Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hey GrinderGuy, do these plastic vacuums really work?

WHEN Magazine April 2013

Hey GrinderGuy, do these plastic vacuums really work?
In a word, “maybe”.
In theory, if you put enough horsepower behind a fan, you should be able to pull plastic off a conveyor belt. But the plastic needs to be on top of the material passing underneath the fan for that to work. In addition, all the fines need to be removed from the material or the suction of the fan will be pulling all the fine debris also. That is why you cannot use these fans on finished products coming off the fines discharge conveyors.
My only experience with these types of equipment has been with the Komptech Hurrikan units and the windsifter option added to the Komptech Star Screens and there are 3 things that make them work so well:
1.       Plastic or inert materials need to be on top of the other materials
2.       Suction area needs to be where the material can be free floating
3.       Input of the material needs to be a reduced consistent flow
Trying to take a pile of just contaminated overs and process it through a machine to remove the inerts does not work well. There are too many contaminants and too much volume. Take charge of the issue when you are creating it. For example, having the reduced flow and consistent flow from an overs conveyor coming from a screen of any kind will work well for a removal operation.  Also, being able to use the suction of the fan as the material cascades off a screen deck, any screen deck, is another good option.
If you are setting up your own operation or trying other systems look for the following:
1.       Have the ability or the option of installing a fan underneath the material to lift debris to the surface and create free floating particles like the Komptech Hurrikan does. This is why it works so well.
2.       For pulling off contaminants look for the availability of 2 fans instead of 1. You get twice the air movement with less horsepower and for heavier contamination you will need this.
3.       Look for a magnetic head pulley option. Any nails your grinder missed sure do have a way of making it back into your mulch.
4.       Everyone get some sort of stone in there material, so adding a stone trap on the discharge conveyor is easy to do and will remove the stones for you giving you a higher quality product.
While the Komptech Hurrikan does all this, it does come at a price.
So what should you do? Which materials, if they were clean, would give you the best economic boost? It’s not just what material you sell for the highest dollar, it’s what is costing you the most. Moving material piles, trucking to the landfill, whatever. What will give you the best economic benefit?
1.       Define your problem and its source
2.       Define your budget
3.       Choose which contaminants to remove first. The additional options can be added later.
In closing, while we are discussing material contaminants, many new stone type separators have come on the market. Removing the stone from your yard cleanup material, removing stone from your mulch or compost is easily done today. The most benefit I have seen though is from removing rock from Construction and Demolition debris destined for the landfill. It is difficult to see the volume of heavies in a pile of shredded C&D, but after you run it through a stone separator, your wallet will be much heavier with the money you saved on disposal. If you haven’t tried one yet, what are you waiting for?
Questions, Comments?
Dave Whitelaw

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