There are a couple of ways to separate parts from media. Basically, a screen is used to separate out smaller items from larger items. The best separation is achieved when the media and parts (or whatever is being separated) are different enough in size and shape to make separation simple.
A tubular rotary screen separator will tumble the items to be separated while the load passes through the screen tube and the smaller items are separated. This type of process can be used for separating almost anything and works great for parts that ‘hold’ the media and need to be over-turned to be emptied. A tubular rotary screen separator can also process high volume loads (hundreds of pounds per minute if necessary). Multiple tubes in sequence can be used for multiple separations.
A flat vibrating screen is a good general purpose method to separate parts and media. Loads are simply emptied onto the vibrating screen and the smaller pieces fall through the screen. This is more of a batch process and ideal for small load sizes. A flat vibrating screen can be incorporated into vibratory tumbling systems for automated separation of media and parts in process.
The biggest challenge with screen separating is identifying a screen opening (size and shape) that will quickly and efficiently separate the load. If parts and media (or whatever is being separated) are very close in size and shape the optimal results will be much more difficult to achieve.