Arthur’s Skips feels the efficiency of a Fraccaroli & Balzan overhead beam filter press.
Arthur’s Skips was founded in 1994 by Arthur Hartley and his son, James. In 1996 Arthur’s Skips waste transfer station was set up at Stevenson Road with the company working from the two sites until 1998 when the company outgrew those premises and moved to a 13.5-acre site on Neepsend Lane.
In 2004 further land was purchased at Hobson Avenue and today the company operate from the two sites. Currently employing over 30 people with over 2,000 skips in service; the company are currently in the process of re-licensing and changing the structure of their Hobson Avenue Site in anticipation of future growth.
Part of the investment included the supply of a Fraccaroli & Balzan Water Treatment System incorporating an incorporating an overhead beam filter press which was installed and commissioned by Max Innovate Ltd who are a specialist provider of Aggregate Washing Plants, Water Treatment Systems, Material Processing and Handling Equipment for the Quarrying, Recycling and Waste Industries. They have proven expertise in delivering best-in-class products and solutions for these industries and are the exclusive dealer for Fraccaroli & Balzan and EDGE Innovate covering England, Scotland and Wales.
Fintan McKeever – MD of Max Innovate, takes up the story, “Most of the recycling wash plants that have been installed in the UK are for processing recycled aggregates, utility waste and trommel fines. Trommel fines are a huge problem throughout the industry because there are fewer and fewer landfills that can accept them. Therefore, the purpose of installing a wash plant is to wash the trommel fines, removing all the weight out of them and recover the good aggregate for resale and remove all the detritus materials such as the organics and the lights.
“After separation all that is left is a silt product which is then processed through the water treatment plant to separate the solids from the water. The clarified water can then be re-used and the silt is processed through a filter press to produce a dry filter cake from that. The water treatment plant at Arthur’s has been sized to process 160 tons of dry solids/day; that is approximately 20 tons/hr coming from the wash plant into the water treatment plant in an 8-hour shift.
“What the filter press doesn't process throughout the working day gets stored in a large sludge buffer tank which is agitated. From there the filter press can run on after 5 o’clock and process the sludge until the sludge tanks have been completely emptied. At the beginning of the next day when they start the shift again the system is empty and ready to start processing again.”
The whole water treatment plant at Arthur’s Skips has been configured specifically to process the silt and the organics from washing trommel fines which have a high content of fibrous materials. Most of the organics and the fibrous materials are screened out of the system before the thickener. Material going into the thickener is predominantly just the silt particles to which flocculent is added to create a thick sludge within the thickener. Clarified water is then decanted over the top into a holding tank and pumped back into the wash plant. Within this system is the ability to automatically add other chemicals into the system to maintain the cleanliness of the water, subject to what the feed material is coming off the wash plant.
The plant features a low-level dynamic thickener which spreads the weight equally across the ground therefore eliminating any big load points on the civils. The design also ensures gravity feed from the cyclones on the wash plant directly into the thickener. A vibrating trash screen before the thickener removes all the organics, plastics and polystyrene keeping them all out of the water treatment system allowing only the silt and water (to which flocculent is added) to flow into the centre of the thickener and settle.
Fintan, added, “A four-arm rake system with deep ploughs on the rakes gradually pulls the settled silt from the extremities into the centre of the thickener to produce quite a thick sludge. The thicker the sludge the better, as it means there is less moisture content going into the filter press, so effectively the press has less work to do.
“Another advantage of this system is that the rakes can raise and lower, so if the sludge gets too thick the rake can plough back down into it, to dilute it, or we can lift the rake and automatically adjust it and set the system so that when the silt settles that the rake will constantly raise itself to maintain a very consistent sludge density underflow from the thickener to the sludge holding tank.”
The over beam filter press:
The Fraccaroli & Balzan overhead beam filter press offers so much more than other presses in the marketplace.
Fintan gave us the facts. “The key thing about this press is that the overhead beams sit to the side which allows full access to everything on the top. Unlike traditional overhead beams where everything sits in the middle and include a chain drive mechanism and hooks on the chains to open the plates. Eventually all those hooks and the chain wear out and if you get a press ‘blow out’ sludge will cover all the mechanism making it very hard to access and maintain everything. On the F&B press maintenance is super easy as everything sits to the side and there is full access round all sides of the press.”
Fintan, continued, “There is a robot mounted on top of the press which does three things – it opens the plates, five at a time and shakes them, which other overhead beams don’t do and also operates the automatic washing system which washes from the top down. This is completely different as alternate systems wash from the bottom up.
“It’s a very fast system and the only press in the country that has a completely flush floor so when the ‘bomb doors’ close up it’s completely flush so you can actually walk through the plates making it very easy to change the filter cloths; whereas on other presses it’s very difficult to access everything. The whole design philosophy of this plant is making everything as easy as possible, easy to access, easy to maintain, easy to service which has been a total success.”
A problem solver:
James Hartley – Director of Arthur’s Skips, commented, “The whole investment is down to the realisation of the opportunities and a way of dealing with a problem by reducing landfill. We have been flat out since commissioning and we can’t produce aggregates quick enough for the local market!
“The installation of the water treatment plant and the press has allowed us to sell the filter cakes to land restoration and we are also working with Sheffield University to get it into a product as well. There are a lot of opportunities for this material. It’s too good for landfill as it has so many good nutrients in it.
“The water treatment system is phenomenal. The whole operation wouldn’t work efficiently without it; it works effortlessly ensuring the whole system is in harmony. Absolutely first-class service from Max Innovate, a very knowledgeable team and the back-up is superb.”