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Articles in Category: New Product News

Stricker PolyRec agglomeration plant for engineering plastics waste

November 19, 2009

The newly founded Stricker PolyRec Company has recently launched a large-scale plant for size-reducing, agglomerating and refining engineering plastics waste.

Especially such materials that need a particularly inoffensive treatment such as PET, PA and PC films, nonwovens, filaments, fibres and other plastics can be recycled with this plant in an economic way and without any or with only the slightest thermal degradation or IV drop.

The end product is an agglomerate with excellent flow properties and a high bulk density, free from fines by sifting and screening. The granule size of the end product can vary according to the customer’s specification. (Fig. 1)

Stricker PolyRec opted for the plastcompactor concept developed by HERBOLD MECKESHEIM GmbH since it best met the high quality requirements. Due to the short residence time and the special slight sintering process preventing the material from melting, voluminous materials with poor flowing properties can be turned into a 100 % reusable resource.

One example among many is the treatment of PET bottles transformed into clean but badly flowing flat flakes after washing, separation and drying. With the help of the plastcompacting procedure used by Stricker PolyRec, these flakes are not only turned into a material with excellent flow properties, appropriate for a trouble-free gravimetrical dosing for film production lines. In one production step, PET is at the same time completely crystallized.

The heart core of the new plant at Stricker PolyRec is the HERBOLD-Plastcompactor HV 70 with a 250 kW main drive as well as a fully automatic system control in order to guarantee an unchanging quality.

HERBOLD Meckesheim GmbH designed, developed and delivered this turn-key plant. Special emphasis was given to a universal application of the machine and a quick material change due to an easy access for cleaning. (Fig. 2; Fig. 3)

Egbert Schmidt, the managing director of Stricker PolyRec, was quoted as saying:
"HERBOLD MECKESHEIM presented a convincing concept with a good price-performance ratio. In close cooperation with the manufacturer we succeeded in developing the optimal plant configuration, so we are well prepared for forthcoming recycling problems in accordance with market requirements.”

Agglomeration is also a toll service Stricker PolyRec offers to companies wishing to reuse their plastic waste for their own production.

Their staff is highly experienced in the agglomeration of all kinds of plastics. The company started their production with this new plant at Schwerte-Westhofen, near Dortmund, in October.

For more information and a direct link to this story, please click here.

Recycler Trades Up to Stay on Cutting Edge

Published: August 6th, 2009

When your motto is “Scrap everything you think you know about unusable plastic,” you had better be able to tackle the hard recycling jobs. Plastics recycler Butler-MacDonald Inc. (Indianapolis, IN) says recent machinery investments are helping it do just that. Last year, in fact, was the 65-employee-strong company’s most profitable in its 27-year history. Its customers include plastics compounders, telecommunications companies, and producers of CDs and DVDs, aeronautical and automotive parts, vinyl siding and windows, PET bottles, and pharmaceuticals. Some customers buy back the purified polymers from their own recycled waste.

“If something plastic-based is hard to recycle, that’s where we come in,” says J. Scott Johnson, Butler-MacDonald’s president, CEO, and chief system designer. “If something is easy to recycle, people don’t usually think of us.  

Butler-MacDonald's new SMS 80/120 granulator from Herbold
Meckesheim has helped it increase itsavailable capacity and drop
its labor costs.


But that, too, is changing. As people do more and more recycling, digging deeper into the pile, if you will, they’re ending up with more difficult things to recycle. So that’s where some of our growth has come from—difficult work is our forte.”

For example, a company that sells thermoplastic olefins had an 80,000-lb batch rejected by its customer because it was contaminated with nylon and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Butler-MacDonald showed that the nylon and TPU could be removed economically. It saved the client from a damaged reputation and a significant loss by delivering a 91% yield of TPO at a purity level acceptable to the client’s customer at the original sale price. The client kept its customer and still made a profit on the batch.

When Johnson saw that his company’s increasing business was going to require another large granulator, he spent more than a year shopping for a new one. “We put things in a granulator that other folks don’t want to put in a granulator,” he explains. “Because we are trying to take plastic recycling to new levels, we’ve made sort of a science out of understanding how granulators work.” He settled on an SMS 80/120 granulator from Herbold Meckesheim Gmbh, which designs, manufactures, and installs size-reduction equipment and wash line systems for the plastics industry, specializing in equipment for the recycling of industrial and post-consumer plastics.

