The MRF Operations Forum is the only event specifically dedicated to plant operations, not policy and markets.
The forum is the result of many conversations with plant owners and operators who desire in-depth discussions on issues in operating a material recovery facility (MRF). Faced with the dual challenge of increasingly complex and capital-intensive equipment and radically changing markets and material streams, meaningful discussions with industry professionals is invaluable.
Technology Has Changed Plant Operations
Material recovery facilities (MRFs) have become more and more complex as machinery and systems have become more advanced. Robotic sorting, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are the newest technologies reshaping MRF operations, while fiber screens are being replaced with better solutions.
Optimizing this equipment to run efficiently is challenging. It requires plant operators to understand each component, how these components relate to one another and to the material streams being processed. It’s no easy job.
Advancements in technology also mean that retrofitting new components into a plant can add real boosts to production, efficiency and material quality. Understanding when and how to do this is critical; it can provide a tremendous competitive advantage or become a costly mistake.
Materials and Markets Have Changed Plant Operations
At the same time, material flows have changed. Lightweighting means that the volume of material that constitutes a ton has grown drastically. Long fiber has largely disappeared from the flows with the reduction in newspapers, while single-sheet fiber, old corrugated containers (OCC) and boxboard volumes have grown.
All of this has occurred while end markets in China have all but disappeared, creating a new paradigm for quality measurement and materials marketing with a growing emphasis toward domestic mills.