DS Smith has implemented new measuring technologies across Europe in the hopes of improving the quality of raw materials and increasing transparency with suppliers.

The new system, Moisture Gate, measures moisture content in Paper for Recycling (PfR), one of the main elements determining the performance of fibres when entering the papermaking process. Moisture levels above those determined by industry standards can lead to the deterioration of fibre content and contribute to issues with safe storage and handling, as well as processing efficiency.

According to DS Smith, measuring moisture in PfR has traditionally been challenging and time-consuming. The company says that these methods often only manage to spot check individual paper bales arriving for recycling, rather than giving an overall measurement. With trucks carrying an average of 25 metric tonnes of PfR arriving hourly, DS Smith set out to develop an innovative and efficient system that would aim to assure more accurate and reliable results of the total volume of inbound PfR.

Under the new process, trucks arriving at a mill must pass through a “Moisture Gate” which radiates the area between the antennae and scans the load using microwave technology. DS Smith says that in less than one minute, an accurate moisture content readout is delivered, helping to measure the quality of material going into the mill. The system allows for the uninterrupted flow of vehicles, reportedly securing premium materials for recycling and papermaking as well as increased efficiency in operations.

Nuno Messias, Paper for Recycling Purchasing Director at DS Smith Recycling Division in Iberia commented: “The new process allows us to collect reliable and transparent data to resolve quality issues at the source. We expect to see increased manufacturing yields, encouraged by a more transparent reporting system which will provide clearer communications to customers.”