Technology exhibitors at the 2017 Plastics Recycling Show Europe range from granulator and shredder makers to manufacturers of integrated reprocessing systems, from suppliers of washing plants to experts in sorting systems.
See the PRS Europe website for information on all exhibitors at the event, which is organised by Crain Communications, publisher of Plastics News Europe.
The latest plastics recycling line from Starlinger (Stand D16) is the RecoStar Dynamic 215. Starlinger developed the RecoStar Dynamic lines to handle a wide range of films, fibres and post-consumer waste plastics. They are especially suited to moist, hygroscopic or highly contaminated input materials.
Paul Niedl, head of sales for Starlinger recycling technology, said the new 215 line increases the company's capacity range for polyolefin recycling. ‟The high degree of automation makes it possible to operate even a line of this size with the same personnel as the smaller lines, working efficiently with minimum energy consumption.”
The 215 line's output range is 2,200 to 2,600 kg/h and its power requirement is 0.2 to 0.35 kWh/kg. In the Reco concept, energy recuperation systems are integrated into various process steps, and the extruder barrel is heated with infrared emitters.
The Dynamic Automation Package developed by Starlinger keeps the line working at the optimum operating point, to produce consistent quality pellets, higher output and greater flexibility in material processing. It also reduces energy consumption, and together with the Reco concept, this can lead to energy savings of more than 10%, said Starlinger.
Bühler and National Recovery Technologies (NRT) are exhibiting together (Stand C60) to show how combining technologies can greatly aid PET recyclers. The partnership was announced in late 2015 and offers plastics recyclers a complete solution for plastic bottle and flake sorting, with NRT specialising in bottle sorting, combined with Bühler's expertise in flake sorting.
The partners' two-machine process solution delivers bottle-to-bottle grade rPET flakes. The two technologies offer superior colour sorting, as well as sorting by chemical signatures, that can identify invisible and same-colour polymers.
“The result is high grade rPET flakes for bottle production, plus a significant increase in yield,” said Bühler.
One customer is PET recycler STF Group in Germany, which recently switched to Bühler's new process solution and was able to increase its yield of bottle-to-bottle grade rPET flakes by more than 30%.
Josef Söllner, managing director at STF, said: “We chose to use Bühler's Sortex technology, as it is the best flake sorter on the market. We undertook several industry trials to evaluate other technologies, but discovered that Bühler provided the best solution – first class machine results combined with impressive customer service.”
Tomra Sorting (Stand C34) is another PRS Europe exhibitor to recently launch a new high-yielding PET flake sorter. Its new Autosort Flake allows for simultaneous triple-sorting of recycled PET flake.
The company highlighted the sensor technology which also detects metal, and says due to its twin-processing mode customers are offered the best possible waste throughput together with a constant high-calibre output.
Tomra Sorting's product manager recycling, Valerio Sama, said: “Compared to our first generation flake sorter introduced in 2010, the new generation is able to do the job of two separate units and with a much higher degree of precision, reducing the loss of good material.”
A customer of Tomra, David Bourge, plant manager at Suez's Regene Atlantique facility, said: “Thanks to the partnership with Tomra, we´ve been able to optimise our PET recycling operations. By combining Autosort with Autosort Flake, we´ve increased our high-quality product yield by 200%, resulting in considerably higher revenue – almost immediately through the central control computer we are able to monitor, control, and greatly improve our production on a real-time basis. At every stage, the investment decision has resulted in quick payback.”
The Autosort Flake uses Tomra's flying beam technology with a fourline 2mm optic module which Tomra says provides customers with continuous calibration to eliminate errors leading to downtime.
Pellenc ST (Stand 42) has also been busy with the new generation of its Mistral sorting technology for mixed waste streams. Mistral+ is the result of a four-year development involving over 30 engineers from Pellenc ST, based on feedback from customers and its own employees.
There were three main development priorities for Mistral+: simplicity of use, reliability and performance.
