Briers Recycling, based in Tamworth, UK, is a third generation, family-run business that has been working in the recycling and waste management industry since 1939.

Thanks to a new, high-efficiency L75RS compressor from CompAir, installed in November 2011, the company is meeting 100% of its ‘zero to landfill’ policy; ensuring that no recyclable materials are thrown away, whilst at the same time, minimising the energy consumed by the process.

The compressor is used to provide air to the company’s recently-installed Near Infrared (NIR) auto-sorter machine. 120 air nozzles are able to eject specified materials by using the latest infrared technology. The robust design of the compressor enables it to work consistently and effectively in the harsh environment of a waste and metal recycling plant.

Simon Rooke, operations manager for Briers explains, ‘It was a considerable capital outlay to purchase the new NIR technology so we knew that installing a reliable and cost-effective compressor was vital to help protect our investment.

‘We have previously used one of the group’s compressors for a less intensive application and its reliability was proven. That’s why we looked to CompAir for a solution, as we already we knew we could rely on the company to provide the latest and most reliable technology.

‘The NIR auto-sorter analyses the waste using a spectrometer. The required material’s spectrum of colours is programed into the system and then a light is shone onto the conveyer belt. The light reflected back from the refuse is then analysed, enabling the system to identify the material type and eject it via the air nozzles. This allows us to select what kind of material we want to retrieve, and even the specific colour.’

Ensuring energy efficiency
To provide the correct pressure, the L75RS is run between four and six bar and is used continuously throughout the seven am till five pm production hours. As a result, the compressor’s energy consumption needed to be carefully assessed to ensure the highest efficiency over prolonged periods.

CompAir provided a regulated speed compressor, which automatically increases or decreases air supply according to site requirements. This helps to save energy by allowing the company to tailor its air usage so that the compressor only consumes the precise amount of energy required by the process.

The CompAir compressor is already delivering the predicted energy savings and is expected to deliver payback within 12 to 18 months.

Managing air quality
The L75RS was installed with a water and oil separator and dryer to ensure that the airborne dust in the plant does not come into contact with excessive amounts of moisture in the air. If not monitored correctly, the dust can congeal and cause health and safety problems as well as jeopardising the performance of the machinery used within the plant.

CompAir’s Assure six-year warranty was made available with the purchase of the L75RS to give peace of mind to Briers, as production can cease entirely if the compressor fails to operate. With no redundancy available, reliability is critical, but to further ensure system integrity, CompAir also made provision for a second unit to be installed in the event of any compressor downtime during routine maintenance.