Sampling of ground PET material on Big Bag filling station

WOLFF GROUP

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Krzysztof Tetla

Problem:

  • lack of possibility to control the quality of refinement of the product and to provide customers with samples of the material
  • large particles of sampled PET (from dust to over ten millimetres), making it difficult to choose a solution – most of the samplers are designed for particles up to 5 mm

Solution:

  • carrying out a local inspection and selection of an appropriate sampler meeting the most important requirements determined by the size of material particles and other parameters of the medium
  • delivery of a valve for test sampling
  • pilot introduction of the sampling of ground, clean material on the Big Bag filling station
  • supply of a sampler which allows free programming of the sampling time
  • contribution to raising the standard of services provided by the customer

Check the details of the implemented equipment and services:

Quality control of product refinement

Our customer, representing the PET bottle recycling industry, wanted to provide its customers with samples of ground, pure material. So far, they have not been able to control the quality of product refinement, so they applied to us for professional assistance in selecting the right equipment. One of the most important assumptions was to provide for the sampling of relatively large PET particles (from dust to over ten millimetres), which limited the possibility of using the majority of samplers, which are designed mainly for particles up to 5 mm.

Selection of the sampling valve

In order to choose the right solution, it is very important to have the right technical knowledge and experience to avoid errors. Despite the fact that, in this case, the selection of the equipment was determined by the size of the sample (which is most often taken into account later), the following parameters were also important: bulk density and behaviour of the medium, i.e. its hygroscopicity and aggressiveness. It should be remembered that when sampling liquids, the viscosity and the number of solids in the solution must also be taken into account.

In order to make a reliable assessment of the customer’s needs, we carried out a site inspection at the plant. Before the order was finalised, the customer had the opportunity to carry out tests using a sampling valve. The positive result of the tests had an impact on the implementation of the project.

Sampling of ground, clean material on the Big Bag filling station – location and operation of the sampling device

The equipment delivered by us was installed at the station for filling Big Bags with ready-made milled material, before the Big Bag clamp, and behind the discharge valve.

The principle of operation of this sampler is relatively simple. Compressed air is supplied to the cylinder by means of hoses connected to the compressed air system, where the control system is located. The cylinder then pulls the arm into the light of the pipe, in which a sampling cup remains until it is filled. This filling time is adjusted experimentally while the system is already in operation at the customer’s plant. In the next stage, the air is supplied in the other direction, thanks to which the arm with the cup is pulled out of the pipe. When the cup returns to its starting position, it rotates 180 degrees vertically, following a guide and a groove in the cylinder, resulting in the discharging the product into a hopper with the sample collection vessel attached.

Even with large particles of sampled PET (as a reminder – from dust to over ten millimetres), the tester supplied by us operates smoothly, does not jam and meets all the customer’s expectations. In addition, it allows the user to freely program the sampling time.

After successful implementation of the sampler, our customer ordered another 5 units for all Big Bag filling stations.

It is worth mentioning at this point that in case of incorrect sampler selection, there is a risk of jamming the moving arm or blocking the filling of the sample vessels, which in turn could contribute to the jamming of the device and uneven sampling of the material.

PET recycling

Recycling plays a very important role nowadays, which is why there are more and more waste treatment companies on the market, including those specialised in PET bottles, which we produce as waste in massive amounts every year. The very process of recycling PET bottles is complex and consists of several stages, including washing, segregation, grinding and packaging for further processing.

Due to the possibility of using plastic bottle granulates, the quality of the supplied product is important for customers. This is why PET bottle processing companies are committed to ensuring the highest possible level of service, including preliminary sampling of the material.

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