (VIS) of around 400 to 780 nm. The VIS spectrum is located precisely between the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light spectra, neither of which can be seen by the human eye.

STEINERT’s detection systems for the VIS spectrum detect colour nuances with high precision in the RGB colour space and are able to detect around 16.8 million colours. They use LED emitters to illuminate the detection area. These emitters deliver numerous benefits in the desired wavelength range and colour spectrum thanks to their long service life, rapid response times, high light intensities and high energy efficiency.

When colour sorting, colour information about the surfaces of the sortable material is determined and used for classification purposes. As with most information obtained using sensors, this mainly relates to secondary features which can be used to characterise useful differences.

In the STEINERT KSS combination sensor sorting system, colour along with 3D detection can also be complemented by other available detection systems to help with the production of high-quality concentrates for applications such as cables, printed circuit boards or stainless steel.

With the STEINERT MRB, KMK Metals Recycling will be able to achieve high-value material extraction of ferromagnetic metals in the fine grain range. The two-stage magnetic separator combines a STEINERT MTP extracting magnetic drum with a STEINERT MSB traversing magnetic pulley. While the former generates valuable scrap iron, the magnetic pulley in the second stage separates weakly magnetic components that represent impurities in downstream processes and can have a negative impact on process quality or the quality of the sorted product.

Max Kyck, General Manager of KMK Metals Recycling, said: “We are always researching new technology and hi-tech equipment that can improve our processes and the quality of the materials we can extract from WEEE. This new equipment from STEINERT will complement the expertise and experience we have built up in our workforce with technology that cannot be matched by the human eye.”