Title
An Improved Recycling Machine
Microcontroller technology improves efficiency, competitiveness and feature count
Technologies used

    Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Specialised machinery manufacturers
    333 Process Control Equipment
Abstract

Blossom Design Ltd is a small family owned engineering company. Formed in 1965 as a sub-contract machining facility for local industry and employing only one person, it now sells its products throughout the UK and exports into other European countries and America, employing 10 people and with sales of 650 kEur p.a. Over the last 10 years the company has developed a range of specialised recycling machinery for application in the recycling of timber, plastics, paper, wires and cables, and other materials for a wide range of industrial sectors. Generally, the company's shredders are used to convert bulky materials into a more compact form appropriate for recycling and the specialist knowledge and expertise possessed by the company enables it to tailor design the control system for each machine to suit its particular application. These recycling machines are marketed through a specialist sales office (Granutech Saturn Systems Ltd) in Bolton, UK, of which the managing director of Blossom Design has a share holding.

The control applied to these shredding machines currently is simple, and consists of the use of various over limit switches and a Programmable Logic Controller to slow or reverse the speed of feeder rams and shredding rotor. The wide range of applications that these recycling machines are applied to means that the control process is not optimal, prevents the development of a universal shredding machine, requires each machine to be set up and commissioned in the customers premises by the company service engineer and often requires the company to develop new control programs for various applications.

The objective of this application experiment was to apply microcontroller technology so as:

  • To develop an universal shredding machine based on the following technical improvements.
    1. To allow the selection of control algorithms by material type.
    2. To increase the number and range of sensors fitted to the recycling machine, and to select the appropriate range of sensors depending on the materials being processed.
    3. To apply more complex control algorithms to improve the productivity of the machine.
  • To provide features for the integration of the system into up and down stream processing plant.

The cost of the AE was 47 kEur and its duration was 11 months. These improvements will enable the company to improve their technological position relative to competitive machinery and allow them to hold their market share in the growth market place for environmental processing/recycling machinery. This will result in additional sales, and an expected payback period of 16 months for the application experiment costs. The return on investment over a 4 year period will be 600%, or 390% when industrialisation costs of 26 K Euro are included.

Company

    Blossom Design Ltd
    Blossom Works
    New Inn
    Pencader
    Carmarthenshire
    SA39 9AY
    United Kingdom.


Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Blossom Design Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.


Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
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