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volume 3 2012

From EriezŽ—Helping Move The Grade-Recovery Curve


Whole Package

Downstream separation equipment from Eriez completes the auto shredding system recently installed at Waukesha Iron & Metal.


manic pace

Even after dropping in the fall of 2011, copper is trading at a price level that raises questions about its ceiling and floor.

PET project

Marglen Industries uses four Eriez eddy current separators to remove virtually all the aluminum from its PET flake.

Ballistic Separator

Produces a Premium Low-Copper Shred ... increasing the value of your ferrous

Eriez’ new Shred1 Ballistic Separator efficiently processes “consumer scrap” into a Premium #1 Low-Copper Shred ferrous product. Shred1 uses “ballistics” to automatically separate high-grade iron rich ferrous, from mixed metals and waste. Superior separation to x-ray sorting.

Increases ferrous recovery from 1 to 2%!


PERMANENT Rare Earth Xtreme® Drum MAGNET

Ballistic Separator • Produces a Premium #1 Low-Copper Shred • #1 Shred contains less than 0.2% Copper • Reduces picking labor • No x-ray scanning needed Call 888.300.3743 or visit Ferrous and Nonferrous Recovery Solutions

See how SHRED1™ is changing the way Ferrous is processed!

Recovery table of contents cover story

letter from the CEO

The Whole Package

Eriez is willing to rise to the challenge of creating shredded scrap grades with tighter specifications, says CEO Tim Shuttleworth.



Downstream separation equipment from Eriez completes the auto shredding system recently installed at Waukesha Iron & Metal.

technologist Q&A


Proper Mechanics

Eriez researcher Greg Nowak has learned that an advance in innovation has to be coupled with something that works mechanically.

market analysis


Manic Pace

Even after dropping in the fall of 2011, copper is trading at a price level that raises uncomfortable questions about its ceiling and floor.

Recovery CHOOSE YOUR FORMAT! Recovery is available in a format to suit the way you read, research and travel. In addition to our ink-on-paper version, Recovery also is available through the App section of the Apple Store and the Android Marketplace so you can read it on your iPad, tablet or A n d ro i d - p o w e re d smartphone. Recovery is produced by Eriez 2200 Asbury Road Erie, PA 16506 814.835.6000 800.345.4946

operational perspective



PET Project

Marglen Industries uses four Eriez eddy current separators to remove virtually all the aluminum from its PET flake.

operational perspective


How to Make Zorba 16

The best payday for the shredded mixed metal known as Zorba occurs when recyclers recover the maximum amount of material.

product news


Learn about the latest technologies and services available from Eriez.

19 Recovery vol3


Recovery from the ceo Tim Shuttleworth President and CEO +1-814-835-6296


ince our founding in 1942 Eriez has been assisting our customers in the process of assuring the quality of their products by applying advanced separation technologies. In those 70 years the definition of quality has changed tremendously. That change has been driven by producers in many industries needing higher purity materials to meet the requirements of their customers. As industries wrestle through these changes, one tool that generally helps everyone “get on the same page” is clearly defined specifications. As steel production has evolved from an industry based upon integrated mills to one based upon a combination of electric arc mills and integrated mills, the quality requirements for ferrous scrap have evolved. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has done a tremendous service for the industry in crafting specifications to help guide this change. It is notable that many industries employ, and benefit from, highly defined specifications. As an example, Eriez is involved in the beneficiation of iron ore at mine sites worldwide and we measure the specification of the ferrous product to hundreds of 1 percent for contaminants (Si and Al). Another good example is the ISRI specification for “twitch”. This specification lists several contaminants and measures them to 1% levels. Perhaps it’s time for specifications for ferrous scrap to rise to this level. It is notable that U.S. ferrous scrap specifications somewhat lag behind those employed in Europe. The E40 specification for shredded scrap from the European Ferrous Recovery & Recycling Federation (EFR), for example, states that copper should be a sum of ≤0.250%. For markets that can source shred from either region this may offer European producers an advantage. There are numerous benefits to the industry to embrace tighter specifications. One is that processors would be able to hold manufacturers of separation equipment accountable for clean separation. The absence is, in a sense, giving us “a pass” because there is nothing to measure against. Of course, there is a financial incentive, as demonstrated through the MSA RMDAS pricing for their #1 shred, which sells at a premium to their more common #2 shred, helping validate that customers of ferrous scrap processors want this material. As well, clear specifications can be helpful in international trade, where they can function almost like a “letter of credit.” Scrap recycling is an amazing and fabulous industry. It adds tremendously to the economic value of our modern world while also protecting resources and the environment. It also is an industry that has leveraged new technologies to reach deeper into the scrap reservoir in increasingly cost-effective and environmentally sound ways. Embracing quality standards and definitions similar to those employed in virgin commodities markets—and elsewhere in the scrap recycling world—can help the industry evolve to the next level. Eriez is ready to help and very willing to be held to a clearly written specification.

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Tim Shuttleworth


Ferrous Recovery “Once the P-Rex™ drum magnets were installed, we could see the improvement in ferrous recovery right away. We’re delivering a high-grade ferrous product.“ Marc Olgin – Liberty Iron - Phoenix, AZ


PERMANENT Rare Earth Xtreme™ Drum MAGNET

40% Stronger

TWICE the Reach!* *comparison of the Force Index ratings of standard electromagnetic drums versus P-Rex during normal operating conditions.

