The Manchester-based resource recovery specialist, Axion Consulting has said that demand is rising for its engineering expert advice on recycling and waste processes in cases of industrial and commercial disputes.
Axion has warned process plant designers and investors that fail to keep up with the fast-moving changes in the composition of waste infeed materials could face major issues, should future disputes arise over performance and quality issues.
Axion provides a range of Expert Witness, Due Diligence and Arbitration advice services for industrial and commercial disputes. Axion’s engineers cover litigation issues, arbitration and technical support for insurers and loss adjusters.
Axion’s director Roger Morton has stated: “We are getting involved in more dispute resolution cases as some processing plants, often built in the last decade, experience issues due to the changing nature of waste materials and the rapidly changing end markets for recovered materials.
The composition of waste is changing rapidly due to changes in packaging and disposal habits, so it’s vital to plan for this right from the start of the contract. Locking a particular fixed waste composition and fixed output product specifications into the design may not allow enough future flexibility; leaving operators vulnerable to costly disputes should the plant not be able to cope.”
Designing a plant capable of handling a wide variation of waste composition may have more up front costs, but will reduce the risk of future problems.
Issues can arise at waste processing facilities for a variety of reasons. It may be that the waste is not the right composition, or it may be due to inadequate plant design, leading to the overloading of bottleneck sections of the plant which can cause poor separation efficiency, blockages and excessive breakdown.
Resolving where fault lies can required detailed and lengthy analysis to find out the causes.
Roger has advised that early consultation with engineers to include flexibility within the plant’s capabilities is important. He continued:
“Innovation within the waste sector means we’re now working with changing feed materials, evolving end markets and rapidly-developing technology. Construction and operation contracts that allow more collaborative working between local authority clients, plant operators and plant builders will mitigate the need for action in the future.”
In addition to its consulting services, Axion runs its own large material recycling operation. This further’s Axion’s knowledge on the prices of recovered fuel, recycled metals and recycled plastics; the operating costs of processing plants and the likely commercial impact of failures.
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