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SORTING | INNOVATION


Innovations to improve the sorting of post- consumer plastics are being developed that encompass robots, data, optical sorting technology and identifier solutions.Peter Mapleston reports on the latest advances


Sorting technologies are flying ahead


New robotic systems powered by Artificial Intelli- gence (AI) that use masses of data from recycling operations to make split-second decisions on how to sort plastics from other materials – and plastics from plastics – are bringing new levels of performance and efficiency to plastics sorting operations around the world. Sensors are also improving. In addition to advances in sorting equipment, there is also pro- gress in ways to make individual types of plastics easier to identify through digital watermarks and incorporation of tags into compounds and labels. “Large waste management groups have openly


declared their intention to enter international markets with strategies that include transforming the waste they collect into recycled materials with characteristics equivalent to virgin materials, abandoning low-quality recycling solutions,” says Italian machine maker Amut. “This is where our proven technology comes into play.” Amut claims


www.plasticsrecyclingworld.com


to offer a unique solution integrating sorting and washing technologies from a single source, with optimised design and engineering. Amut says it continues to enhance the techno- logical development of its plastics recycling platforms. Its Ecotech division is now able to offer solutions, “based on the integration of new patent- ed systems and the classical technologies based on mechanical screenings and optical sorting”. Giovanni Cattaneo, Amut Sales Director, cites these company solutions: Film Grabber to increase the LDPE and LLDPE sorting; a Delabeler patented dry-cleaning system for bottles, to increase their sorting efficiency and purity; Air Graders for polymer separation and cleaning by density; and robotised final quality control. Amut recently completed a major upgrade to plastics operations at leading waste management company Masotina, in the Corsico area of Milan,


Main image: Sorting operations must contend with various types of products and a mixture of polymers


September 2021 | PLASTICS RECYCLING WORLD 15


IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK


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