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”Not only do these new drums improve our ferrous recovery, they maintain that rate throughout the day. Even late in the shift, when our previous electro magnets would get hot and weaken, we don’t see any missed ferrous on the scavenger belts. P-Rex does a great job of pulling out all the solids and meatballs keeping them in one place where our hand pickers can easily remove them.” Joe Plumadore – Liberty Iron Call 888-300-3743 or visit

P-Rex Magnet

Ferrous and Nonferrous Recovery Solutions

technologist Q&A



Eriez Technical Director Greg Nowak has learned that an advance in innovation has to be coupled with something that works mechanically.


riez Technical Director Greg Nowak, when helping design the Shred1TM Ballistic Separator, may have been reminded of Thomas Edison’s observation that “genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” In an interview with Eriez Recovery, Greg discusses some of the hard work that went into creating the Shred1 Ballistic Separator as well as the overall rewards and challenges of being an R&D professional.

Greg Nowak

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Q. When did you start to work for Eriez and what was your previous work and academic experience? Greg Nowak (GN): I started with Eriez in May of 1989. I started out as a mechanical engineer in the Research & Development Group. My academic background includes a BS in mechanical engineering from Penn State University and a Master of Science degree from Gannon University in Erie, Pa.

Q. What are the origins of the Shred1 Ballistic Separator? GN: The scrap industry was looking for a way to better clean up its ferrous scrap and reduce the amount of copper in the scrap. If percentages of copper are too high, then the product loses value. It can be rejected or the recyclers get penalized on the prices they receive. What my colleague Chris Cedzo and I had to do was provide a piece of machinery that would help separate ferrous scrap that had copper attached to it from the rest of the scrap—things like small motors, which are known in the industry as meatballs. We were looking for a method or means to separate meatballs from the rest of the ferrous scrap to keep the copper content down. We build magnetic pulleys, so some of the initial concepts were formed on our existing AIP line of pulleys. After we ran some tests, we researched and developed a new magnetic circuit for a pulley that would provide a very uniform field across

the entire pulley width and circumference. That’s where a lot of the work came in. My colleague, Mike Ross, developed a new circuit for the pulley and performed a lot of the test work.

Q. What were the goals you were asked to meet so that this product would be attractive to shredding plant operators? GN: As I mentioned, removing meatballs to help create a lower copper-content ferrous shred product was the main goal. Also, this piece of machinery had to be very reliable. The belt is installed immediately after the scrap drums. If this machine would shut down for any reason, or if it fails, it shuts down the entire production line. So it was paramount that we design a machine that was very robust and very reliable. It has to do with the metal thicknesses that are used, as well as the bearing design and selection. The Shred1 is in a very dirty and dusty environment, and there are quite a few bearings on the machine—over 20. Each one has to be designed in a fashion to ensure that the bearings do not get contaminated and do not fail. Also, things like belt tracking and the side guides have to be designed so materials do not get between the belt and the pulley. When material gets in there it can destroy the belt. The machinery had to be designed to keep contaminants away from the pulley surface. We also had to make the splitters adjustable and of course it has to be safe. It’s a fast-moving belt with metals moving on the belt. If a piece of metal becomes a projectile, that is unsafe. The walls around the Shred1 had to be high enough.

Q. To what extent were there challenges to overcome when creating this product? GN: The bigger challenges included ensuring the pulley has a good circuit. The other factor was the belt tracking. The belt is moving in excess of 1,000 feet per minute. When you put a belt on a pulley and you don’t tension the belt properly, it can quickly go off its track. The align-


We now have a Shred1 unit in the field running for close to four months and another more than two months, and both belts are tracking perfectly. ment of all the pulleys is critical. If the belt tries to track off, it can damage the belt before you have enough time to hit the stop button. We spent two months testing belts and finding belts and troubleshooting some tracking issues. We worked with belt manufacturers to find the best solution. It was a whole set of mechanical considerations that turned out to be the hardest part. We had to select the proper belt and belt material and the manufacturer. Then we had to test and install additional features to keep the belt tracked. We now have a Shred1 unit in the field running for close to four months and another one that is running more than two months, and both belts are tracking perfectly.

Q. How have Eriez customers provided feedback on the Shred1 Ballistic Separator and how has this helped improve the product? GN: In terms of the Shred1 itself, we haven’t had to make any modifications, although it now can be fitted with an optional air knife. Adjusting the splitters and determining if customers want two splits, three splits or more presents one question. We have a unit installed in Erie, and we’re in constant contact with that customer, who has been using it for more than four months. We get good feedback, and so far it’s running very well.

Q. What are some other processes you’ve researched or products you’ve helped design during your tenure with Eriez? GN: That would include the P-Rex scrap drum, the ProSort and the FinesSort machines. I can go back to UltraForce me-

chanical feeders, our C feeder line when it was re-designed, and then parts of our extensive eddy current separator line. We’ve done a lot of work on feeders and conveyors and it has always involved a lot of collaboration. We don’t have walls between engineering, R&D and manufacturing. We cross a lot of borders, such as engineers working with R&D. I’ve been Technical Director for three years, and my colleagues and I work together as a team and take input from salespeople and other departments. We essentially work with everyone.

