Interview with CEO Eric van Looy

May 17, 2018

We were interviewed by Metalface and like to share this with you. Learn some facts about our company and our history.

Eric, please introduce how long you are working in this business?

For more than 2 decades my company is developing, building and selling sorting machines. It all started at Mogensen GmbH & Co KG in Wedel, Germany close to Hamburg. Here I was happy to be selected to design the first color sorter machine at that time for Recycling applications, called MikroSort. We started with glass sorters and soon began metals sorting on post ECS material streams. Later as a shareholder and CEO at SSE GmbH and a member of the CommoDaS group we designed the first belt sorters for the metal recycling and sorting industry. We developed and introduced the Finder, SpectraSense, and CombiSense in the market with success, 6 years later the group was bought by Titech GmbH.

Do you see some trends in the metal trading industry these days? Please share your thoughts.

The trends in sorting I see today are mainly pushed by the automotive industry and China’s legislation for material import, the high demand of aluminium for cars and many different new aluminium alloys, are asking for new sorting solutions for these materials. Here the latest development of S2S LIBSense machines, where LIBS-technology is able to analyze the different elements of each material piece passing by the laser head and allows to use this information in real time to detect and separate the different alloys. In other words, with this technology, we are able to separate different aluminium alloys, such as 5000/ 6000 series for the automotive or any other metal, but also wrought from cast or magnesium from aluminium.

Comparing today and beginning of your career, what are the main differences in the industry?

This is a lot, in the nineties. Sorting technology at the metal recycling yard was with a magnet and the ECS (Eddy Current Separator). It was very difficult to convince the owners that they still lose a lot of valuable metals after the ECS, because it was standard and most of the yards made their money with Ferrous and were not focused on the nonferrous that much. It was the Induction Sorter we introduced to recover the lost metals such as Stainless steel and the copper wires from the ECS drops (ECS accept stream).

In the beginning of this century, when we introduced the belt sorters, it became a standard very slowly to install an Induction sorter after every ECS. With this machine invention, we made a start to improve metal recovery worldwide, save more resources, introduce new material qualities as well as reducing waste and landfilling.

Today we cannot live without those sensor-based sorting steps in our modern sorting plant and this will continue growing also in the next decennia’s since we still have so many ideas.

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