Being able to effectively sort the most valuable materials on the line from the waste products is critical for C&D recyclers. The problem is that most separation equipment isn’t nimble enough to allow recyclers to properly segregate A-line material from less valuable B-line contents in a single step.
Komptech Americas’ Ballistor stationary ballistic separator is an answer to this common problem. According to Will Hancock, stationary equipment sales manager for Komptech Americas, the Ballistor combines ballistic separation with screening to simultaneously separate three-dimensional material from two-dimensional items and fines fractions that can vary based on a customer’s needs.
“The Ballistor creates an environment where companies now are able to eliminate labor and retain more C&D-specific commodities that are on the belt,” Hancock says. “With the separation that the Ballistor provides, only the valuable commodities for the customer are what's going to their A line. Now, their B line will consist of two-dimensional material that is usually low in commodity value, such as film plastics and textiles.”
With a choice to separate material into three fractions—three-dimensional material, two-dimensional material and fines—the Ballistor can be configured to suit any C&D application. This means that operators have the flexibility to focus on a range of materials without being confined to just one type or size of product.
For example, Hancock says that with the Ballistor, C&D recyclers can choose to screen the most valuable materials to the A line while also targeting materials like cardboard that might be easily missed with other equipment. Since the Ballistor combines ballistic separation and screening all in one, fewer manual sorters are needed on the line. This translates to greater savings in the form of reduced labor.
According to Hancock, the Ballistor can reduce the need for manual sorters by 50 percent or more. He says that one customer in particular has been able to slash the number of workers on the line from 45 to 13 thanks in part to the efficiency the Ballistor has allowed.
The manual sorters that remain can then be reassigned to focus on A-line material rather than waste time and money sifting through less valuable fractions.
“The old mentality in C&D recycling was that operators wanted to throw the incoming material onto the line as fast as they could and have the workers sort it all out. Now, you’re still able to throw a lot of material at the system, but with the ballistic separation of the material, the three-dimensional material can be targeted and diverted to pickers that are able to identify, recognize and sort the most valuable material in the waste stream,” Hancock says.
And even though the Ballistor is capable of accommodating high-volume throughput, its maintenance requirements are minimal. Hancock says that operators only need to go in once a day to clean out debris like binding or wrapping materials sitting on the machine’s deck to make sure that there's nothing that can obstruct the crank shafts.
With its low-maintenance requirements and impressive capabilities, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Ballistor from Komptech Americas is the only piece of ballistic separation equipment that has multiple C&D installations in the U.S.
“Because we have our equipment in the field, we’ve learned what works and what has needed to be improved on the machinery through rigorous research and development specific to the C&D industry. Through this process, we've included 3D cups on the Ballistor paddles that eliminate spearing and we've beefed up the structure so it's more suitable for the rugged C&D environment,” Hancock says. “Because we’ve been the equipment provider of choice and have the only ballistic separator specific to C&D operating in the U.S., we know what works and what doesn’t. Nobody else can say that like we can at Komptech Americas.”