Q. What aspects of being a researcher and product designer provide the greatest challenge and what aspects are the most rewarding? GN: As far as a challenge, sometimes you start with certain objectives and requirements, but they can evolve. We might build a piece of machinery to handle one aspect of a separation, but as we run field tests and as we design, we receive new updates or inputs from sales and continually integrate that into the R&D process. It’s a necessary step. The one common goal is to have a happy customer and a piece of equipment that works to the customer’s satisfaction. It can mean starting with a blank piece of paper and gathering more and more test results. The rewarding part is when you see that Eriez is averaging at least one new major product per year. To see everyone working together as a team to research, develop, design and create a product that is ready for a show by a certain deadline—to see that come together and see the final machine working in the field reliably—is very rewarding. Recovery vol3


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Whole Package Downstream separation equipment from Eriez completes the auto shredding system recently installed at Waukesha Iron & Metal.


aukesha Iron & Metal (WIM), Waukesha, Wis., decided years ago that it wanted to put in an auto shredding system. The idea came long before the development of Eriez’ latest auto shredder downstream technology it calls the CleanStreamTM Process. But all the planning and permitting required to put in an auto shredder takes time. As it turned out, the new technology Eriez was developing was finished just in time to be included as part of WIM’s downstream separation system. In July 2011, Eriez, based in Erie, Pa., and auto shredder manufacturer American Pulverizer Co. (APCO), St. Louis, jointly announced the new system designed around APCO’s 60-by-85-inch auto shredder. APCO’s Skip Anthony explains that sales and engineering personnel from both APCO and Eriez “looked at offering a better option to our customers than the standard ferrous and nonferrous separation plants at a lower initial cost of equipment and lower operational costs.”


Eriez provided its CleanStream Process to complete the auto shredding system at Waukesha Iron & Metal, pictured here with Dave Bard, Eriez’ senior research technician.

Bob MacDonald of Scrap Recycling Consulting, New Berlin, Wis., was retained by WIM to evaluate the company’s equipment needs. Waukesha no longer wanted to be a forwarding yard for certain forms of valuable scrap it accepted to its facility, but wanted to become a processor because of the opportunity to profit, explains MacDonald. Having spent more than three decades in the scrap industry, MacDonald was familiar with what he says was the “perceived and achieved strength” of APCO. The size of the APCO shredder also met the needs of WIM, and MacDonald says he felt APCO would give WIM a “marked competitive advantage.” During the planning process, MacDonald says the company had several different ideas for downstream separation. “This was to be a turnkey operation from American Pulverizer. Basically, all the equipment was supplied by them,” says MacDonald. The Eriez comRecovery vol3


cover story ponent of the system was the last piece of the puzzle. “They [APCO] [suggested] the Eriez system. It was late in the game because this technology was just developed after the two year span in which we were looking at this,” says MacDonald. “I was familiar with Eriez for many years and the quality of the company and its reputation,” MacDonald says. “We took a lot of stock in American Pulverizer’s recommendation to use this equipment.” Eriez also recognized the value in partnering with APCO. “To ensure its high quality standard, APCO only partners with the most technologically advanced companies, so we are pleased that APCO chose to work with Eriez on this new system,” says Mike Shattuck, Eriez Recycling product manager. “The ability to partner with first-class companies such as APCO and Hustler Con-

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All in One

The American Pulverizer/Hustler Conveyor 60x85 heavy duty automobile and scrap shredding system installed at Waukesha Iron & Metal includes: • Hustler Heavy-Duty Beaded Pan Infeed Conveyor • APCO 60x85 Shredder • Dual 2000 HP DC Quad Plus Drive Package • New Eriez P-Rex Drum Magnet • New Eriez Shred 1 Ballistic Separator • Trommel Screen with 3 splits • Dual Eddy Currents

• SiCon (S&S) Varisort All metal separator • Platforms, stairways, and pick stations • Pinnacle Engineering E-Shred Package w/Co-Pilot and Diagnostics • Field Distribution Panels and Wireless Remote Maintenance Controls

veyor to offer customers advanced solutions that improve their process is a real compliment.” Eriez’ CleanStream Process combines the Eriez P-Rex Drum and Eriez Shred1 Separator. The P-Rex Drum is designed to improve ferrous recovery by one to

two percent while the Shred1 Separator produces a low copper shred. One advantage WIM found with the Eriez CleanStream system was that it was lower in cost than other system options. That is because it eliminated the need for an air system to remove the fluff out of

cover story the scrap. The use of an air knife proved to be a much less expensive alternative to the customary use of a Z-box. As well, the size of the system was attractive to WIM, according to MacDonald. “It fit into our footprint very well,” he adds.

READY TO ROLL Construction began in June 2011 on the auto shredder system. MacDonald says WIM “turned on the switch in November.” It was Nov. 7, 2011, to be exact. “The coordination between the vendors American Pulverizer, Hustler Conveyor and Eriez was excellent,” says MacDonald. “We met delivery schedules, pretty much, and that helped us to get going and meet our targets for ongoing production.” “The Eriez system has been able to keep up with the capacity of the shred-

PULVERIZER COMPANY 1319 Macklind Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri Phone: 314-781-6100 / Fax: 314-781-9209 e-mail:

ASR Mill

der,” reports MacDonald. There have been a few bugs to work out since the system has been running, but MacDonald says Eriez has been very responsive. “There are always issues with something new. I am very impressed with the customer service, the help we have [received and] the solutions they have proposed already.” Tim Shuttleworth, CEO of Eriez, visited the facility himself in January. MacDonald says there was some undesirable ferrous getting downstream into the nonferrous line and some separation issues with the fluff. “He has already outlined a program to help us with that and we are already in progress working on that.” WIM is now producing #1 and #2 shredded ferrous and a variety of nonferrous and mixed grades. “It is the usual mix of shredded material,” says MacDonald. “The only difference is the Eriez equipment and the ability to separate on-

line the #1 and #2 [shred], which is very advantageous.” MacDonald says different products typically need to be segregated and shredded differently, but the Eriez set up “does it for you.” Eriez emphasizes this in a news release about CleanStream. “Besides improving both ferrous recovery and ferrous grade, the CleanStream Process also will reduce the number of hand sorters required on the processing line; this results in improved profitability for the recycler,” the release states. It eliminates some sorting functions,” says MacDonald. “I think it is very efficient. The whole project is a substantial investment, and I think we are looking at a four-year payback in equipment, which is very reasonable,” MacDonald says. The author is associate editor of Recycling Today and can be reached at

