What our customers say about CP Group

Automation increases material recovery, improves purity and reduces OPEX

Automation increases material recovery, improves purity and reduces OPEX


In November, 2013, Dem-Con Companies, Shakopee, MN, installed a 20 tons per hour single stream and commercial Material Recovery Facility. The MRF is housed in a 70,000 square foot building and serves the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota, and surrounding states. The facility was designed and installed by CP Group out of San Diego, CA.

The original MRF equipment includes a CP Drum Feeder, OCCScreen, GlassBreaker Screen, CPScreen, NEWScreen, MSS Aladdin optical sorter and two IPS Balers. This equipment is still in operation today. At the time of installation, the MRF was highly advanced with all new technology.

Consumer behavior and commodity markets have undergone drastic changes since the original MRF was installed. These changes, among other challenges, created a need for MRF technology improvements.

The Challenge

Multiple challenges led the Dem-Con team to undertake system retrofits:

  • Labor shortages
  • Commodity prices
  • Restrictive end-markets
  • Higher quality standards
  • Need for improved efficiencies
  • Changing consumer behavior

China announced it would stop buying contaminated paper in July, 2017. Since this announcement, recycled paper prices decreased rapidly. This has had the most drastic implications on the commodity markets and recycling as a whole in the last decade.

The China Green Fence and National Sword created a demand for improved fiber purity across all markets. These higher paper quality standards could not be met by human sorters alone without incurring severe consequences on operating expenditures and processes.

China’s end-market dissolution, changing consumer behavior, and the lowest unemployment rate since 1969 created the perfect storm. Dem-Con, being a forward-thinking, progressive and proactive company, looked at their operations and identified that new technology would be imperative.

The Solution

Dem-Con turned to their long time MRF solutions partner, CP Group, to help them with the challenges faced at their MRF. Together, the two companies worked to create a solution. Including MSS optical sorters in the solution was a no-brainer. MSS’s optical sorters solved many challenges, including the need for improved material quality and headcount reduction while processing high tonnages. MSS optical sorters have the highest linear feet of output. They process more volume utilizing the fastest speeds with the widest belts. One MSS CIRRUS® can achieve over 1,000 picks per minute.

Dem-Con and CP worked on several designs. Together, the companies created the solution that would meet Dem-Con’s challenges head-on. At the heart of the system retrofits are MSS CIRRUS® optical sorters.


“We continue to work with CP because they are responsive, listen to our needs, and always deliver on time. They had a lot of patience especially with the retrofits. We had a lot of teamwork between our companies throughout the design process. CP always has fresh and new ideas and we really value the relationship.”
Mark Pahl

Co-Owner, Dem-Con

In August 2017, a MSS CIRRUS® optical sorter was added to the 3D material coming off the tail of the CPScreen before the container line. This optical sorter was added to recover all fiber. Online consumerism created many more small cardboard boxes in this material stream. The fiber that would be sent to the container line and lost to residue is captured and sent back to the fiber QC line. Headcount was reduced by two.
In September 2018, two MSS CIRRUS® Fibermax™ optical sorters were installed for fiber quality control. These two units negatively sort fiber by positively identifying and ejecting non-paper contaminants in place of human sorters. The need for automation was driven by labor shortages and the need to remove film, flattened aluminum and PET containers from fiber. The inclusion of the optical sorters enabled Dem-Con to reduce overhead by six, maintain high tonnage, and reach 0.5% material purity at production speed—one of the first MRFs in the United States to do so.
In August 2019, MSS upgraded the sensor on the original Aladdin optical sorter to a new MSS CIRRUS® PlasticMax™ sensor. The conveyor was able to be reused. This optical sorter positively identifies and ejects PET. This retrofit improved recovery while reducing headcount by two.
“The result of the retrofits is that we are able to diversify our end markets while decreasing our operations costs. We are able to maintain our position as a high quality supplier in the market for selling paper. Another improvement is that we are able to recover containers from the paper line and maximize their value at a higher price.”
Mark Pahl

Co-Owner, Dem-Con

The Results

  • 36% reduction in manual labor (10 FTE)
  • 21% increase in PET recovery
  • > 99.5% fiber purity achieved
  • Tons per hour processed increased from 20 to 25
About the Equipment
MSS CIRRUS® FiberMax™ optical sorters run at 1,000 feet per minute which is higher than the industry standard for belt speed. This lightens material on the belt and increases accuracy of the by decreasing collateral damage. The higher belt speeds also increase picks per minute. MSS uses their patented PrecisionFlow™ eject hood in combination with air-assist systems for precise material handling of flexible material.
The CIRRUS® PlasticMax™ is the industry’s most efficient optical sorter for containers and plastic recovery. PlasticMax™ accurately identifies and recovers the most challenging material, such as short fills, labels, and PET-G.

Randall Baker, General Manager, Abbey Green

“We are very pleased with our relationship with the CP Group team and enjoy working with them. The equipment and system are running extremely well. Our facility was designed to be fast and efficient for our customers- and it is. Their Electrical Division, Advanced MRF, helped remotely and got us back up and running very fast- we were very impressed, and relieved. We would work with CP Group again in a heartbeat!”

Christopher Nugent, Dandrea Construction Co., Inc.

“Now that the Burlington County MRF project is complete, we wanted to take this opportunity to commend the entire CP Group team that worked on our project. From the beginning to end they all were extremely professional, excellent at problem solving and followed through on commitments. We look forward to working with CP again in the near future.”

Darrel Schmidt, Owner, DCal Services LLC

“We are very happy with the purchase of our e-Sort optical sorting unit, it provides us with consistently high separation efficiency. In addition, MSS provides us with great service and support whenever we require it.”

Joe Gould, Vice President, DEC Electrical Contractors

“I am really impressed with this project (Burlington County). This operation was something very special. The installation of the equipment was very professional and the way the machinery operated was amazing. I think the County has something here they can be proud of. It was a great team effort on the part of CP Group, who built the system in a plant 3000 miles away, shipped it across the country, and put it together here, expertly fitting it into the building. I would like to thank everybody for the wonderful experience and to a job well done. I think we all can be proud of what we were able to do.”

Jeff Nabhan , Facilities Manager, BCWS SMaRT Station®

Jeff Nabhan , Facilities Manager, BCWS SMaRT Station®

“Everyone from CP was extremely helpful and my knowledge of our facility grew immensely with the help of all the CP employees. I honestly don’t think we could have partnered with a better company to complete our retrofit. From the initial planning, to the final testing, CP offered a complete solution to every issue we had. They even came up with new ideas that we hadn’t even thought of to improve our system. Hopefully we will get the chance to work with CP in the future with more expansions.”

Ron Santos Northeast Regional Manager, ReCommunity

“As a facility manager of a high volume single stream MRF, and now as a Region Manager, I am a big advocate of CP Group. They’ve always been very responsive to all of my needs. I’m very impressed with their customer service and the training they supply to ensure a facility’s successful start-up and long-term operation. I know how much the entire CP team cares about our success.”

Susan Eppes President, EST Solutions

“CP’s corporate policy of openness and willingness to listen to customers and industry partners is a key factor in their success in building a system that has, over the years, continuously improved worker safety and efficiency.”