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Looking for inductive sensor-based solutions for ferrous and non-ferrous metals detection to be integrated in sensor-based sorting equipment

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TRES20190205001
Publication Date: 5 February 2019


A Spanish company that develops and manufactures sensor-based  waste sorting equipment is looking for providers of inductive sensoring solutions of ferrous and non-ferrous metals detection to be integrated in the machine-vision sorters manufactured by the company. They are interested in a technical cooperation agreement or a commercial agreement with technical assistance.


The Spanish company is a sensor-based sorting specialist in a wide range of waste material sorting solutions, including optical sorting. 

They are looking for metal detection solutions for the separation of ferrous and non-ferrous materials in a same stream, and, subsequently, in a different machine, for the differentiation of two or three ferrous materials and three or four non-ferrous materials.

The inductive sensoring solution is to be integrated in existing equipment of the company that currently provides only machine-vision sorting solutions.

The Spanish company manufactures two types of sensor-based sorters in terms of the particle-size of the materials to be sorted: particles from 2 to 50 millimetres and particles from 50 to 300 millimetres. The width of the sorters varies mostly from 1 to 2 metres, until 3 metres. Most of the materials to be treated correspond to municipal and industrial wastes, after-shredder residues (ASR) of end-of-life vehicles (ELV), electronic waste (WEEE), etc.

Figure 1 shows the combination of inductive detection and machine vision technologies of different equipment, for small or large particle-size materials, that the Spanish company is developing. The inductive sensoring solution sought corresponds to the technology described with “number 3”.

In a first working scenario, the inductive sensors sought must detect the ferrous and non-ferrous particles contained in a wide range of mixed waste streams consisting of different amounts of metal contents, plastics, glass, etc. In a second scenario, the inductive sensors must differentiate mostly iron and steel of the ferrous stream. In a third scenario, the inductive sensors must differentiate mostly aluminum, copper, stainless steel, brass of the non-ferrous stream.

The company is interested in a technical cooperation agreement or a commercial agreement with technical assistance with solution providers in order to integrate the inductive sensoring solution in the current machine-vision equipment manufactured by the company.

A team of highly skilled engineers of the Spanish company will technically support the solution providers with the integration of the technology in the company equipment.

Even if a ready-to-use solution is preferred by the company, the solution may also correspond to a joint development of the provider with the Spanish company.

Expertise sought

-	Spatial resolution requested corresponds to 32 millimetres for the stream of larger particle-size material and 8 millimetres for the small particle-size material stream. 

- The temporal resolution request (sampling) corresponds to the analysis every 1.5 milliseconds of the whole width (perpendicular axis) of the material stream (1 to 3 metres).

- The inductive sensor must be able to provide the data in a synchronous mode based on the company’s internal-clock signal.

- Data resolution should be over 8 bits, directly transmitted by Ethernet cabling to the PC that operates with Linux and also processes the optical information detected at the same time by machine-vision cameras. In the case that the volume of data is too large, the data could be pre-processed (binarising through one or more thresholds, compressing) before being sent to the processor. The system could also cumulate the data lines obtained each 1.5 milliseconds and send them to the programmable logic computer (PLC) by blocks of lines.

Requested partner

The Spanish Company is looking for providers of integral solutions or engineering electronic companies with the necessary expertise to develop the required technology.

The solution sought may be applied as well in other sectors different from the waste sorting and recycling. So the partners sought may be as well providers of solutions for quality control laboratories and manufacturing companies of metallic components with the same need as the Spanish company.

The partners sought are expected to provide an inductive sensoring solution or adapt an existing technology to the specific requirements of the Spanish company. Depending on the stage of development of the solution the collaboration could run through a technical cooperation agreement or a commercial agreement with technical assistance.

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