Quality and Service Since 1908 Single Source for Automobile and Scrap Processing Systems

4101 Crusher Drive, O’Fallon, MO 63368 Ph: 636-441-8600 / Fax: 636-441-8611 e-mail:

Complete Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metal Separation Packages

American Pulverizer Co., of St. Louis, Missouri offers a center-feed, high-speed hammermill for processing Auto Shredder Residue (ASR) designed to yield a higher metal recovery percentage. The shredded product that is created reduces material to a more manageable state that can be reprocessed through metal separators to yield higher recovery rates from non-ferrous metals. The mills are designed for high production with minimal maintenance. Design is based on years of experience with ASR and other E-Scrap products. Recovery vol3


Manic Pace

Even after dropping in the fall of 2011, copper is trading at a price level that raises uncomfortable questions about its ceiling and floor.


umerous books and essays have been written about financial crazes and bubbles, often starting with the peculiar “tulip-mania” that gripped Holland in the 1630s. Increasingly, financial analysts and business planners have grown a little better at issuing predictions that a speculative bubble has formed around a certain type of stock, a commodity, real estate or whatever the case may be. This is almost certainly an improvement upon waiting until after a market has crashed or a bubble has burst to begin the analysis. It is difficult to find the examples in financial history where the value of something has continually escalated and never retreated. Only in pointing to a

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mineral commodity and calling it a bubble with great certainty does there seem to be any risk of getting it wrong, since natural resources found in the Earth’s soil or beneath it are indeed finite. (Ask a “peak oil” theory adherent.) Thus, when looking at a copper market with pricing well above its historic range, there are many voices concerned about a speculative price build-up who can rightly point to many previous examples. About the only argument to be made for a new floor level is that the amount of copper in the ground is becoming insufficient to meet global demand. The current and future price of copper is an important consideration for scrap recyclers making capital spend-

ing decisions on shredding and sorting equipment. Recyclers can more easily make the decision to invest more in equipment and spend more on operating costs to extract and sort every last bit of copper when the per-pound price for the red metal is at historic highs.

NOT THAT LONG AGO For scrap recyclers, the upward arc of copper pricing is something they have experienced first-hand for the past several years. One decade ago, in 2001 and 2002, copper scrap was being purchased by North American consumers for from 60

market analysis cents to 85 cents per pound. That range was not dramatically different from where copper prices stayed throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s. There was volatility during these two decades, but that former price range of 50 cents to $1.10 per pound seems like a distant memory to traders who have experienced the 2007-2011 market. Regarding the final quarter of the 20th century, 1989 was an absolute boom year, when LME refined copper prices reached above $1.50 per pound, cash settlement, in January of that year. Pricing dropped throughout 1989, but stayed above $1.00 per pound. After another spike in 1995, copper fell sharply the following three years. According to U.S. producer copper pricing gathered by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the average price U.S. producers could get for 99.99 percent pure copper cathode in 1998 was just 78.6 cents per pound. That price was in the range commonly experienced by producers (and scrap suppliers tied to it in the earlier part of the supply chain) from 1974 to 1987. While the late 1980s and early 1990s can be considered a price spike era, it was nothing compared to what the copper market has experienced beginning in 2006.

BEFORE AND AFTER CHINA For copper traders, there is little question that the biggest factor in the bull market

of 2006 to the present has been the massive growth of the Chinese economy. As China has added manufacturing capacity, developed its infrastructure and spurred its urban centers to grow at seemingly geometric rates, copper has been one of the basic materials required. It can be difficult to recall that as recently as 1987, China’s production of refined copper (400,000 metric tons) was barely greater than Poland’s and less than Belgium’s or Canada’s. Figures for 2010 portray the situation as it has existed for the past several years, which is that not only has China moved to number one as both a producer and consumer of copper, but that it holds that position with considerable space between the next nations on the list. As far as consumption, China finished 2010 having consumed some 6.8 million metric tons of copper, according to a Bloomberg News report based on figures given by Beijing-based Antaike Information Development Co. China’s copper production has ramped up to the point that it was able to produce about 4.5 million metric tons itself, much of that as scrap-dependent secondary copper, according to Antaike. The ramping up of China’s red metals sector, which uses scrap as feedstock, is clear when looking at U.S. export figures to China in 2010. According to the USGS, which gathers its information from the U.S. Census Bureau, recyclers shipped more than 240,000 metric tons of unalloyed copper scrap to China in 2010 and more than 500,000 tons of

copper-bearing alloyed scrap (brass, etc.) to that nation. Those scrap figures alone surpass the total amount of copper that was being produced in China in 1987, before its massive economic kick-start was very far along. While China’s GDP, as calculated by its National Bureau of Statistics, was $6 trillion in 2010, it stood at less than $325 billion in 1997—or only 5.5 percent of its current level. The $5.7 trillion annual growth of the world’s largest nation (by population) has been the clear culprit on the demand side when looking at copper’s current trading range. If the economy of China (not to mention the economies of India and several other fast-growing Asian countries) has truly reached its new level of GDP, then the level of global demand for copper has changed forever. Even if China’s intensity of demand for copper recedes as its infrastructure build-out and urbanization slows down, its new status as a developed nation with more than 1 billion people has changed the demand side of the equation, seemingly forever. The impact is clear when measuring the world’s copper consumption in 1980—slightly more than 8 million metric tons, according to the USGS—compared to the global 2010 figure of more than 18.5 million metric tons, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics. Thus far, the world’s mining companies and scrap processors have been able to meet this demand, although at prices that demonstrate the supply line is strained.

