Balcones Resources, CP Group partner on extensive system retrofit
The upgrade features three Cirrus FiberMax optical sorters from Nashville, Tennessee-based MSS Inc.
CP Group

Balcones Resources, CP Group partner on extensive system retrofit

New equipment at Balcones' Austin, Texas, MRF addresses fiber purity and recovery, decreases maintenance and increases throughput.

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October 15, 2019

Balcones Resources Inc., Austin, Texas, has partnered with CP Group, San Diego, to upgrade its single-stream residential and commercial material recovery facility (MRF) in Austin. The upgrade of the 100,000-square-foot facility that was opened in 2012 was prompted by changing market conditions, rising labor costs and new technology, according to a news release issued by CP Group.

In 2018, Balcones committed to working with CP Group on a system retrofit designed to increase throughput, decrease operating costs and improve fiber recovery and purity. Balcones and CP tested and analyzed several scenarios to determine the correct design arrangement and use of optical sorters.   

The retrofit was completed in May and features three Cirrus FiberMax optical sorters from Nashville, Tennessee-based MSS Inc., the optical sorting division of CP Group. FiberMax optical sorters run at 1,000 feet per minute on 112-inch-wide belts using near-infrared (NIR) technology to clean the fiber streams using positive and negative sorting, according to CP Group.

“After a lengthy project analysis, we decided to work with CP Group because their success in the marketplace, advanced technology and experienced team gave us confidence in our investment,” says Kerry Getter, Balcones Resources CEO. “MSS demonstrated our material and proved the results we needed to achieve to make the investment. We are already seeing those results at our facility,” he adds.  

The FiberMax optical sorters has been focused on removing fugitive plastics and other nonconforming items from the paper stream. This creates cleaner material and a more valuable product, CP Group says. 

The retrofit also includes a new four-deck CP Glass Breaker screen to remove glass and fines, a 140-inch-wide CP AntiWrap Screen, CP’s newest fiber screen that separates large fiber from other materials and a 140-inch-wide CPScreen to separate small mixed paper. The new glass breaker was implemented to increase glass recovery and eliminate disc wear. The fiber screens were upgraded to increase material recovery while greatly reducing the labor required to clean the screens, according to CP Group. 

The equipment upgrade included new software designed to help Balcones better understand its production through quantified data. Through the use of an integrated SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) package, Balcones can track production on its balers, including daily material totals, as well as inbound and outbound material volumes on each line.

“Balcones really pushed us to offer the very best in technology that would serve them for many years to come,” says Branden Sidwell, CP sales engineer.

“Working with the Balcones team has been a real pleasure,” he continues. “As operators and marketers of their material, they really know their numbers. When it comes to MRF design, you have to know your numbers in order to create the right solution. Balcones made it easy for us. We’re looking forward to continued work with them.”

Joaquin Mariel, vice president of operations at Balcones, will be presenting on the recent retrofit during the 2019 MRF Operations Forum, hosted by Recycling Today Events, Oct. 22 in Chicago. He will be part of the Retrofit Case Studies panel from 4 to 6 p.m.

CP Group is comprised of CP Manufacturing, Krause Manufacturing, MSS Inc. and Advanced MRF. The company provides recycling system design, manufacturing, retrofits, audits and consulting. The company provides turnkey solutions for mixed waste, residential recycling, commercial and industrial, construction and demolition and electronic scrap applications.