Aluminium pieces in two containers

World-first x-ray technology innovation leads to 99% pure aluminium result

As the largest independent aluminium plant in the UK, we process more than 40,000 tonnes of aluminium a year.

Given the scale of the metal we handle, its original source and composition, we rely on the latest technology to provide global remelts with the highest purity grade of aluminium.

Working together to improve detection performance 

As part of this commitment, we have installed industry-leading x-ray machines from Tomra Recycling Solutions and worked closely with them to fine-tune the end result for the last five years.

“We initially started with two of Tomra’s XRT™ units several years ago, which are designed to capture larger aluminium fragments of >1.2 inches (>30 mm),” explains our commercial manager, Ed George.

“At the same time, our sorting process, which involves shredding everything we receive into various different sizes, invariably produces micro-fragments that are much smaller and difficult for the sensors to detect. We wanted to be able to capture these smaller metal pieces to provide our customers with aluminium that’s as pure as we can possibly get it.”

World-first sensor-based sorting solution

As an established UK company, we wanted to upgrade our materials to enable them to remain in the country rather than be exported. Given our excellent working relationship with Tomra, we worked closely with them to refine the capabilities of their existing XRT units to create a world-first sensor-based sorting solution.

And since the new and improved unit was installed in March this year, we have reported industry-leading results for our clients.

“The smaller fragments (10 to 30 mm) that are being captured are 99% pure aluminium, which is far more appealing to smelters and, of course, far more valuable,” explains Ed.

Next generation x-ray unit

The next generation x-ray unit has also provided us with a wealth of wider benefits, including:  

  • Faster sorting – up to 12.5ft/sec (3.8m/sec)
  • Increased capacity – per metre width
  • Sharper detection and shorter integration times 
  • Multiple application and grain size processing
  • Reduced material loss – thanks to an extended chamber
  • Safer access and faster maintenance – thanks to a new catcher hood

Ed concludes: “What we’ve achieved with Tomra is a world and industry-first. Our latest X-TRACT investment has enabled us to completely close the loop on our recycling processes and produce the highest possible grade of aluminium in the process. The impact of this innovation is delivering widespread benefits, for our customers as well as ourselves.”

For more information or to discuss your requirements with us, email Ed at