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AirStar® evolution launches a new era of material separation

At IFAT 2024, which takes place in Munich from May 13 to 17, the German machine manufacturer Westeria will be presenting the AirStar® evolution air separator, which has been developed from scratch, to the general public for the first time (Stand B6.329/428). This sets new standards in terms of efficiency and flexibility, adapted to the individual needs of users. The completely redesigned air guidance system offers a high degree of flexibility in fulfilling specific tasks, the new control panel facilitates adjustment and process monitoring, and the design is optimized for ease of maintenance. Energy consumption is significantly lower than before. Available in working widths from 1,000 mm to 3,000 mm, the AirStar® evolution is suitable for throughputs of up to 400 m³/h. Thanks to its modular design, it can be perfectly adapted to the task at hand, transported in a space-saving manner and assembled on site in just one day.

The new AirStar®Evolution sets new benchmarks in terms of efficiency and flexibility when separating materials ©Westeria
The new AirStar®Evolution sets new benchmarks in terms of efficiency and flexibility when separating materials ©Westeria

An essential part of almost all recycling processes, windsifting enables highly efficient separation of the components contained in waste streams based on their weight and ballistic properties. Westeria air classifiers are used worldwide for applications ranging from household waste, plastics, waste wood, refuse derived fuels, mixed construction waste, waste glass and industrial waste to scrap recycling. The AirStar, by far the manufacturer's best-selling model, is based on 40 years of development history.

NotusAir air management system optimizes sorting results

The air management system of the air classifier plays a decisive role in the efficiency and precision of the process and therefore the sorting quality. Accordingly, Westeria has invested extensively in the development of this core component of the AirStar® evolution. The result of numerous simulations, flow analyses and tests with different materials is the new NotusAir air management system. Its newly designed, controllable fan enables precise control of the air flow and can therefore reduce energy consumption by over 30 % compared to a conventional air throttle valve, which is also noisier. To optimize results, the separator drum can be adjusted horizontally, the feed belt vertically and the nozzle angle fully electrically. The specially designed air routing and a large-area hood over the light material chamber also optimize the entire separation process. This makes it possible for the first time to return a large proportion of the process air to the separation blower, reducing the amount of air to be extracted by two thirds. This makes the overall system very compact and – in addition to the energy consumption – also significantly reduces the investment volume.

Proven advantages inherited from the previous AirStar technology include the downward angle in the integrated acceleration conveyor, which prevents heavy parts with a larger surface area from being carried into the light material fraction, and the shaftless separating drum as a measure against material jamming or winding between the drum and housing. The patented, automatic misalignment control in the acceleration belt ensures even more reliable belt misalignment correction thanks to an improved sensor and new algorithm.

Intuitive operation, convenient access for all maintenance work

For the first time, the AirStar evolution enables the electrical adjustment of all separation parameters from a central and easy-to-understand control unit as standard. On delivery, the optimum settings determined for the customer's material in Westeria's TechCenter are already preset. Saving individual separation recipes enables the system to be set quickly and precisely for changing materials. The separation process and its adjustment can be observed directly through the large viewing windows on the machine. The new, intuitive user interface is so simple that even untrained personnel can operate the machine. The system can also be connected to the operator's central system control via the usual interfaces.

The new design of the AirStar evolution includes a well thought-out maintenance concept. The signal lights, visible from all sides, provide clearly recognizable information about critical machine statuses. In the event of faults, all critical points can be reached easily and in the shortest possible time. Large swing doors allow access to the separation unit from both sides, while additional convenient doors at the rear provide access to the feed conveyor. Thanks to the maintenance flaps in the lightweight material chamber, easy access is also possible here.

Numerous options for every application

A large number of possible extensions make the AirStar evolution a stationary cross-flow air classifier for all applications. Thanks to the established DiscSpreader material distribution system, narrow, irregular material feeds can be distributed across the entire belt width without the need for additional installation space. To create a third fraction, the new air separator can be equipped with the DuoDrum system, which uses two separating rollers arranged one behind the other. Alternatively, the AirLift overband extraction system, which has also been optimized, can be integrated into the lightweight material chamber to remove ultra-light materials.

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