As China has developed its infrastructure, its manufacturing capacity and its urban centers, copper scrap has been one of the basic materials foremost required. Recovery vol3


market analysis


PLENTY IN RESERVE? The “peak oil” theory, which at times has received attention, has a lesser known sibling in the “peak copper” theory. A peak copper Wikipedia page ( wiki/Peak_copper) defines peak copper as “the point in time at which the maximum global copper production rate is reached,” adding, “since copper is a finite resource, at some point in the future new production from within the earth will diminish, and at some earlier time production will reach a maximum.” The article’s author then notes, however, “When this will occur is a matter of dispute.” As far as making a case that peak copper is drawing near, the article’s author cites these factors: • Globally, economic copper resources are being depleted with the equivalent production of three world-class copper mines being consumed annually, according to a Salon magazine online article. • Environmental analyst Lester Brown has suggested copper might run out within 25 years based on what he considered a reasonable extrapolation of 2 percent growth per year. • World discoveries of copper peaked in 1996, according to a 2005 news report. The Wikipedia article also offers several counter-points,

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16.7 Growth of Global Copper Consumption (metric tons in millions)

11 9.5











Sources: United States Geological Survey; International Copper Study Group

market analysis China

1,400,000 378,000

Germany Russia





153,000 67,000

Spain Poland


United States


South Korea




Largest Secondary Refined Copper Producers, 2009 (metric tons)

Source: United States Geological Survey EddyPETAd_Recovery_Layout 1 2/15/12 2:43 PM Page 1

however, including that “56 new copper discoveries have been made during the past three decades,” and that “it has been estimated that at least 80 percent of all copper ever mined is still available (having been repeatedly recycled).” The USGS, in its 2009 publication “Copper—A Metal for the Ages” (, refers to a 1990s assessment it performed of copper reserves. The authors conclude that in the Andes Mountains alone “about 590 million tons of copper has been discovered and about 750 million tons of copper is estimated to remain as undiscovered porphyry copper deposits.” Similarly, the agency estimates 640 million tons of known and undiscovered reserves in the U.S. The global reserve amount and copper’s recycling rate seems to provide medium-term guarantees of supply. An uncertain aspect is whether the new consumption rate of more than 18 million tons per year also may have changed copper’s price range to the point where reserves are looked at differently. This body of knowledge likely leaves recyclers wondering whether $3.00-per-pound copper represents a new trading range or whether a downward adjustment is a matter of time. The author is editorial director of Recycling Today and can be contacted at

High Purity PET Flake Recovery ... up to 99% Yield with Eriez' Eddy Current Separators

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Strongest magnetic circuits Multiple rotor designs Highest launch angle Conveyor speeds up to 600 ft/min

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Call 888-300-3743 or visit Recovery vol3


operational perspective

PET Pr ject Marglen Industries uses four Eriez eddy current separators to remove virtually all the aluminum from PET flake.


estled among 57 acres in Floyd County, Ga., resides the processing facility for Marglen Industries, a manufacturer of fibers used in carpet, fiber fill, needle punch non-wovens and other textile products. Among the factors that cause the company to stand out from its competitors is that Marglen uses 100 percent post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) flake derived mostly from recycled beverage bottles. For more than two decades, Marglen has been manufacturing a product made from post-consumer plastic bottles. Most of that time the company has received metal separation assistance from Eriez.


Marglen Industries added a bottle washing and grinding plant in 1997, which helps it stay supplied with usable PET flake. Q4 Recovery


Marglen Industries began in 1971 as a carpet manufacturer, but in 1991 the company began producing polyester fiber after purchasing recycled PET flake from an outside merchant. In 1997, Marglen added a bottle washing and grinding plant that today encompasses approximately 50,000 square feet. The plant offers 90 million pounds of annual PET recycling capacity to Marglen. Because of customer demand for its polyester fiber, Marglen still purchases some recycled flake from outside vendors to complement its in-house bottle processing operation. All PET flake that finally makes its way to Marglen’s fiber extrusion operation is put through a rigorous cleansing and decontamination system designed to ensure virtually 100 percent clean flake, according to Jim Roberts, Marglen’s plant manager. Besides using an array of bottle washing equipment, granulators, extruders and screens, Marglen, since 1994, has relied on Eriez REA eddy current separators (ECS units) to effectively remove aluminum contaminants from the PET flake. Marglen now has three, 48-inch ECS machines and added a 60inch ECS unit during its $6 million plant expansion late in 2009, according to Roberts. “The eddy current separators are an integral part of our PET flake processing system; you need this kind of equipment to purify the flake,” Roberts says. “Whether we make it through our own bottle processing plant or buy it from the outside, 100 percent of the flake we have is run through either the 48-inch or 60-inch ECS,” he con-

Rigorous cleansing and decontamination can be necessary to turn postconsumer bottles into PET flake.

Since 1994, Marglen Industries has been relying on Eriez equipment to help it meet its production goals.

