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Middleton Engineering streamline waste processing for Merthyr Tydfil Council.

Middleton Engineering design, manufacture and commission innovative bespoke waste processing solutions.

Recently the company has completed a project for Merthyr Tydfil Council to design and supply a sorting system for separating kerbside collected household recyclables which incorporated a SCAPA ME2R80F Twin-Ram Baler.

With over 40 years experience Middleton Engineering has established themselves as a major supplying force within the waste recycling industry, both nationally and worldwide.

John James – Recycling Centre Manager describes the operation, “We are the only waste processing centre in Merthyr Tydfil and handle 6,600 tonnes/annum. We have eleven trucks, out three times a day collecting household waste from the kerbside including mixed cans and plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, food, small electrical items which are all segregated on the truck with the only exception being the cans and plastic.

It’s a busy operation with trucks coming onto site, weighing in and initially unloading the food waste, cardboard, paper, glass, textiles and electrical items that do not go through the Middleton system.

Trucks then reverse into the unloading bay and discharge their remaining load of cans and plastics onto the on-floor conveyor.

The sorting system:
The inclined chain feed conveyor then transfers the material onto a one metre wide slider bed conveyor where any undesirable material can be picked off and disposed of down an adjacent chute.

Material then passes under the first overband magnet where it separates the  ferrous materials  depositing these items in the bay below. Remaining material then passes over an Eddy Current Separator where the non- ferrous is separated from the plastic which drops through a bottle perforator (used to help in the baling process) where the jaws perforate the plastic removing the air out of it. Aluminium is then flipped into the last bay.

Each bay is designed to accommodate enough material to produce at least one bale. Here the selected material is loaded by shovel into the hopper of the baler where it is delivered up the inclined angled flight conveyor into the SCAPA ME2R80F Twin Ram Baler.

The SCAPA ME2R80F Twin Ram Baler:
Designed and built in the Middleton workshops it is ideal for local authorities, distribution depots and independent recyclers for baling all types of material. Incorporating a wire tier machine which can be supplied with a plastic strapping system or a dual tie system incorporating plastic and wire tie systems which allows the operator to select the number of straps to match the product being baled.

The Scapa ME2R80F Twin Ram Baler incorporates inspection doors with an interlocking safety system, safety switches for oil level and temperature, and a bale separation door which is essential if it is envisaged to bale more than one product without contamination. Operating under high pressure very compact bales can be achieved thus reducing transport costs. Overall it is a rugged, easy to operate and maintain with a projected lifespan of 20 years.

Sorting System Control:
The bespoke control system is positioned near the operating position of the baler; here all the individual items of the sorting system are controlled via an integrated PLC monitoring system. Full fault diagnostics and automatic controls are provided via a Siemens touch screen HMI, including full isolation of the plant with lock-off procedures.

The electrical control provides a full integrated control to allow the sorting system to operate either automatically or manually.

A main control cabinet is located within the sorting station where the whole operation can be observed. Additionally, an operator intervention system is incorporated which allows operatives to slow the picking belt speed allowing removal of items, which once removed the belt will automatically speed up.

An inverter speed control on all conveyors maintains a regular speed of all conveyors to eliminate bottle necks and blockages.

Winning the contract:
John commented, “When we put the project out to tender in 2015, we looked at the Middleton Engineering drawings and it was easy to see that they stood out above the other tenders. They manufacture in-house so consequently they hold a complete range of spares which makes us very comfortable knowing that any downtime will be short. In particular balers do have problems but Middleton Engineering have always been quick to respond with service the following day!

“This system was completely new to us as we were operating as a bulking station however since installation its  been an efficient system to operate. Everything from quotation to commissioning, the system has illustrated how passionate the company is, it speaks volumes for their philosophy and work ethic.”

Certainly, looking at the site it’s easy to understand how the team at Merthyr Tydfil have won awards for the cleanest aluminium shipped out.

Nothing is stockpiled with a shipment going out every week – a credit to the team who have the total confidence in the Middleton Engineering sorting system.