Metallco AS – the Norwegian market leader in recycling non-ferrous metals and steel scrap - collects and sorts all types of scrap metal and turns the collected raw materials into new aluminium in its in-house smelting plant. With two STEINERT EddyC® eddy current separators and several X-ray sorting systems with transmission and fluorescence technology, Metallco is utilizing the latest key technologies in metal sorting. Keeping pace with the times, Metallco is also installing a STEINERT LSS®| LIBS sorting system for separating aluminium by alloy type. CEO and majority owner Laurie Feinberg explains the challenges posed by the international business of recycling metals and how STEINERT sorting technology solves them.

When searching for technology partners, Feinberg examined various systems, and was impressed by the STEINERT portfolio: "We evaluated four different suppliers and, in the end, we found STEINERT to be the one which was competitive in price and superior in experienced quality. That's why we chose STEINERT, which so far has proved to be a good choice."

Feinberg emphasizes the reliability of the machines. "These machines don't need a lot of maintenance and servicing. This means they're very reliable and they simply work and work and work for us, which is very good for our company."

Quality begins with sorting

The first step of metal recovery at Metallco is shredding the scrap that is delivered. "Then, the metal fraction goes into the sorting plant that we just purchased from STEINERT. Here, we sort into heavy and aluminium fractions. Today, we separate cast from wrought aluminium. Soon, with the LIBS machine, we will also be able to separate alloys."

Along with screening and conveyor technology, the Metallco machine fleet includes magnetic and eddy current separators as well as sensor-based sorting systems. With X-ray transmission, X-ray fluorescence and optical detection systems, the sorting systems utilize a broad range of state-of-the-art sensor-driven detection technologies. Two STEINERT XSS T EVO 5.0 X-ray transmission sorting systems connected in series ensure a high level of purity. The latest machine that the Norwegians have ordered is a LIBS machine - LIBS is short for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy - that will enable them to sort aluminium alloys from series 1 to 8000.

Fit for the market

According to Feinberg, Metallco operates in a market that is subject to profound changes. “The life span of consumer products is much shorter, which is resulting in more and more waste. This means that many more people are bringing their waste to our yards for recycling. On top of that, laws and regulations stipulate that the industry needs to dismantle and sort everything which is going out of use. So, if you are tearing down a building, the iron has to be separated from the concrete. Volumes have increased a lot in recent years, as has the demand for recycled products. In addition, government regulations demand that ever more products be produced from recycled materials. It is a win-win situation for our business, I would say."