The development of new processing techniques was influenced by the main focus on mineral raw materials in the past. In contrast waste processing methods were developed as an independent field of activity with specialised process technologies which had to take the specific character of waste materials into account. Simultaneously new and rapid developments in computer and sensor techniques implicated changed working principles. This had positive effects also on progresses in processing techniques.
Thus, numerous processing device alternatives could be developed especially in the field of dry separation techniques which utilized “new” characteristics for the sorting of materials. The adaptation of analytical methods like near infrared detection or intelligent image recognition and evaluation resulted in remarkable innovations regarding automatic sorting machines. Today, many sensor based machines are available for the treatment of primary and secondary raw materials. In comparison to traditional processing techniques these systems are operating more cost-efficient and are guaranteeing higher throughputs. As the application ranges of these sorting machines are expanding steadily the relevance of sensor based sorting techniques is rising in all areas of processing. This fact was the motivation for the Department of Materials Processing, RWTH Aachen University and the GDMB German Society of Mining, Metallurgy, Raw Materials and Environmental Technology to conduct the last symposium “Sensor Based Sorting” in March 2008. The 230 participants agreed that this event was a great success especially regarding the topic as well as the wide spectrum of information.
Because of the great international response a fifth edition of the conference “Sensor Based Sorting” will take place under the scientific management of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Pretz and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hermann Wotruba in the Eurogress Aachen from 17th to 19th of April 2012. The presentations will be held exclusively in English language and will deal with sorting operations which detect diverse material characteristics of the feed material by the use of intelligent sensor technology followed by a selective discharge of positively identified particles. Hereby, the progresses in sorting e.g. of minerals, scrap metals, plastics, waste paper, RDF, packaging waste, glass cullet and agricultural products will be addressed. Throughout the symposium there will be a poster presentation and an exhibition. The aim is to get plant operators, producers and developer into an intensive contact.