Electronic scrap recycling facility being built in Sweden
ABB is working with Boliden to build a plant at the electronic scrap recycling facility Rönnskär copper smelter in northern Sweden with the intent of tripling its recycling capacity. Metal recovery from scrap takes 10-15% of the energy required to refine metal from raw ore, the company said.
ABB automation and power technologies are helping metals company Boliden create the world’s largest electronic scrap recycling facility – recovering copper and precious metals from electronic scrap using only a fraction of the energy required to extract metals from ore.
Boliden is currently ramping up a new plant adjacent to its existing electronic scrap recycling facility at the Rönnskär copper smelter in northern Sweden - an expansion that will almost triple recycling capacity from 45,000 metric tons to 120,000 metric tons a year, making it the largest e-scrap recycling facility in the world.
Rönnskär is an integrated metallurgical complex, which smelts and refines metals from mined copper concentrates and from recyclable materials like metal shred and electronic scrap. E-scrap comes from computers, mobile phones, circuit boards and other electronic equipment and contains metals such as copper, gold and silver.
The pre-sorted and pre-shredded e-scrap is smelted at Rönnskär using Boliden’s proprietary Kaldo furnace technology. After smelting, the molten metals are transferred to the adjoining production lines for processing into high-grade products.
In 2010, e-scrap accounted for 6 percent of Rönnskär’s feed, with recyclable materials as a whole contributing 24 percent. When the new plant reaches full capacity in the second quarter of 2012, these figures will rise to 14 and 31 percent respectively, thus enabling Rönnskär to become less dependent on copper concentrates and more energy efficient.
Recovering metals from electronic scrap requires only 10-15 percent of the energy required to extract metals from ore. The process also supports the European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which requires 4 kg of e-scrap to be collected and sorted per head of population in the EU. This is expected to rise to 13-16 kg per person by 2016.
ABB has played a significant role in the Kaldo plant expansion and at the Rönnskär complex as a whole. For the new Kaldo plant, ABB has supplied a comprehensive range of process-critical automation and power technologies, including the process control system.
The entire e-scrap recycling process is controlled by ABB’s 800xA Extended Automation System, and includes customized features such as remote operation of the process and an exact positioning system to prevent spilling of molten metal from the furnace.
The System 800xA solution for the Kaldo plant expansion is integrated with Rönnskär’s existing System 800xA distributed control system, which controls the entire site and all its production processes. When ABB first installed the first ABB Advant automation system at Rönnskär in 1999, it was one of the largest plant control systems of all time, with more 50,000 input/output (I/O) points.
On the electrical side, the ABB solutions include low- and medium-voltage switchgear to ensure safe and reliable power distribution throughout the plant; low-voltage industrial drives to speed-control the motor applications and reduce energy consumption; and Resibloc dry-type distribution transformers, which are explosion-proof and environmentally friendly, and can withstand extreme loads and very high levels of mechanical stress and thermal shock.
- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.
2012 Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.