Recovery Q4


operational perspective tabs, leaving just the PET flake containing fine aluminum particles. The PET flake is fed by conveyor through either one of the 48-inch or the 60-inch ECS units. Through the induction of eddy currents and the resulting repelling forces, the magnetic field repels the aluminum and physically separates it from the plastic regrind, minimizing PET flake splitters on its Eriez eddy currents help Marglen Industries reach its PET flake purity goals. PET flake loss. When the polarity of the magnetic field tinues. “This is the final step before the generated in the aluminum by the ECS is flake goes through quality control testing the same as the rotating magnets, the aluminum is repelled from the magnet. This and then into our silos.” “Removing aluminum is very impor- causes the trajectory of the nonferrous tant because it eliminates problems in the metal to be different than the PET flake. downstream extrusion process,” Roberts The two streams of material are separated observes. “Too much aluminum creates by an adjustable splitter in a simple, highexcessive screen changes at our extruders volume and effective manner. The ECS units have helped Marglen and that causes runability [downtime] issues. Our quality control lab checks for obtain a single pass aluminum reduction contamination and finds acceptably low of up to 92 percent and achieve a clean levels of aluminum after the flake is run PET yield of 97 to 99 percent. “We’re fortunate because we are getting most our through the Eriez ECS machines.” flake with an aluminum content of zero to 50 parts per million after it comes through the ECS,” Roberts notes.


Marglen purchases baled bottles from material recovery facilities (MRFs) and recycling centers throughout the United States. The bottles are washed in a chemical solution that removes the labels and glue. The clean bottles are then transported via conveyors to automatic sorting equipment and separated by color and type. The bottles are manually processed one final time to ensure that they have been sorted correctly. The sorted bottles are then conveyed to granulators and ground into 3/8-inch raw flake. An additional process removes any lingering paper, labels, closures and Q4 Recovery


HOW IT HAPPENS The eddy current rotor is the heart of the separator. Eriez offers several eddy current models that are ideal for removing aluminum contaminants from PET flake, the application that is critical at Marglen Industries. The rotor of the Eriez ECS uses powerful rare earth magnets curved to fit the shell contour. The powerful, high-frequency rotor offers exceptional removal of small and medium nonferrous metals from not only PET flake, but glass cullet,

electronic scrap, foundry sand and urban wood waste. Eriez’ latest eddy current separators also feature a new high-speed bearing design which creates 30 percent higher rotor speed for added PET flake purity. The bearings can last up to 15 years with proper maintenance. Other enhancements to today’s eddy current separator include a special PET flake splitter which provides higher PET purity and yield. This splitter is adjustable in both angle and height to accommodate a range of belt speeds and particle sizes. Another new feature is a very thin, abrasion-resistant urethane conveyor belt that maximizes the aluminum “pop” in the eddy current field. Eriez ECS conveyors now run at twice the traditional speed to increase capacity and purity. For high aluminum content feedstocks, a rare earth roll magnetic separator can be attached to remove 40-60% of the aluminum before the PET flake even enters the ECS unit.

WIDER COVERAGE “We’ve always used the 48-inch ECS machines in the bottle processing plant, but we’ve never had one as large as the 60inch unit that was installed late in 2009,” says Roberts. “The larger unit allows for a good lay-down of material on the belt, which helps the flake settle before reaching the rotor area.” Dana Pellerin, maintenance manager and plant engineer for Marglen, has purchased Eriez equipment for 20 years. “Eriez has definitely committed to more research and development on the new machines. They have changed the whole bearing set-up on the rotor, which has made it more durable. “Our Eriez ECS machines run 24/7,” Pellerin continues. “When you have a rotor running continuously at high speed, it’s taxing on the bearings. Eriez put some extra time into designing a completely sealed bearing to make it better for the customer. Now we can run our machines with practically no downtime issues.”

operational perspective

How to

Make The best payday for the shredded mixed metal known as zorba occurs when recyclers recover the maximum amount of material. By Brian Taylor


he shredded mixed metal known in the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) Scrap Specifications Circular as “zorba� was born several decades ago, when it was finalized as a definition in that industry-standard document. As the metals shredder population has grown in the past two decades, so too has the production and trading of zorba, Recovery vol3


operational perspective which is defined by ISRI as “a combination of the nonferrous metals: aluminum, copper, lead, magnesium, stainless steel, nickel, tin, and zinc in elemental or alloyed (solid) form.” Perhaps because no two shredders receive identical feedstock and no two downstream systems are identical, the ISRI specification for zorba has several additional sentences, and the definition is one of the longest in the group’s circular. (See sidebar “Coming to Terms.”) For scrap processors and traders, zorba quickly became a commonly traded export grade, and shredder operators have invested heavily to pull nonferrous metals out of their post-shredder stream. The collection and packaging of zorba by auto shredder operators involves several different pieces of equipment. Product and project managers at Eriez can have several different recommendations for shredder operators who want to produce zorba.

FERROUS FIRST A diagram on zorba recovery prepared by Dan Norrgran, Minerals & Materials Product Manager at Eriez, shows optimum zorba production starts by deploying drum magnets that can capture as much ferrous scrap as possible. Mike Shattuck, Recycling Product Manager at Eriez, says this initial step is crucial for a number of reasons. “Good ferrous preparation is essential to good nonferrous recovery,” he states. “Misplaced ferrous not only contaminates nonferrous products, causing a costly downgrade, but it also is the main cause of damage to downstream equipment such as eddy currents and secondary sorters,” continues Shattuck. “Misplaced ferrous in the nonferrous stream is also the primary cause of fires in the fluff or landfill material.” For operators seeking new drum magnets, Shattuck recommends “a superior drum such as an Eriez P-Rex® as a primary ferrous separator.” vol3 Recovery


