At K 2016, recycling is one of the key
topics that aroused huge interests among visitors. A lot of novelties were
presented, thanks to collaboration within the whole industry value chain. The
plastics industry will continually strive towards a circular economy.
EREMA: recycling involves the whole value
EREMA showed what it was like for recycling
in an Industry 4.0 setup with the outdoor CAREFORMANCE Recycling Center. An
INTAREMA TVEplus 1108 system with integrated Laserfilter recycled over 30 tons
of plastic waste accumulated during the show. The machine, quality and process
data were transferred in real time to EREMA’s indoor booth.
The INTAREMA system is based on the EREMA’s
Counter Current technology. The stability it offers enables automation
processes such as Smart Start or the Recipe Management System, which in turn
form the basis for industry 4.0 applications.
“EREMA has developed a Smart Factory
package for producers and recyclers. On the one hand, the process data of the
individual machines is analyzed and, on the other, the production and recycling
facilities are interconnected with the entire process chain,” explained Manfred
Hackl, CEO of EREMA.
He is confident that this digital quality
proof will further increase the amount of recyclate used in the production of
Along with the CAREFORMANCE Recycling
Center, Borealis, Hosokawa Alpine, Bobst, GEA and EREMA jointly presented the
latest developments in the production of recyclable stand-up pouches.
This collaboration makes possible for the
first time to produce pouches with a material combination based exclusively on
The companies involved demonstrate how the
closed plastic loop works: the pouches produced on site – including any
production waste – are likewise recycled live and the recyclates processed
directly on an OCS extruder to make blown film.
“The collaboration of the entire ‘plastic’
value chain has become more intensive in recent years and results in terms of
product innovations – particularly in the case of recycling projects,” Hackl
“I like to compare the plastic loop to a
relay race. It is not enough if a part of the value chain thinks only in terms
of their processing step. Every manufacturer or processor of plastics has to
think one step further to reach the finish line successfully together.”
NGR and Kuhne collaborate on PET recycling
Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen (NGR)
and Kuhne are collaborating on the production of systems for producing PET
sheets from PET waste, including skeleton scrap, sheet production scrap or
bottle flakes. The aim is to create a solution achieving quality on par with
sheets made from virgin materials.
The integrated system consists of a
shredder-feeder-extruder combination for producing plastic melt, the P:REACT
unit for improving the quality of PET and the sheet system from KUHNE for
producing PET sheets with tightest tolerances.
As introduced, the first system part
(shredder-feeder-extruder combination) can convert any form of input material
into high-quality melt. This makes it possible to feed the unit with PET scrap
available at low cost, such as punch scrap, sheet production scrap, bottle
flakes or even fibers.
The PET melt is decontaminated in P:REACT
(for 100% food-contact in accordance with FDA regulations) and the IV value is
set to the desired level. “This means all the material requirements are on hand
for producing PET sheets that have tight IV tolerances on par with virgin
material,” explained Josef Hochreiter, CEO of NGR.
“Initial tests have far exceeded our
expectations for sheet quality,” added Hubert Armbruster, Managing Director of
Kuhne. “The newly provided option for producing high quality PET sheets from
low-cost input materials, and eliminating one melt step in the process, have
already ignited great interest among our customers.”
Gneuss “JUMP” high for reprocessing PET
In the manufacture of semi-finished
products such as fibers, nonwovens or films, waste that can be recycled and
reused as a raw material is repeatedly produced along the entire production
chain. Reclaiming waste reduces the need for raw material and thereby saves on
The Gneuss Processing Unit (GPU) was
developed for the processing of bulky and contaminated PET industrial waste
from various types of fiber and waste from film manufacturing.
It consists of the MRS extruder, a
self-cleaning, process and pressure-constant automatic Rotary Filtration System
and an Online Viscometer with intelligent viscosity monitoring and control.
Additionally, Gneuss has developed the new
Jump system. This is installed directly downstream of the Gneuss Processing
Unit and thanks to its ingenious process ensures an accurate and controllable
IV boost of the PET by up to 0.3 in the melt phase.
Depending on the quality of the material to
be recycled, either a shredder or a cutting mill can be used to guarantee good
dosing properties of the output material. This very light material is then
either directly fed to the MRS Extruder by means of feeding components
(stuffing screw) or a further processing step takes place for compacting the
material before it is fed to the extruder.
