Innovative cleaning

15 November 2018

In May 2018 another Cleaning Tower was successfully commissioned at the Sonae Arauco plant in Portugal, says Pal, which is headquartered in Ponte di Piave in northeastern Italy

Pal, as a world leader in wood cleaning and preparation has, for some years, been promoting the cascade cleaning system, which, it says, reduces the footprint and the use of conveyors. It is also claimed that it achieves up to 98% efficiency in the removal of pollutants from wood.

This Sonae plant processes 40tph of recycled wood for the production of particleboard and requires the installation of two Cyclops machines to clean ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals and heavy pollutants, in the micro- and macro-fraction, respectively.

In recent years, Pal has made major investments in the NIR technology of the Cyclops, which, by optical detection, is capable of separating plastic from chips (including black ones) through a pneumatic ejection system. This facilitates the accurate removal of pollutants with minimum wood waste.

Pal says constant research has led to the evolution of this system by integrating it with detection, as well as mechanical and air-based techniques. These are applied to metals and heavy pollutants, with the latest “All-In-One” model able to eliminate metals, plastics and heavy pollutants through a single machine and a single processing phase.

What about chips from laminated or coated boards? Thanks to a double system of upper/lower video cameras, Pal says it can scan the material from multiple angles, thus detecting the presence of melamine, PVC, etc, regardless of its location with respect to the transport plane. This allows the use of large quantities of recycled wood in the production of top quality MDF.

The increasing demand for recycled wood to produce particleboard and MDF has resulted in the need to improve the cleaning process of post-consumer wood (eg, pallets\wood packaging material, demolition waste, used furniture).

Currently, MDF panels are mainly obtained from virgin wood and only a small number of producers use post-consumer recycled wood.

This, says Pal, is because:

• The process requires multiple steps of cleaning that are not enough to completely remove impurities

• The MDF panels produced are of low quality and not compliant with EN 622-5 and the EPF Standard for the delivery conditions of recycled wood

• There are not systems in the market capable of achieving a good removal of impurities. Pal claims to have changed all that with its new Cleaning Tower, combined with the optical detection characteristics of its Cyclops machine.

Pal Cleaning Tower with, inset, Cyclops detection system