Coming to Terms

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) Specifications Circular grade known as “zorba” was created several decades ago, when it was finalized as a definition in that industry-standard document. While ISRI has just one definition of zorba, the nearly-200-word length of the specification points to the notion that it is a grade that is not produced in a uniform fashion. Thus, both the quality of zorba as it is traded globally and the pricing of the grade at any given time is subject to considerable negotiation between the buyer and the seller. The full ISRI specification for “Zorba (Shredded Nonferrous Scrap, Predominantly Aluminum)” reads as follows: “Shall be made up of a combination of the nonferrous metals: aluminum, copper, lead, magnesium, stainless steel, nickel, tin, and zinc, in elemental or alloyed (solid) form. The percentage of each of these metals within the nonferrous concentrate may be subject to agreement between buyer and seller, may vary from shredder to shredder and may, in some cases, be zero for a particular metal. Shall be obtained by eddy current, air separation, flotation, screening, other segregation technique(s) or a combination thereof. Shall have passed one or more magnets to reduce or eliminate free iron and/or large iron attachments. Shall be free of radioactive material, dross or ash. May be screened to permit description by specific size ranges. May contain high density nonmetallics. Items of exclusion, inclusion or limitation not set out in the above specifications, such as moisture and free iron and/or attachments or the presence or absence of other metals, are subject to agreement between buyer and seller. Material to be bought/sold under this guideline shall be identified as Zorba with a number to follow indicating the estimated percentage nonferrous metal content of the material (e.g., Zorba 90—means the material contains approximately 90% nonferrous metal content).”

When considering how large or powerful a drum magnet needs to be, Shattuck offers several recommendations. “Eriez recommends drum magnets by size based on the capacity of the shredder,” he notes. “Each diameter drum has a different capacity rating per foot of face width,” says Shattuck. “Typically, a second or third drum is only required when we want to clean the ferrous product. The more drums you have the cleaner the [ferrous] product you typically produce.” However, says Shattuck, multiple drums can also create additional oper-

ating costs and still allow some ferrous metal to slip by. “With the P-Rex or other Eriez drums, we can get a very high recovery rate while still producing a high grade. This is possible because of the additional agitation points we have across the face of the drum. Typical scrap drums only have one polarity change, which results in a single flip of material (used to remove fluff from ferrous frag). The new P-Rex and ER Drum have three pole changes across the face of the drum, resulting in three times as many flips, or opportunities to separate fluff from ferrous materials.”

provided by

operational perspective

DIVIDING BY FRACTIONS After one or more drums have picked up the ferrous scrap, the Eriez Zorba Recovery chart recommends the remaining fraction (at this point, consisting of mixed nonferrous and mixed nonmetallic residues) head toward an eddy current separator. “To create good clean zorba, a large displacement of nonferrous material from nonconductive material should be sought,” notes Shattuck. “This allows for a wider split of materials, (nonferrous metals and residue), producing a better grade of zorba.” As a portion of the ISRI specification states, “zorba with a number to follow indicating the estimated percentage nonferrous metal content of the material (e.g., zorba 90), means the material contains approximately 90 percent nonferrous metal content,” and presumably the other 10 percent consists of unwelcome residues. Thus, as Shattuck observes, “zorba is sold in grades [and] the higher grade zorba, the more it is worth.” Part of the job of the eddy current and other downstream equipment becomes not only pulling out the nonferrous metals, but also preventing plastics and other contaminants from coming along for the ride. One way recyclers can reach a higher grade, according to Shattuck, is to separate the nonferrous and nonmetallic fraction by size first before introducing it to an eddy current separator.

While zorba is a nonferrous product, the full capture of the ferrous stream by drum magnets is a critical first step in zorba production.

“Proper capacity and sizing are the main factors in producing a good quality zorba,” he states. “Sizing is very important in any separating equipment, especially eddy currents,” he continues. “The reaction of nonferrous metals to an eddy current is varied among different types of material, as well as different sizes of materials.” Splitting the material stream into two fractions can help in a number of ways, says Shattuck. “Small pieces of material will not be thrown [by an eddy current] as far as larger pieces,” he comments. “If you do not size, you will have a lot of

Separating the nonferrous and nonmetallic fractions by size before introducing them into an eddy current separator is recommended to obtain a higher grade.

misplaced material resulting in a loss of recovery and grade. For example, a small piece of material and a large piece of fluff will likely travel about the same distance, (because of belt speed and trajectory) making an effective split of material difficult.” Shattuck also realizes that not all recyclers may want to chase the highest-value zorba through such investments. “Proper capacity and sizing of material may require the customer to purchase additional screening equipment and additional eddy current separators to get the high-grade zorba, and this gets expensive and takes up real estate,” he comments. But based on projects he has worked on in 2011 and previous years, Shattuck believes the scrap recycling customers of Eriez will continue to invest in and fine-tune their downstream systems. “Everybody is always trying to achieve a higher grade product and a higher recovery product off of all the equipment in the yard,” he states. “I expect the quality demands to continue to increase not just for zorba, but in the production of all grades.” The author is editorial director of Recycling Today and can be contacted at Recovery vol3


product news A look at product and services from Eriez designed for the scrap industry to boost productivity and material quality.

The Eriez PolyMag® Process The PolyMag® Process from Eriez can dramatically cut the cost of recycling mixed resin plastics. The PolyMag Process renders the plastic resin magnetic with an additive (high-concentration pellets) in a process similar to adding color concentrate. The quantity of the magnetic additive is extremely small and does not affect the physical properties of the plastic. PolyMag magnetic separators may be used to sort various types and/ or colors of plastics. In fact, the PolyMag process can be used to separate more than two components by using a different amount of magnetic additive for each.