The German manufacturer was not well represented in the U.S. Midwest until 2007, when Dave Cortner of Jeda Equipment Services in Indianapolis picked up regional representation of the Herbold product line. Cortner arranged meetings for Johnson first with David LeFrancois, head of Herbold’s North American operations, and then also with Karlheinz Herbold, co-owner of the company. Herbold had his company design the new granulator to Johnson’s specifications, which included adding a special metal-detecting feed conveyor, and at a price tag that reportedly was lower than domestic manufacturers. Installation was completed in mid-2008. The new unit’s fast evacuation of granulated plastic helps output of 8500-9000 lb/hr, higher than another similarly sized granulator already installed at the facility. Johnson says, “We base our pricing on hours, so our labor cost has dropped to about 60% of what it used to be, across the board. And now we have time to take on more business.”

The rotor and bed knives of the SMS 80/120 reportedly can be removed easily and adjusted quickly in a fixture outside the granulator. Interchangeable screens are available to help control the size of particles coming out of the granulator. And whereas an older granulator in the Butler-MacDonald plant requires up to four knife changes (and sharpening of the knives) per week when running near capacity and processing abrasive materials—which can translate to as much as 800 hours of downtime per year—the new unit’s knives are made of a more durable alloy and are ground at a different angle, so that they usually require only one change per week, for an annual total of about 200 hours of downtime.

The recession also has hit his firm, and Johnson says he cannot expect 2009 to be another record year; indeed, the company has had to fire some of its customers for nonpayment. However, new markets are developing, due in part to the recession-induced shutdown of some Chinese facilities to which some U.S. producers used to sell plastics waste.

Butler-MacDonald uses its new equipment to recover
plastic from various mixed-waste streams, including
this post-production scrap from a window manufacturing

HOS Heavy-Duty Pipe Shredders

SMITHFIELD, RI — HOS Heavy-Duty Pipe Shredders from Herbold smoothly and efficiently reduce large, thick-walled, plastic pipes to chips approximately 2.4 to 3.9 inches square. Available in five sizes, the shredders can process up to about 3,400 lbs. per hour and can handle pipes as large as 9.8 ft. in diameter.

A high-torque hydraulic ram holds a horizontally oriented pipe against a moving cutting plate studded with blades. As the vertical cutting plate travels back and forth across the end of the pipe, it slices off chips. The chips fall onto a conveyor belt, which can transport them to a cutting mill for further size reduction.

The grater-like design means the blades of an HOS Shredder wear much more slowly than those of a typical heavy-duty pipe granulator, and the unit uses less energy and requires less maintenance. HOS Shredders are even suitable for abrasive materials, such as fiberglass-reinforced piping. They produce little noise, and each model is equipped with a covered feed trough.

Herbold Meckesheim USA, a subsidiary of Herbold Meckesheim Germany, designs, manufactures, and installs size-reduction equipment (shredders, granulators, etc.) and wash-line systems for the plastics industry, specializing in the recycling of industrial and post-consumer plastics. 

Herbold Meckesheim USA New Headquarters

NORTH SMITHFIELD, RI, JUNE 12, 2012 — Herbold Meckesheim USA has moved its headquarters from Smithfield to a larger facility it recently built in a new rail-accessible office park in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. In spite of the recession, the supplier of plastics recycling equipment has experienced a growing customer base, thanks to quality products, customer satisfaction, and the foresight to identify and pursue new market opportunities. The new building’s street address is 130 Industrial Drive, North Smithfield, but the company’s new mailing address is P.O. Box 239, Slatersville, RI 02876.

Herbold built its reputation on sturdy, durable granulators for the in-house recycling efforts of manufacturers of plastic products, and this still represents a major share of the company’s business. But over the last 10 years, Herbold has developed many new machines that primarily serve independent processors of recycled plastic. Its product line has dramatically swelled to include debalers, separation tanks, friction washers, hydrocyclones, dryers, compactors, and the world’s first wraparound label remover for the recycling of post-consumer polyester (PET) bottles. Growing demand from customers all across North America necessitated a major expansion — the move triples the company’s floor space to approximately 15,000 square feet.

“Herbold was quick to recognize the growing popularity of recycling as part of the movement toward environmental responsibility — the willingness of consumers to recycle and the growing demand for recycled content in manufactured products,” explains David Lefrancois, president of Herbold Meckesheim USA. “We are fortunate that we have the capability to design and build machines for independent recycling businesses as well as for traditional plastics processors.”

