The RWM (recycling and waste management) exhibition is the UK’s largest tradeshow for the recycling, processing, handling and deriving solutions from waste materials. Held at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, over 500 exhibitors provided an insight into how their equipment and services can help businesses, governments and individuals deal with a variety of waste. This year there was also a great deal to interest construction companies, with many exhibitors providing equipment and services for the handling, processing and recycling of construction and demolition materials.
Over 500 exhibitors and more than 12,000 visitors came to the NEC in Birmingham from Sept. 12-13 for the UK’s largest trade show aimed at providing innovative solutions for the recycling and waste management industries. Although not specifically aimed at the requirements of the demolition and construction industries, areas of the show were heavily focused on dealing with waste arising from construction and demolition. The Machinery & Equipment Sector focused heavily on solutions aimed at the innovative handling of construction and demolition waste, as well as hazardous materials recycling.
This is hardly surprising as the aim of the show is to provide an insight into solutions which divert as much material as possible from landfills, as well as enabling processors to extract as much value from waste.
Specialist belting and conveying systems
An often neglected area of material handling is moving the material. The moving of waste — especially construction waste — often requires hard wearing specialist solutions. Apex Belting manufactures PVC, rubber and polyurethane conveyor and drive belts. Established in 1982, the company supplies customers all over the world with many styles of belts to satisfy the various demands of recycling and waste processing industries. These include flat belts, molded cleated belts, corrugated sidewalls, waste shredder belts and over band magnet belts.
A transatlantic visitor to the show was Keith Manufacturing Company of Oregon, USA, which is the manufacturer and designer of the patented Keith® Walking Floor® conveying system. This system provides a wide variety of floor designs and possesses unlimited tonnage capacity making it suitable for many applications including as a reception, storage and metering bin for different materials — recyclables, wood waste, aggregate, etc.
Perry of Oakley Ltd have over 70 years of experience in the manufacture and design of belt driers, continuous flow grain driers, chain and flight conveyors, belt and bucket elevators, screw conveyors and augers, square bins and grain cleaners for the drying and handling of most granular bulk materials such as grain, minerals, animal feed, wood waste, pellets, dusts, wood shavings, wood chip, sawdust, pet food and compost to name a few.
A name known to many will be Hewitt Robins International, which has developed a specialty in the supply of vibrating screens, feeders, crushers and foundry equipment for the bulk material handling industry for over 100 years. Now owned by the Tata Group, the company displayed one of its specialty waste feeders at RWM. They were also keen to discuss how its conveying and belting systems are able to work seamlessly with its multifaceted equipment array.
Material handling solutions and equipment
Unsurprisingly, material handling plant solutions and equipment were well represented at RWM. Parnaby Cyclone’s stand was well attended throughout the show, as was Lyndex Recycling and German company iFE material handling. Saxlund International also had an impressive stand, outlining their bulk solids handling and storage equipment and services. The company provides bespoke design and construction of material handling systems using flat bottom silos and bunkers, which is combined with comprehensive after-market support — specifically for waste, waste water, recycling, cement and bioenergy industries.
Saxlund’s technology is based around flat bottom discharge technology, which has been designed specifically for the handling of difficult materials such as RDF, SRF, waste wood, sludge cake, tire chips and MBM. Saxlund’s push floor, sliding frame, hydraulic rotor and TubeFeeder® dischargers are widely used for the storage and reclamation of these bulk materials across the world. Combining these with its own “walking floor” docking stations, conveying technology and material screening systems, the company is now working on 13 plants in the UK alone.
Toyota Material Handling exhibited some of its material handling equipment and services. This division of the company now acts as a single point of contact for material handling needs. These range from a single truck to large equipment fleets. Specifically shown at RWM were some of Toyota’s comprehensive range forklifts trucks and warehouse equipment.
Whitney Engineering has developed as a leading supplier of forklift and telehandler tipping skips purpose-designed and built for the waste handling industry. One of the most popular items made by the company is its WTS forklift tipping skip and the patented “Teletub” skip for telehandlers — both of which were exhibited at the show. Other companies showing equipment for material handling included JCB, Liebherr and a Finlay screen shown by the UK distributor.
As with material handling equipment, manufacturers of scrap and C&D waste processing equipment and attachments were well represented, although the limited space at the show meant the bulkier equipment could not really be shown to their full advantage. This unfortunately meant that the offering of the companies involved in these areas was often lost in the large floor space.
Given the amount of metal often found in concrete and other construction materials — which has been a problem in processing C&D — magnetic separator manufacturers were well represented exhibiting some interesting developments. The exhibitors showed how their various ranges of magnets are designed for the continuous extraction of ferrous metals from a conveyed product stream. The self-cleaning units are designed to work above feed conveyors to lift out ferrous contamination, improving product purity and protection to downstream processing machinery.