Helping to reduce maintenance time by 50%, the design of the system includes platforms from which the operator can clean the detection system without stopping the sorting line, and enter inside the output box to clean and replace electro valves in a safety environment.
In terms of performance, the machine includes an improved detection system, a 50% better electro valve response time, and lighting power was reduced by half with the same signal quality.
The Edelweiss technology developed jointly by KraussMaffei Berstorff (Stand B32) and Artec (Stand B22) is a system which combines recycling and compounding in a single cycle.
Edelweiss is designed for the processing of polyolefin and polyamide scraps containing more than 2% of contaminants and residual moisture of up to 12%. Thanks to the modular screw and barrel design, the system can be tailored to any compound composition.
Edelweiss lines are designed for output rates ranging between 300 kg/h and 2.5 tonnes/h.
Amut (Stand C02), which supplies washing plants among its recycling technology offerings, has revealed its involvement in a key project in Mexico. In 2016, it supplied the largest wash plant in Latin America to Petstar, a large-scale PET recycling venture owned by Coca-Cola and other investors in Mexico.
The opening ceremony held at Petstar's premises at Toluca, Mexico, on 16 July was a major event attended by the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, Petstar's board of directors and Coca-Cola management. The facility is the largest bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Latin America with an hourly net capacity of over 6,000 kg/h, handling 1.5 billion PET bottles per year.
The Amut plant includes a bottle pre-washing, detection, grinding, washing, drying and a final flakes detection in an integrated system. It operates in a continuous process, where washing, water temperature, friction level and resident time are automatically controlled and monitored.
New plastics washing technology includes HydroDyn from Vecoplan (Stand B72). The new system combines shredding technology, washing and drying processes for various plastics in a closed process.
Vecoplan said: “While conventional washing systems operate with traditional hot washing causing very high energy costs, the hydro dynamic purification generates energy by friction, that is directly provided to the process. The Vecoplan HydroDyn system requires no additional power supply, but uses the energy from the process for the process and achieves cleaning results with an energy efficiency like never before.”
The system, which was developed with partner company CVP in Germany, can handle a wide variety of plastic waste, including: shredded and heavily soiled materials, stretch film, hard plastics, packaging, and technical plastics.
Vecoplan said its new horizontal grinder VTH 45/12/3 enables production waste such as edge strips in sheet extrusion, pipes and profiles to be shredded and ground in a single-stage process, ready to be returned to the production process.
The VTH 45/12/3 system can handle plastic sheets up to a thickness of 40 mm, and pipes and profiles of different lengths. Throughput rates exceed 600 kg/h, said Vecoplan.
The regranulate has a very low proportion of fine material. The grinder has frequency-controlled input rollers to ensure an optimal material feed to the rotor is maintained. Vecoplan said reliable material feed is always guaranteed in reversion mode thanks to double rocker technology.
Hellweg Maschinenbau (Stand C22) has extended its 600 series granulator range at the upper end. The new M 1500/600 granulator is able to offer “enormous” torque, said Hellweg, due to the high stability of the entire machine housing and the heavy duty rotor.
The rotor is 600 mm in diameter and works at a speed of around 400 min-1, with working width of 1,500 mm. A choice of rotors is offered, with three to seven continuous rotor cutting strips.
The 600 series' double slanted scissor type of cutting ensures that the large granulator can shred thick-walled mouldings, sheets, pipes, profiles, crates and canisters.
Depending on the material to be granulated and the size of the screen block used, throughput reaches around 800 to 2,500 kg/h. Drives have nominal installed power ratings between 75 and 110 kW.
Weima Maschinenbau (Stand A44) has launched a new shredder, the WLK 1000. The single-shaft shredder features a hydraulic drive for the first time. The unit is suitable for shredding thermoplastics, such as PE, PP, PVC, PS, PU and PET, along with other plastic and elastomer types.
The WLK 1000 shredder has a robust hydraulic drive that produces an output of 22 kW. Weima said: “It allows to significantly boost the energy efficiency per ton of material. Despite its comparatively low kW output it still demonstrates high torque values that are also available permanently.”