Sensor Instruments
Entwicklungs- und Vertriebs GmbH
Schlinding 15
D-94169 Thurmansbang
Telefon +49 8544 9719-0
Telefax +49 8544 9719-13

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01.09.2023 Sensor systems for recyclate control in the plastics industry for laboratory and inline use ()
31.08.2023 Checking the plastic type of recyclates and virgin material using NIR technology ()
22.12.2020 SPECTRO-M-10-MIR - Contrôle en ligne de minces couches d’huile sur du métal



Sensor systems for recyclate control in the plastics industry for laboratory and inline use

While downcycling of plastic products still predominated in the past, the form of recycling in which the reused plastic is put to the same or a comparable use is now becoming increasingly important. This in turn means considerable additional technical effort in separating and sorting the items delivered to the recycling plant throughout the recycling process

After separation of as many non-plastics as possible, for example by means of metal separators and wind separation, sorting is currently primarily by color (color sorting systems) and type of plastic (NIR cameras). Despite pre-sorting, where mainly whole articles are checked, as well as post-sorting (after shredding the plastic articles and subsequent washing) of the plastic particles known as flakes, it is not possible to achieve 100% grade purity. Certain variations in color must also be expected..

In order to allow unrestricted use of the recyclates produced in this way, they must be checked for purity before the next processing step, at the very latest immediately before extrusion. Typically, this could be done by a metering system equipped with appropriate sensors. The degree of purity of both the color and the type of plastic is monitored. If the purity falls below a certain level, less recycled material is added and more virgin material is added, so that the deviations in the final article in terms of color and plastic type are within the required tolerances.

Furthermore, additional sensors can be used to detect a marker from the TAGTEC family contained in the recyclate (contained in the masterbatch from Gabriel Chemie). In the case of articles of the same color and plastic type, markers are used, for example, to distinguish between a clear PET ketchup bottle and a clear PET shampoo bottle. In addition to the actual sensor technology for testing the color, the type of plastic and the presence of any TAGTEC markers, the company Sensor Instruments also offers test systems for the laboratory, including the appropriate accessories for calibrating the devices, as well as inline devices, which will be explained in more detail below.
► Whitepaper (pdf)
► Product Overview (pdf)

              Color                  Plastic type              Marker    



Checking the plastic type of recyclates and virgin material using NIR technology

Open spectrographs, designed as hyperspectral cameras, are usually used in the recycling sector to perform the separation of different plastics. Working in combination with a broadband NIR light source (e.g. built up from high-intensity halogen spotlights), these cameras combine a moderate spatial resolution with a good spectral resolution of the objects. A further procedure directs a high-intensity NIR light source onto a surface to be scanned via a polygon mirror, whilst an optical unit is directed onto the polygon mirror. This means that part of the NIR light impinges on it after it has impinged on and been reflected from the object via the rear optical path, from where it is directed onto the aperture of an NIR grating spectrometer. Both procedures enable the spectral detection of a relatively large NIR wavelength range with simultaneous spatial resolution. This means for example, that different objects adjacent to each other on a conveyor belt and which pass through the detection area simultaneously are detected as separate objects, whilst being spectrally differentiated.

Plastic granulates on the other hand, do not require individual spectral differentiation. Instead, an integral process should record as many plastic pellets as possible at the same time, thereby obtaining reliable information about the quality or purity of the product. The complex technology that would be necessary to determine the spatial resolution is unnecessary and can be dispensed with. In principle however, an NIR spectrometer with optics and NIR illumination could be considered, but would represent a cost-intensive solution.

A more cost-effective alternative is a system that works in accordance with the three-range procedure. This measuring procedure directs three different NIR LED types (each LED type covers a specific wavelength range in the NIR) at the plastic granulate to be investigated, and a broadband NIR receiver detects the light reflected diffusely by the pellets. This is converted and passed on to an evaluation unit.
► Whitepaper (pdf)

   (NIR sensor fixed optics version)

   (NIR sensor fiber optics version)


SPECTRO-M-10-MIR - Contrôle en ligne de minces couches d’huile sur du métal

Le procédé IRM qui a été mis en œuvre dans les capteurs SPECTRO-M a été développé par Sensor Instruments afin de pouvoir détecter de très minces couches organiques sur des surfaces métalliques. C’est la raison pour laquelle les capteurs SPECTRO-M sont justement prédestinés à la détection et au contrôle en ligne de minces films d’huile sur du métal.

Il s’agit dans la pratique de contrôler le processus de déshuilage de pièces, resp. l’homogénéité d’une application d’huile. Nous avons également constaté pendant les tests qui accompagnaient le développement que ce système permet aussi de très bien enregistrer les caractéristiques d’évaporation et les résidus d’huile de coupe sur des surfaces métalliques dans des conditions d’application réalistes (couches minces).

Nous avons en outre également effectué des tests sur des huiles d’estampage spéciales de la série CLF de Raziol, dont les résultats sont résumés dans la section 6 du document.

Le présent document décrit le principe de capteur du capteur en ligne SPECTRO-M-10-MIR/(MIR1+MIR2) de Sensor Instruments. D’autres capteurs SPECTRO-M de ce type avec d’autres géométries de mesure sont en développement. Nous sommes en outre, en tant que développeurs de capteurs spéciaux, également en mesure d’adapter la technologie pour des applications spéciales et des souhaits de clients.
► Whitepaper (pdf)




Participation au salons :

 •   InterBattery 2024
•   R-24
 •   Automation World AIMEX 2024
 •   IFAT Munich 2024
 •   FIP 2024
 •   PRS Europe 2024
 •   SKZ Innovation Day Recycling
 •   SKZ Network Day
 •   SKZ Technology Day
 •   PRS Middle East & Africa 2024
 •   Plastics Recycling World Expo
Europe 2024
 •   Plastics Recycling World Expo
North America 2024
 •   PRS Asia 2024
 •   PRS India 2024


Communiqués de presse :

Calibrage en ligne de la couleur sur des matières plastiques recyclées
(Systèmes de colorimétrie en ligne)

Test report on Inline color measurement of recyclates ()
(Système de colorimétrie en ligne)

Livres blancs :

Sensor systems for recyclate control in the plastics industry for laboratory and inline use ()
Checking the plastic type of recyclates and virgin material using NIR technology ()


Nouvelles applications :

Détection de creux et de bosses sur des bandes métalliques estampées
(N° 801)
Distinction de composants d’habitacle en cuir, en textile et en plastique
(N° 802)
Mesure de la couleur de couvercles en plastique
(N° 803)

GLOSSAIRE: Qu’est-ce que ...
... la tension superficielle ?
... l’évaporation de l’huile ?
... la mesure de l’épaisseur d’une
    couche d’huile ?


Nouveautés logiciels:
SPECTRO3-MSM-DIG-Scope V1.8 (2021.10.20)



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