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Bühler’s innovative GlowVision a gamechanger for plastic scrap

Technology provider Bühler has developed the SORTEX A GlowVision to help boost bottle-to-bottle recycling. The sorting solution has a multitude of complex functions and advantages and includes a tailor-made inspection system, high-precision double-sided cameras and a flexible shaft configuration.

Bühler designed, built and tested the new GlowVision unit at its factory in London. It was presented on June 24th at a digital event attended by participants from over 40 countries. The sorter offers a parallel re-sorting function that delivers the highest reject concentration ever achieved – up to 40% when the re-sorting channel is used. The GlowVision model is available in versions with three to five shafts on a five-module frame and has an inspection system specially developed for PET sorting.

‘The introduction of SORTEX A GlowVision attracted the interest of PET recycling companies from all over the world,’ says Lawrence Kuhn, the new head of the plastics division at Bühler. ‘This technology is a groundbreaking ‘4-in-1’ solution for optical sorting that can be used for sorting colours, polymers, foreign substances and labels at the same time. It is the first optical sorter from Bühler to have integrated digital solutions right from the start. This guarantees above-average efficiency and accuracy.’

SORTEX A GlowVision works effectively on opaque, white and transparent colored flakes as well as polymer defects, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polycarbonate (PC), polystyrene (PS) and polyamide (PA). In addition, there is an extremely strong performance with metals and a significant reduction in loose labels.

The new sorting solution is said to be of great interest to PET processing companies who want to reduce the degree of soiling of important colour and polymer defects. ‘We offer one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market today. Thanks to its unique double-sided camera technology, SORTEX A GlowVision delivers excellent results and shows impressive performance on a wide range of defects that typically occur in PET streams,’ Kuhn notes.

Monitoring system

SORTEX A GlowVision is supplied with the integrated monitoring system for SORTEX from Bühler. The cloud-based system continuously analyses data directly from SORTEX A GlowVision and offers the operating personnel real-time monitoring of the most important performance indicators such as yield and throughput. This helps to improve productivity and keep the yield consistently high.

The dashboard of the SORTEX monitoring system, which can be displayed on a mobile phone, laptop or tablet, offers a simple yet comprehensive overview of every sorter. Customers can also define alarms if the most important parameters are outside the specification. Kuhn says: ‘Our experts can help companies configure their own threshold values ​​and alarm settings according to their specific needs. This enables us to benchmark with comparable devices or systems at different locations.’

The SORTEX monitoring system, which tracks the sorter’s performance in real time, sends the operator instant mobile alerts if the sorter is performing abnormally. Operators can make adjustments to avoid waste while minimising downtime. The PET recycling companies can use the generated sorting data to track key performance data in weekly or monthly performance reports.

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