Subsequently, the purified and homogenized
polymer is fed by means of a melt pump into the Jump. Through control of the
residence time and the speed of the rotating elements, controlled
polycondensation takes place whereby controlled IV boosting takes place of
typically 0.02dl/g to maximum 0,3dl/g.
The design of the Jump system avoids the
ingress of oxygen so that the yellowing effect encountered during the recycling
of PET is minimized. After the PET melt has passed through a stilling chamber
in the Jump system, the polymer is pumped directly into the production process
(for example direct extrusion spinning, strapping) or to a pelletizing (chip
Herbold’s five columns for effective
German recycling machine and plant
manufacturer Herbold emphasized its technology for five steps of efficient
Pre-size reduction – The shredder HGM
series is designed for size-reducing difficult, especially viscous materials or
materials containing foreign bodies where the service lives of standard
granulators are too short and where traditional shredders do not yield the
desired end product. Available in wet execution for extremely abrasive
materials, such as agricultural film, WEEE, etc.
Size reduction – The patented Granulator SB
with forced feeding not fed into the grinding chamber by gravity as is the case
with traditional granulators but as a continuous and even flow by means of
feeding screws. In case of difficult applications, the company recommends its
SMS Granulator with rotor design.
Fine Grinding – The PU series impact disc
pulverizer is a high speed fine grinders for granular and brittle materials,
e.g. PE granules or rigid PVC.
Washing, Separating and Drying – The new HV
ST-150/150 series vertical step dryer consists of a multiple-stage rotor
dewatering the material via a screen basket. The granules/grinding material
water mass enter the machine from the bottom and are transported upwards by
conveying blades. The diameter of the rotor increases upwards following the
single steps. In the lower area (where free water can still be separated
easily) only inferior circumferential speeds occur, at the highest step, drying
is done with maximum circumferential speed.
This machine is particularly suitable for
drying brittle plastics and guaranteeing at the same time little material loss
caused by fines, according to Herbold. The step dryer yields a residual
humidity in the range between 0.4%/weight and 0.06%/weight.
Agglomerating/Densifying – With extreme
materials such as stretch film or foams, a sufficient mechanical or thermal
drying is not possible without high energy consumption. The solution to this
problem is the Herbold Plastcompactor, a modern compacting machine. The
friction originating between the compacting discs of the compactor heats, dries
and compacts the material at the same time.
Gamma Meccanica gaining success in Eurasia
Italian recycling system supplier Gamma
Meccanica presented a GM 65 Compac line at the K Show.
The company has recently completed
businesses in Turkey and Japan. A GM 125 Compac line comprises Compac feed with
Cutter-compactor, single-screw extruder with degassing, screen changer and
pelletizer was delivered to a Turkish customer for recycling of polypropylene
(PP) and PE production waste.
The Compac cutter compactor is equipped with
the ECOTRONIC system for the electronic power control which provides
significant energy savings. Water is no longer used to control temperature.
According to the company, ECOTRONIC offers
also the possibility of recycling materials with high moisture. An important
feature is the presence of the feeding screw which guarantees a steady
controlled flow of material into the extruder.
The extruder has a degassing station with
two ports to facilitate the escape of gases produced during the melting of the
Comparing the laboratory tests on the
quality of the granules produced and the hourly production of the major Italian
and qualified foreign manufacturers of recycling plants, Gamma Meccanica said
its line produces about 10% more than the competitors' lines of the same size
in constant high quality.
In Japan, a GM 90 Compac line for stretch
film and packaging film recycling has been delivered to a stretch film
recycler. The screw and barrel of the extruder are designed to process
different types of plastic material including LDPE, LLDPE and PP.
Avoiding bad smell with Starlinger
Recyclers of post-consumer plastic waste
often have to deal with materials containing migrated substances from food,
cosmetics, or detergents. But also residues of monomers, oxidation, hydrolysis
and decomposition products (VOCs – volatile contaminants) can cause unwanted
smell in recycled pellets.
Starlinger has developed a technology that
reduces the smell during and after recycling significantly and allows recyclers
to “upcycle” their end product without using additives.
The odor reduction process consists of
three steps: material preparation in the company’s SMART feeder, where the
material is heated and homogenized until the ideal operation point is reached;
the C-VAC degassing module with 300% increased melt surface for high degassing
efficiency, and the Smell Extraction Unit which gives the regranulate the final
said these “upcycled”, permanently smell-improved regranulate can be used in a
wide range of applications.