Bunting-Redditch 2022 Review

By Paul Fears | 08 December 2022

After a very optimistic start to 2022, the year presented the world with new challenges to overcome.  Two years of negotiating the choppy waters of a pandemic was replaced by rising energy prices, material shortages and price rises, and increased interest rates; all sparked by the globally-condemned invasion of the Ukraine by Russia.

Despite the challenging economic environment, the manufacturing sector continued to push forward.  For Bunting-Redditch, there was no lessening in the demand for metal separation and detection equipment.

January started with the shipment of an Eddy Current Separator Module (including a high-intensity Permanent Drum Magnet) and ElectroStatic Separators to a Middle Eastern aluminium dross processor.  Laboratory tests at Bunting’s Customer Experience Centre had demonstrated the recovery of 1% magnetics and 20% aluminium from the crushed dross.  This level of metal recovery made the dross recycling operation financially viable.

Bunting Metal Recovery
Buntings Metal Separation Module feeder Drum Magnet and Eddy Current Separator used to recover aluminium from dross

The Eddy Current Separator theme continued in the month with the shipment of a 2-metre wide Eddy Current Separator and Drum Magnet to a wood recycler in Scotland.  Successful wood recycling requires several stages of metal separation using Overband Magnets, Drum Magnets and Eddy Current Separators.  Failure to remove the metal compromises the reusability of waste wood.

In February, the focus moved away from recycling to food when the UK Food Standards Agency reported the recall of Yoplait Frubes due to suspected contamination by small pieces of metal.  Effective magnetic separators and metal detectors prevent such brand-damaging PR.

The importance of magnetic separation was highlighted by our Press Officer, Paul Fears, when he looked back over his 30-year career.  Although the technology has advanced and the number of applications has increased, the basic principles remain the same as when Paul started his career in magnetic separation in 1989.

Appropriately, at the end of February a group of Young British Metal Recyclers from the British Metal Recyclers Association (BMRA) visited Bunting-Redditch to learn about the latest metal separation technology.  The Bunting team of Professor Neil Rowson, Phil Tree, Tom Higginbottom, Joe Cetti and Alison Flower demonstrated new ways to recover metals like fragmented stainless steel and even fine copper wire.

Bunting’s then President and CEO, Bob Bunting, visited the European operations for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March.  Bob got the opportunity to see the expansion of the Redditch plant, which was vital to manage the increased demand for equipment.

Bob Bunting at Redditch Plant
Bob Bunting visits Bunting Redditch

The importance of recycling is highlighted in a review of the recycling of UPVC windows.  353,000 tonnes of window profiles and related products got recycled in the UK in 2020 and this would not have been possible without adequate metal separation equipment.

The focus turned to IFAT at the end of May, the world’s leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management.  The Bunting stand was manned by the European sales team and local German representative Marcel Graf from 3SMI.  The exhibition gave Bunting the opportunity to showcase the latest in metal separation technology including the ElectroStatic Separator, ElectroMax Overband Magnet, and the Stainless Steel Magnetic Separator.

Exhibitions remained a priority in June with the return of the Hillhead exhibition, celebrating its 40-year anniversary.  Bunting has exhibited at the quarrying, construction and recycling show for decades and the team enjoyed a sun-kissed show.  Once again, Bunting’s popular range of Permanent Overband Magnets and Metal Detectors drew visitors to the stand.

Bunting Hillhead
The Bunting Team at Hillhead 2022

The exhibition fever continued when Bunting exhibited at Ceramitec 2022, the world’s leading trade fair for the ceramics industry.  At the show, Bunting demonstrated the role of the high-intensity Electro Magnetic Filter in removing very fine iron and magnetic particles from slips and glazes.

“It was brutal” was Paul Fears’ comment after completing the 10nTaff challenge in early July.  In just over 55 hours, Paul and a group of Dads climbed the five highest mountains in North Wales, then the five highest mountains in South Wales, before cycling 53 miles off-road from Brecon to Cardiff.  The challenge raised over £40,000 for Tŷ Hafan, a Welsh registered charity that provided holistic palliative care for children who have life-limiting conditions and which has supported all the involved Dads’ families.  Bunting was proud to sponsor the team.

Bunting-Redditch was thankful for the extra extension space in July with the pre-shipment material tests of a large Metal Separation Module (two Drum Magnets, one Eddy Current Separator and three Vibratory Feeders).  The Module was supplied with supporting framework and walkways, which was partially assembled in the plant.  Once in operation, the Module will recover small ferrous and non-ferrous metals from a diverse range of secondary metal fractions in a leading UK metal recycling operation.

