Ken Mills ups recycling efficiency

06 May 2008

Nordic Recycling Limited has employed new processing machinery at its materials recovery facility (MRF) in Tilbury, UK. The processing machinery, built by Ken Mills Engineering (KME), included gearboxes from, Bargteheide, Germany headquartered Nord Drivesystems.

The MRF processing line at Nordic Recycling
The MRF processing line at Nordic Recycling

The processing machinery features a large number of automated screening stages to enable the extraction of different types of dry recyclable materials. Additionally, the MRF incorporates of a number of automatic balers, linked by a feeding and materials handling conveyor system.

Over 50 gearboxes from Nord Drivesystems power the materials handling system. Helical bevel gears, claimed to provide efficiency in excess of 95 per cent, were selected for the application. The aim was to minimise energy costs at the plant, which typically operates for around 16 hours a day. This style of gear also runs very quietly, helping to reduce noise levels at the facility.

The MRF has a nominal capacity of 25 tonnes an hour, and expects to process at least 100,000 tonnes of mixed dry recyclable materials a year, which might otherwise go to landfill. Around 50,000 tonnes of reclaimed paper is expected to be baled and shipped to Holmen Paper in Sweden for recycling into fresh newsprint.

The MRF machinery is designed to have a very long life of some 25 years, and part of KME's responsibility is to provide a maintenance service that can be reached at any time.

Adam Moore, MRF project manager at Ken Mills said: 'The demands of designing material recovery facilities means that wherever possible we employ very high quality and field proven automation components.'

'We've now used power transmission components from Nord Drivesystems for over two years, and are very happy with the performance and reliability.'

Nord helped KME to specify the gearboxes, choosing the sizes to provide a combination of economy and operating safety margins to assure reliability. The underlying performance margin built into the conveying system, and other elements of KME's processing machinery, has been demonstrated many times since the Tilbury plant started operations in October 2007, as the nominal capacity of 25 tonnes an hour is regularly exceeded, sometimes by as much as a third.

Helical bevel gearboxes from Nord's SK9000 family are used on the conveying system. These units provide a right-angle connection to the conveying system. The helical bevel cut teeth provide meshing that is suitable for low speed power-transmission applications, such as driving conveyors. They are claimed to increase efficiency by about 25 per cent, when compared to worm gears. This is said to represent savings that amount to thousands of pounds a year.

Nord's UK facility in Abingdon assembled the gearboxes for KME with ratios to suit the application, and painted the units to provide a ready to connect solution.

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