Bunting-Redditch reflects on a record-breaking year

Towards the end of 2022 a Stainless Steel Separation Conveyor (SSSC) leaving BMRA Service member, Bunting’s, manufacturing facility in Kansas, USA was the largest built so far. The model SSSC 12-24-462 may only be 0.61-metres wide, but sits at the end of an 11.6-metre-long conveyor.  The high-intensity magnetic separator is destined for installation in an automotive recycling plant in North Carolina.

This comes as Bunting-Redditch reports a record-breaking sales output in 2022. Despite the global economic challenges, the demand for Bunting’s metal separation equipment has never been higher.  Equipment sales to companies in the recycling, plastics, mining, and mineral processing sectors drove sales growth in the year.

Stainless Steel Separation Conveyor 

The 11.6-metre long SSSC 12-24-462 Stainless Steel Separation Conveyor

The Stainless Steel Separation Conveyor (SSSC) features a patented ultra-strong Neodymium magnetic head roll positioned at the end of a conveyor. The intense magnetic strength enables the recovery of weakly magnetic mid-sized fragmented stainless-steel from automotive shredder residue (ASR).

After initial application discussions, the recycler reviewed the installation and concluded that they required a single, longer SSSC rather than the standard 3.7-metre long unit.  This would then negate the requirement for an additional inline feed conveyor.

The 11.6-metre long SSSC was far longer than any previously built unit, which posed a number of challenges for Bunting’s design engineering team.  During the design process, the team considered the belt support system, the drive mechanics, and the heavy-duty framework and housing requirement for such an arduous application.  Using knowledge of supplying Shredder Feeder Conveyors to the plastics and waste industries, the team modified the standard SSSC design and extended the belt length to 11.6-metres.

Once in production, the SSSC 12-24-462 will handle between 1-1.6 tonnes per hour of mixed automotive shredder residue.

The automotive recycler also ordered a patented High Intensity Separation Conveyor (HISC), with a standard 300mm long conveyor.  The model HISC 6-24-48 recovers fragmented stainless-steel from smaller sized scrap.

“Extending the SSSC belt from 3.7 to 11.6-metres was not straight forward,” explained Wendell Love, Bunting’s Product Manager for Material Handling Equipment for Recycling.  “Our engineering team worked closely with the customer to ensure that the final design perfectly matched their installation requirements.  The result is a monster-sized SSSC and another exciting metal recycling project for Bunting.”

Metal Separators for Recycling

“The extension to our premises [in 2020-2021] has enabled us to make improvements in our manufacturing processes to facilitate this growth,” explained Adrian Coleman, General Manager of Bunting-Redditch.

Sales growth of Bunting’s range of equipment for the recycling industry highlighted the company’s status as a leading global supplier of magnetic separators, eddy current separators, electrostatic separators, and metal detectors.

Stainless Steel Separator demonstrations for the BMRA

“Sales of Eddy Current Separators exceeded all expectations in 2022,” explained Adrian. “We have developed an excellent reputation that was never more apparent than in June when we had one of the leading metal recyclers in Europe at our Redditch plant undertaking pre-shipment tests on a triple-stage metal separation module.”

Metal separation technology developed by Bunting, including the ElectroStatic Separator and Stainless-Steel Magnetic Separators, provide separation solutions for fine metals and fragmented stainless-steel that were previously not possible. This technology helps recyclers move closer to zero waste targets.

During the year, Bunting entertained visitors from the BMRA, EMR, and many other companies at its Customer Experience Centre. The demonstrations and tests highlighted the separation capabilities of a wide-range of equipment.

Overband Magnet Evolution

Bunting was the first company to introduce the classic Permanent Overband Magnet in the 1980s.  In 2022, an increasing number of mobile and recycling plant manufacturers are sourcing the overband magnets from Bunting.

“There is a constant stream of Overband Magnets passing through our manufacturing plant,” said Adrian.

The development of the air-cooled ElectroMax and ElectroMax-Plus Overband Magnets has proven particularly successful.  Being air-cooled, the ElectroMax is both a lighter and more compact electro overband magnet than traditional oil-cooled designs without any compromise in magnetic power.  Sales have been particularly strong in the recycling and mining sectors.

Export Focus

The increased export focus, with the establishment of offices in Italy and Switzerland, contributes significantly to the sales growth.  The appointment of the experienced and well-respected Marcel Graef of 3SMI as Bunting’s agent in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland has created new export sales opportunities.

“Marcel has decades of sales experience with metal separation equipment and has been instrumental in developing business in new markets,” said Adrian.

Many new customers first met the Bunting team at one of the seven international exhibitions attended in the year.  The final exhibition of 2022 was the K2022 Show (Germany, October 2022), promoted as the world’s no. 1 trade fair for plastics and rubber. 

“Our visibility at globally-leading exhibitions increased our profile and introduced our equipment to companies who have since become customers,” explained Adrian.  “Exhibiting at the K2022 show highlighted the importance of the plastics sector for Bunting.”

2023 Opportunities and Challenges

“2022 started with such positivity after the pandemic, but we were then confronted by the economic turmoil caused by the war in Ukraine.  This caused material shortages and price rises,” explained Adrian.  “However, the demand for our equipment continued, with an increasing number of new customers.  As 2022 draws to a close, we [Bunting] are perfectly positioned to maintain that sales growth in 2023 and beyond.”

Bunting representatives will be on stand 33 at the 21st International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2023 (January 18-20, Salzburg, Austria), to highlight the rise in the use of specialist metal separators including the ElectroStatic Separator, Eddy Current Separator, and Stainless Steel Separator.