Bunting's Metal Separation Module including two Drum Magnets and an Eddy Current Separator for small metal recovery
Buntings Metal Separation Module including two Drum Magnets and an Eddy Current Separator for small metal recovery

Bunting’s standing as one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-intensity magnetic separators to the mineral processing industry was highlighted when a European ilmenite producer purchased a second 2-stage Magnetic Disc Separator.

The first of three in-depth case studies featured in August looking at magnetic separators installed at the Parry & Evans waste recycling plant in Deeside, UK.  The company uses a Permanent Overband Magnet to recover ferrous metals such as steel food cans, and an Eddy Current Separator to reclaim valuable aluminium including drinks cans.

Later that month, Bunting’s Customer Experience Centre in Redditch provided the training location for students, new employees and a research and development engineer from leading European metal recyclers European Metal Recycling (EMR).  There was a focus on the challenging separation of smaller metals (e.g. copper wire) and stainless-steel.

Bunting's Eddy Current Separator at Parry and Evans Recycling plant
Buntings Eddy Current Separator in operation at Parry and Evans Recycling plant

The second case study focused on specialist metal separator HML Recycling.  HML has installed Bunting Permanent Overband Magnets in their cable recycling process, and a Metal Separation Module on a new line for recycling perfume bottle tops.

The recycling focus continued with an assessment of the problems associated with plastic waste.  The blog, entitled ‘The Plastic Waste Conundrum’, looked at the changing attitude towards plastic and especially single-use plastic products.  The article highlighted successful plastic waste recycling projects and the role of technology in further reducing the amount of unrecycled plastic waste.

Exhibitions restarted in September with the renamed RWM Letsrecycle Live Show.  The UK-based exhibition for the waste management sector featured an outer live exhibition area as well as an internal area with companies across the recycling spectrum.  Bunting’s stand was packed with operating equipment including a production-sized Eddy Current Separator and Stainless Steel Magnetic Separator.

Members of the British Metal Recyclers Association (BMRA) returned to Bunting’s Customer Experience Centre in September.  “Hosting the BMRA provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our magnetic separators to metal recycling professionals,” explained Neil Rowson, Bunting’s Laboratory Manager.

At the end of the month, Bunting once again travelled to mainland Europe to exhibit at POWTECH in Germany, the leading European trade fair for powder and bulk solids processing and analytics.  Bunting displayed the latest magnetic separators and metal detectors used to effectively remove tramp metal and very fine iron from a wide range of granules and powders.

On October 1st, Bunting announced Robert Bunting’s appointment as President and CEO of the global Bunting group.  Robert followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father with his appointment as Bunting’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  His father, Bob Bunting, assumed the position of Chairman.

Robert Bunting with Bob Bunting
Robert Bunting and Bob Bunting

Just a few weeks after the announcement, Robert joined the US and European team on the Bunting stand at the K Trade Show.  K2022 is the world’s no.1 trade fair for the plastics and rubber industries and is held in Düsseldorf, Germany every three years.  The Bunting stand for the K2022 show was their largest at any European exhibition in 2022, with a production-sized operating Eddy Current Separator and a range of metal separator stations featuring both magnetic separators and metal detectors.

The third case study of 2022 focused on WEEE recycler Zixtel Ltd.  The Zixtel evolution began in the midst of the global pandemic in 2020, when the company changed their focus to recycling and purchased the Bunting Metal Separation Module.  Zixtel Ltd have since developed a reputation for metals recovery from a wide range of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and waste discarded by other recycling companies.

Bunting at the K 2022 Trade Show
The Bunting team at K2022

In November, the engineering design and manufacturing capabilities of the Bunting Group were stretched with the building of a 11.6 metre Stainless Steel Separation Conveyor.  The incredible magnetic separator was built at Bunting’s Kansas manufacturing facility for an automotive recycling plant in North Carolina, USA.

The final news story of 2022 focused on a high-intensity Electro Magnetic Filter designed and built for a leading German ceramics manufacturer.  The Electro Magnetic Filter generates peak magnetic peaks of up to 2 Tesla on the matrix points and removes fine iron and magnetic particles from glaze to reduce product defects and increase surface brightness.

“This year presented very different challenges to 2020 and 2021,” said Adrian Coleman, General Manager of Bunting-Redditch.  “Thanks to our employees, customers and suppliers, we have had another successful year.  The expanded manufacturing facility means that we have the capacity to meet the growing demands of our customers.  We look forward to continuing our evolution, investing in our facility and workforce, and implementing new working practices to further improve our equipment and service.  2023 is going to be another exciting year.”

For further information on Magnetic Separators, Eddy Current Separators, and ElectroStatic Separators for metal separation in recycling applications or to discuss a specific project including undertaking tests in our Customer Experience Centre, please contact our technical sales team on:

Email: Gordon Kerr at GKerr@buntingmagnetics.com

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