From pre-sorting to material analysis

Istanbul-based Engin Group has built up a number of group companies over the past decades that are active in the marketing and distribution of cosmetic and household products for Turkey and the Caucasus region. The establishment of Futurapet in 2020 was a logical step towards sustainability and environmental protection, values which the Engin Group have committed to. The recycling of plastic products is another building block for sustainable production, closing the recycling loop. In a plant equipped with state-of-the-art sorting technology, Futurapet recycles plastic waste. The secondary raw materials obtained are returned to the plastics processing industry.

When Futurapet was founded, General Manager Oğuz Engin and his team were looking for solutions that would deliver high-quality end products. Only single-variety rPET can be used for a wide range of new products, thus conserving resources and the environment.

Solutions for the entire production line were a decisive factor in the selection of components. Somplast, Sesotec‘s sales partner in Turkey, was able to convince Futurapet of the function and quality of the Sesotec sorting systems in combination with the new material analysis system. Futurapet now relies on Sesotec’s new generation Varisort+ units, equipped with the Flash technology and a working width of 2,816 mm, which are used in the multi-stage preparation process for bottle sorting; the final sorting of the PET flakes is carried out by the Flake Purifier+ sorting systems. They are claimed to deliver PET material of high purity and quality. The new Flake Scan analysis system from Sesotec ensures the final inspection of each BigBag leaving the plant.

Pre-sorting of bottles

Futurapet receives plastic bottles pressed into bales. The recycling process starts when the bales are broken up: first, light materials are separated by ballistic sifter and then non-ferrous and ferrous metals are separated. After the washing and drying processes, the pressed bottles are sent over the Sesotec Varisort+ sorting systems. These latest-generation units feature an impressive working width of 3 m and can thus handle high throughputs in the respective sorting step.
On a Varisort+ N, positive sorting separates PET bottles from all other types of plastic, such as non-PET bottles, labels, or films. This fraction then passes through a Varisort+ Flash CN unit, which is equipped with the Flash technology for the best possible colour detection. This technology, equipped with reflected and transmitted light units, is claimed to make free-fall colour detection possible for distinguishing fine colour nuances in transparent, non-transparent and semi-transparent materials. In the process, the Varisort+ Flash CN uses two valve bars to sort into three different chutes. The good material PET clear and light blue falls through the natural fall curve into the middle chute. Non-PET and PET coloured fractions are selectively separated in the other chutes. This process is also known as negative sorting. All other components are specifically sorted out, whilst the good material remains in the material stream.

The next sorting step is performed by another Varisort+ Flash CN sorting system. The special feature of this device is that by dividing the 3 m-wide conveyor belt and subdividing it into three chutes, sorting of six different fractions can be realised. On the left-hand conveyor track, the second sorting step is repeated in order to achieve a very high degree of purity in bottle sorting for the PET clear and light blue fraction. On the right lane, the material rejected from three sorting stages is returned via a re-sorting step to the first Varisort+ N sorter. Futurapet thus achieves minimum material loss at high throughput rates.

Efficient fine sorting of PET flakes by Flake Purifier+

Fine sorting of PET flakes

After pre-sorting, the clear PET bottles are shredded. Washing, drying, and air separation processes follow. Finally, fine sorting of the flakes is carried out by the Sesotec Flake Purifier+ sorting systems, which are equipped with three sensors. False colours, false polymer types, and metal contaminants are reliably and precisely separated from the PET flakes. An additional sorting track enables further purification of the rejected material, allowing the maximum amount of high-quality PET to be recovered.

Material analysis system Flake Scan for quality analysis within minutes

Material analysis system

Futurapet is committed to ensuring that only high quality rPET leaves the plant. Each BigBag content is checked in the in-house laboratory by random sample analysis. For this purpose, Futurapet uses the Flake Scan material analysis system from Sesotec. It enables efficient and precise quality analysis of the plastic flakes and quickly delivers reliable and reproducible results of the material sample, says Sesotec. This means that a decision on the usability of the material can be made within a very short time. The integrated sensors analyse material samples according to plastic types, colours and metal contaminants.

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