By Anil Mathews (ScrapMonster Author)
March 02, 2016 04:28:30 AM
TOKYO (Scrap Monster): The Japanese recycler, Harita Metal Co., has launched a nationwide initiative to contribute to mutual separation of scrap aluminum alloys. The project is supported by the country’s universities and research institutes and involves the use of state-of-the art sorting mechanisms to detect metals more efficiently.
According to Makoto Harita, President of Harita Metal Co., the project uses an appearance recognition system with a neural network analysis (ARENNA) sorter which ensures efficient detection of most metals including copper, iron, lithium, manganese, magnesium and zinc. The system employs neural network system to perform 3D image analysis and density measurement in order to identify aluminum alloy particles. The system was developed at the National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), he added.
Experiments were recently held on the new sorting system with samples containing seven wrought aluminium alloys and one casting alloy. The process reported 96% separation probability, by separating all alloys except the 2000 series wrought alloy. The recycler suspects that 2000 series alloys might have been mistaken for casting alloys, thereby resulting in unsuccessful separation. The new sorting system is capable of processing 1 metre per second and costs nearly 15 Euro cents per kg. The trials were run with the help of German firm SECOPTA’s MopaLIBS sorter prototype.
The laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) sorter process which began in April 2014 is scheduled to be completed during this month. The company also plans to invest in a pilot-scale facility to further enhance the separation system for scrap aluminium alloys.
Started in 1960, Harita currently owns two recycling facilities with a total capacity of 120 000 tonnes per year. The company is devoted into recycling and waste disposal operations.