E.P.M.S. was a slightly different exhibitor as it specializes in the repair of rotary drum magnets for many of the major UK shredder and recycling companies. As a result of its experience in this sector, the company now offers a full range of electromagnetic rotary drum magnets of its own design. Sizes range from 1200mm to 2800mm wide, with diameters to suit. Of specific interest was the company’s new range of circular magnets known as the EM range.
Bunting Magnetics Europe, along with its subsidiary Master Magnets, used an interactive magnetic test center for metal separation to enable visitors to see the latest technology in action. Its eddy current separator and stainless steel separator were shown separating a range of sizes and types of metal. In 2017 Bunting acquired Master Magnets and on the Bunting stand were a selection of its over band magnetic solutions. These included the company’s stainless steel magnetic separator which was demonstrated to visitors separating several different materials, including large lumps of fragmented stainless steel from secondary metal recycling plants, and printed circuit boards (PCBs) from electronic recycling operations.
Shredders are now seen as the ideal solution for reducing waste to manageable proportions, often as the first stage of the recycling process, with their multi-functionality and ability to process mixed materials making them ideal for waste companies in certain applications. Terex shredders were out in force via Terex’s UK distributor, Molson Plant. Two types of shredder (along with a Finlay 3-way split screen) were exhibited outside the exhibition halls.
Metso Waste Recycling is Metso’s specialist arm for the design and manufacture of shredding equipment aimed at the effective and reliable reduction of various types of waste material. The company states that it now has over 800 shredders world-wide working on materials such as hazardous waste, waste-to-energy, recycling, landfills, cement production and composting. All Metso shredders share certain common features, including exceptionally robust construction, with components being used from internationally recognized suppliers to ensure maximum performance and durability.
Another transatlantic visitor to RWM was Canada’s Shred-Tech. The company’s field of expertise includes, but is not limited to, secure document destruction, cardboard shredding, electronic waste, white goods, wood waste, plastics, tire shredding, metal recycling, medical waste, construction and demolition debris and green waste. All Shred-Tech shredding systems can be configured with application specific knife design, cutting chamber size and horsepower, as well as feed and discharge rates, to suit the customer’s requirements. The company states that through its commitment to exceeding customer expectations it has been able to achieve continued growth, with Shred-Tech being a recent recipient of one of Canada’s prestigious awards for business excellence.
The company has developed a specific reputation for expertise as being the world’s leading document shredder manufacturer, with over 3,000 units being sold worldwide. This now includes a mobile offering as well as its more established static equipment.
Another manufacturer of shredding systems was the UK’s Donasonic. This company’s offering is based on cutting edge design, technology, manufacture and installation, thereby providing a full range of recycling solutions for a variety of waste materials that need disposal solutions. The shredders manufactured are able to deal with a variety of materials and sizes and operate in primary, secondary or fine capacities. Of specific interest is its Monsoon cable shredder. This is comprised of a high power one shaft cutting mechanism with rotor and stator blades and a purpose designed built-in sieve for the required output material. A touchscreen panel on the control terminal electronically controls the automatic forward and backward motion for blockages.
At the cutting edge
Shredders are only as good as their teeth and blades and it was interesting to see manufacturers represented. Grinder Max showed a selection of its German manufactured shredder blades. These are produced for a variety of manufacturers of single shaft shredders such as Weima, Vecoplan, Untha, Lindner, Dragon Machinery, etc. Likewise, Fernite of Sheffield is a company specializing in knife blades, with its products being sold worldwide. A. F. Whiteley is Fernite’s granulator blade division, supplying premium quality knives to the plastics and recycling sectors. They offer a fast and reliable regrind service to restore blades back to manufacturer condition. The company is able to match its output to the needs of shredder manufacturers, as it possesses an extensive library of drawings for a wide range of machine makes and models. Thus they are able to supply a range of blades to suit different applications including tough tipped blades which offer enhanced wear resistance and can be used to granulate corrosive material or contaminated feedstocks.
Outside demonstration area
Unlike previous years, the outside demonstration area was not well represented. Molson Plant exhibited Terex shredders, a Finlay screen and a TromALL trommel along with some telehandlers. Of particular interest however was Fogmaker International AB, which is a producer of fire suppression systems for all types of machinery and engine bays. The company demonstrated its proven fire suppression system that is designed to work independently of a vehicles own power supply in order to ensure that it is ready to perform whatever the situation.
Lectures and debates
As well as exhibitors displaying their services and equipment, a series of lectures and debates were also arranged at RWM. These included a CEO panel, marketing and servicing local authorities and dealing with waste crime. The latter discussed opportunities to develop new ways of working in order to maximize impact, build new partnerships and outline which strategies or campaigns have worked and which ones haven’t in reducing waste crime. Other items of note discussed included plastics, the circular economy, landfill taxes and improving the quality of recycling.
There is certainly a lot to be seen at RWM. The NEC isn’t the perfect location and is vast — but with some planning, the show is well worth a visit especially since the products and services are targeted directly at the waste and recycling industry. With a bit of investigation, attendees are able to discover items of direct interest to their specific business. Any construction or demolition business requiring recycling and/or processing waste would certainly benefit from attending.