Success Stories

State-of-the-art MRF plant completely built
with WeKea® conveyors

Kathrin Westrup
Amgen, UK

Erneuerung und Erweiterung einer Anlage mit WeKea®

Amgen Cymru (in association with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council) recently replaced their Materials Recovery Facility, based in Llwydcoed, Aberdare.

The previous facility sorted materials mainly by hand-picking with some automated sorting by magnets and a ballistic separator. The plant feedstock material is all municipal dry mixed recycling collected at the kerbside by the local council (Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC) and Amgen Cymru were looking to build a new plant to improve their throughput and gain a better recycling recovery rate with improved purity levels.

Following detailed and rigorous procurement and testing processes Westeria, together with its UK distributor Blue Machinery (Southern) Ltd, were awarded the contract to design and install a state of the art MRF on the footprint of the existing plant.

In the course of Westeria engineering, aggregates from various manufacturers were integrated into the planning. These are in particular NE-separators, optical sorters (NIR-separators), bag openers, a baler, new ballistic separators, magnets as well as the complete extraction and filter system.

Working closely together to achieve the goal.

All conveyors of the plant as well as the bunkers for feeding the material and the reception and intermediate storage of the pure fractions were supplied and installed by Westeria. In addition, Westeria designed and installed the entire steel structure with walk-through concept and designed the complex plant control system with camera systems and remote control.

Westeria worked closely with the Client to ensure that the specialist sorting equipment selected in the overall layout and design of the facility would meet the performance criteria for the recovery of recyclates specific to the feedstock from the region’s waste collections.

This was the first time that the advantages of the new WeKea® conveyors could be used in such a complex installation: The easy configuration of the conveyors with the help of stringently defined logic rules saved a lot of time already during the planning stage. Since the majority of the standardised conveyor belts were produced in stock, the throughput time could also be massively reduced. Nevertheless – due to Westeria’s highly flexible production concept – individual customer requirements such as the special colouring of the units could be met.

The project also benefited from the WeKea® Modular System for shipping the conveyors. This allows, for example, three conveyors with an overall conveying length of over 100 metres to be shipped in just one 40′ High Cube Container.

In addition, Westeria’s latest windsifter technologies were used in this plant. The AirLift vacuum air classifier separates ultra-light materials such as foils in several stages from the material flows most efficiently, thus effectively increasing the throughput and purity levels of separation units such as ballistic separators and optical sorters. Using a folding conveyor, the Westeria AirLift achieves the highest degree of cleanliness in the separation of ultra-light materials from various material flows and has therefore also proven itself in applications such as compost or waste wood processing.

Amgen’s Operations Manager, Ian McAlister commented on the benefits they are seeing so far from the new plant: ‘’The new MRF has a processing capacity of 18-20 tonnes per hour and around 65,000 tonnes per annum, previously we were processing around 32,000 tonnes per annum. We are now recovering a lot more recyclates then we were previously, which means we are diverting a great deal more waste from incineration. We are also very happy with the purity rates we are seeing, with the plant currently running at 97.5% purity in materials being processed’’.

Demanding challenges

Going forward Amgen Cymru should benefit from being able to sell the sorted material at a higher price, due to the purity levels being offered by the plant. As the plant also offers a lot higher throughput, it allows them to bring a lot more material in and move on more sorted materials.

Rainer Flaute, Sales Manager at Westeria, summarizes the project: “The planning and implementation of such a venture was an exciting challenge.  We were able to use all of Westeria’s core competencies to meet the demanding customer requirements: Starting with our intelligent bunker and material distribution systems, our new WeKea® conveyors and our unique air classifier technologies. Thanks to the excellent cooperation with all companies involved, we were able to deliver an automated system that already exceeds all expectations.”

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