With PolyMag, an automated process can be established to separate one or more plastics from each other with zero labor cost. Applications for this technology include the separation of mixed resins such as rigid and flexible materials on a post-industrial, plastic regrind recovery basis. Less than 0.5 percent of the additive is used at the time of production. PVCs can be rendered slightly magnetic and separated from post-consumer scrap streams. This would allow the material to be recycled and separated

from other types of resins rather than facing disposal at a landfill. To learn more about the PolyMag process, please watch a video found at polymag/polymag.htm.

The Eriez Five-Star® Service Center Whether it’s an emergency system service call or a complete rebuild of a suspended magnet, Eriez’s Five-Star Service will have you operating at original equipment standards. Our rebuild program provides complete diagnostics, tear-down, inspection, updated electronics and assemblies and testing. Five-Star offers: • 24/7 service hotline; • original OEM parts; • on-site field service; • equipment remanufacturing; • full “as new” warranties. Now located in a more spacious plant setting, the Eriez Five-Star Service Center is completely equipped to remanufacture even the most complex systems. The fully staffed service center employs trained technicians and the machining, fabricating and welding capabilities necessary to rebuild all Eriez equipment. Once remanufactured, all Eriez equipment leaves the service center with an “as new” warranty. To find out more about the Eriez Five-Star Service Center or to call for an immediate estimate, call 1-888-999-ERIEZ. vol3 Recovery


[Eriez, P-Rex, PolyMag and Five-Star Service are registered trademarks of Eriez Manufacturing Co.]


Eriez Designs DensitySort® as a Problem Solver Researchers and product developers at Eriez spent part of their 2011 summer preparing the DensitySort Air Table for its rollout to the North American scrap market. Using space within a newly-purchased 114,000 square foot building in Erie, Pa., researchers led by Dr. Jiang Xinkai and product Eriez’ Mike Shattuck demonstrates how the Eriez' DensitySort Air Table works. Watch the video at www. managers led by Mike conducted sigsort-demonstration-shattuck.aspx nificant numbers of tests. The Eriez team used samples of shredded mixed metals provided by shredding plant operators from throughout the United States. The company describes the DensitySort as “a media-free option for fines sorting.” The air table technology has been borrowed and downsized from technology Eriez has long used in the mining industry. The unit is designed to separate light and heavy fractions in material sized at 0.25-inch-by-1-inch and also 1-inch-by-2-inch fractions without a change to the machine’s setup. The DensitySort Air Table uses air, vibration and slope to separate the fines fraction. It does not require a media base, such as sand, water or filtration, to achieve separation, which Eriez touts as a cost-savings and operational advantage. “You do not have to purchase a medium and you do not have to process the material after it’s done to clean the media off the material, so that’s a big cost savings both up front and as you operate,” says Shattuck. He adds the machine also operates without the use of water, eliminating another operating cost inherent in some competing technologies. Mixed metals are introduced to the DensitySort at the high point of the table’s slope. Specific mass then directs pieces of metal to the low or high side of the table, providing an upgraded high grade aluminum product (Twitch) as well as a heavy product containing nearly 80 percent heavy metals by weight. Once a fluidized bed of material is maintained, the heavy products sink to the bottom of the burden and travel up the table to a discharge point. The light fraction remains on top of the burden and travels to the low side of the table. Any product that does not get separated on the first pass re-circulates until it reaches the appropriate discharge. “The big advantage is you’re getting a premium for your [practically copper- and zinc-free] Twitch product and you’re also producing a high-density or ‘heavies’ product rich in copper,” says Shattuck. Pointing to one heavies sample, he says, “This product contains about 25 percent copper after one pass, but when you re-run this over the AirTable, you create about a 40 percent copper content product.”

eriez worldwide With 12 manufacturing plants on six continents and a global network of factory-trained representatives, getting professional assistance with your toughest processing problems is quite simple. You may reach our plants by any of the following means:

United States

Phone: 814-835-6000 Fax: 814-838-4960


Phone: 61-3-9305-4099 Fax: 61-3-9305-4042


Phone: 86-21-31261766 Fax: 86-21-38763610


Phone: 44-29-208-68501 Fax: 44-29-208-51314


Phone: 91-44-2238-5071 Fax: 91-44-4507-8383


Phone: 81-473-546381 Fax: 81-473-547643


Phone: 52-55-5321-9800 Fax: 55-5310-3358

South Africa

Phone: 27-11-444-9160 Fax: 27-11-444-9166

Recovery vol3


“Our waste is virtually “metal free”… and now we’re able to sell high-grade fractions that used to be sent to landfill. Eriez’ sorters have proven to be reliable and the company very responsive.“ Rubino Brothers - Stamford, CT

“Our waste is virtually Metal Free” Recovery increase of: +76% +47% +17% +7%

Stainless Steel Copper Pickings and Wire Zorba Product Nonferrous Fines <1-inch (@ 1,000 lbs/hr) And a Fluff reduction of: -10%

Rubino Brothers installed Eriez’ FinesSort® and ProSort sorters to improve metal recovery. The chart to the left is an analysis of the their metal recovery rates of post-eddy waste since their installation. If you’re interested in achieving these types of results, contact Eriez at 1-888-300-ERIEZ to schedule a free production-scale test!

Fluff to the landfill

FinesSort®- Metal “Fines” Recovery

Eddy Current Separators


Brochures & DVD

Call 888-300-3743 or visit Ferrous and Nonferrous Recovery Solutions

ProSort - Airless Metal Recovery

Recovery: Volume 3 2012  

Recovery from Eriez - Helping move the grade-recovery curve

Recovery: Volume 3 2012  

Recovery from Eriez - Helping move the grade-recovery curve