Back to Basics, What exactly is Separating?

Photo by buchachon/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by buchachon/iStock / Getty Images

Industry has many descriptions for the process of separating and it is subject to whom you are talking and what you are talking about. Some industries are familiar with the terminology separating whilst others would refer to it as screening.

To give us a better understanding of the basics about the separating business, we’ve enlisted the services of Tony Webber, managing director of iBulk Solutions, one of Australia’s leading separation technology companies.

“There always seems to be some confusion surrounding what exactly we are talking about when it comes to describing the process of separation and this tends to stem from that fact that there are a number of words that are frequently used to describe the process,” explained Tony. “Some industries are familiar with the terminology separating whilst others would speak of screening, but essentially they are one and the same.”

As a short list of terms that are commonly used to describe the process of ‘Separating’ include:

  • Separation / separating
  • Screening
  • Sorting
  • Sieving / Sifting
  • Sorting
  • Filtering

“In every case there are people who will not divert from their pet terminology,” explained Tony. “As a stakeholder in this industry it is essential to be flexible and adaptive to the way this process of sorting different particles into different sizes is referred.”

“For example, in the dry bulk solid industry the term filtering is not common as this is more applicable to solid / liquid separation.”

By looking at the type of process that is being performed through the application of one of the above it is likely the end user wishes to achieve an objective that could be:

  • Size / sizing
  • Dewater
  • Drain and rinse
  • Washing

“Yet again, each of these terms is applicable  to a specific industry and taking a cross section it would seem that we all agree that sizing is yet another list of methods including Grizzly Screening, Single or multiple deck screening / separating, Grading or Scalping,” said Tony.

“Originally, I set out to provide an insight into this veiled industry by providing a range of commonly used terminology in the hope of providing a starting point from which we can all clearly reference when we’re talking separating,” he added.

For further information on any issues regarding separating,  contact iBulk® Solutions on (03) 9768 3955 or visit