PICVISA is a Spanish company based in Barcelona that offers artificial vision equipment for the classification of waste during its treatment and recycling. The company, among other products, provides the ECOPACK optical sorter for plastic packaging waste, such as PET, PE, PP or PS or for the tetra pack or paper & cardboard.
The ECOPACK equipment can select and classify materials by composition and/or color and is based on its own image processing software, which is specific to each application.
During this year 2019, PICVISA has launched a large number of improvements in this equipment, in order to increase the recovery rates and purities of the ECOPACK optical sorter as well as to maintain the stability of the results at the highest level.
At the sensor level, inductive sensors have been added to control the position of the blow bar. These detect when it is open or closed. A control of rotation and speed of the conveyor belt has also been added, which allows controlling when the belt is going at a different speed than the optimum for the equipment.
Regarding software improvements, new algorithms focused on different fields have been developed. One is the improvement of calibration and segmentation of materials for the ECOPACK to gain more purity and performance. Another algorithm detects multilayer materials, known as “barrier materials”, and allows them to be separated from monolayer. A third development responds to a growing market need, especially in the case of PET recyclers. It consists of the separation of the PET bottle from the PET tray, regardless of whether these are monolayer or multilayer. Finally, another recent incorporation has been deep learning algorithms, for the detection of shapes, colors and other vision characteristics.
At the maintenance level, a collapsible walkway has been incorporated in all flight boxes. Thus, users can access their interior and perform maintenance work on the blowing bars more comfortably and, above all, safely.
At the user control level, a new 15.6” touch screen has been developed, which allows a large and intuitive control of a large number of equipment parameters, such as percentages, yields and production graphs. The databases registered by the optical sorter are exportable and the Webserver accessible from any mobile device. In addition, the ECOPACK incorporates a new alarm management system adapted to the needs of each client.
The newly opened Spanish COGERSA packaging separation line, which processes 7t/h, has a total of three PICVISA optical sorters that already incorporate these improvements: two ECOPACK 2500 and an ECOPACK 2000, all of them Double Track, to separate PET, HDPE, CBA, PM and recovery of materials to recirculation.
As usual, the optical sorters have remote access, with the aim of giving the most agile response of technicians in after-sales and maintenance.
Thanks to all these improvements, PICVISA facilitates to its clients the control of the operation and adjustment of the equipment so that the collected and processed data serves as a base to the client when making strategic decisions.