“The new headquarters is better as well as bigger,” Lefrancois continues. “After 16 years in the old place, we had quite a wish list of features we wanted in the new facility, and we made sure to build in every one of them. Our work flow, quality control, and inventory management will all benefit.”

HB Series Granulator

Smithfield, RI — The new ram-fed HB Series Granulator from Herbold Meckesheim combines the best attributes of a shredder and a granulator for semi-automatic plastics recycling, efficiently reducing bulky items all the way down to particles 0.16 to 0.31 inches in diameter without any secondary size reduction.

The HB Series Granulator has a powerful rotor with double-cross cutting action, a heavy-duty hydraulic ram, and a large feed hopper that can handle whole bales, cut-open film rolls, mingled packs of sprue spiders, thick-walled purgings, carpet waste, pipes and profiles, post-consumer bottles, and whole containers/crates without the need for dosed feeding or the risk of jams in the cutting chamber.

Once the hopper is filled, the unit can be left unattended as the ram intermittently breaks pieces off the bottom of the load and pushes them into the cutting chamber. The particles produced are ready for further use. This one-machine size reduction also reduces electricity consumption and simplifies cleaning, color changes, material changes, and maintenance.

The HB Series Granulator, constructed of sturdy welded steel, is available in four models with two rotor diameters (23.6” and 31.5”), four working widths (39.4” to 63”), four drives (45 to 200 kW), and four throughput rates (0.5 to 6 tons per hour). The design of the cutting chamber allows easy access for cleaning. The placement of the rotor bearings on the outside of the unit keeps fines out of the bearings and grease out of the product. Different rotor types are available. If requested, an HB Series Granulator can be delivered as a turnkey package with ancillary equipment such as a suction unit and bag-filling station or a lifting/tilting device for automatic feeding.

Herbold Meckesheim USA, a subsidiary of Herbold Meckesheim Germany, designs, manufactures, and installs size-reduction equipment (shredders, granulators, etc.) and wash-line systems for the plastics industry, specializing in the recycling of industrial and post-consumer plastics. 

SB Series Granulator

Screw-Fed Granulators are Quieter, More Efficient

SMITHFIELD, RI — Herbold Meckesheim SB Series Granulators employ a screw-feed mechanism, which makes them quieter and more efficient than gravity-fed size-reduction equipment for pulverizing Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles and other recyclable plastics.

Suitable for dry or wet operation, an SB Series Granulator is capable of processing up to seven tons of plastic per hour. Materials to be granulated are delivered from the unit’s hopper to the cutting chamber by one or more conveyor screws mounted at an angle (45° to 90°) to the rotor axis. The screws maintain a steady feeding pace, even if the plastic is a hodgepodge of sizes and shapes, instead of depending on the materials to fall directly into the blades. Throughput is 30% to 50% above that of gravity-fed machines with cutting chambers of the same size.

Other benefits include less power consumption, quieter operation, no fly-back, reduced wear to the cutting blades, and reduced fines and dust (since granulated particles spend less time in the cutting chamber). SB Series Granulators can also be used for secondary size reduction of pre-shredded plastics.

Herbold Meckesheim USA, a subsidiary of Herbold Meckesheim Germany, designs, manufactures, and installs size-reduction equipment (shredders, granulators, etc.) and wash-line systems for the plastics industry, specializing in the recycling of industrial and post-consumer plastics. 

Wash Line Equipment

SMITHFIELD, RI — Herbold Meckesheim USA introduces an array of durable, efficient wash line equipment for recycling plastics. Used together for new plants or separately to replace or complement machines at existing recycling plants, several models of Herbold debalers, granulators, washers, shredders, separators, and dryers are available. As plastics recycling becomes more complicated due to increasing volumes, more contamination, new sorting procedures, automation, newly accepted types of plastic, etc., Herbold anticipates the needs of all plastics recycling facilities, whether they are processing soda bottles or car bumpers.

Herbold Debalers break down pressed bales or briquettes of bottles and other post-consumer plastic waste into single items for subsequent sorting. Other pre-wash equipment is available for detecting and removing metal and other foreign bodies.

Herbold Wet Granulators have water in their cutting chambers for the simultaneous washing and size reduction of feed material. A screen and/or dewatering screw separates the plastic fragments from much of the dirty washwater, paper (bottle labels, etc.), and other coarse contamination. Herbold High-Speed Shredders (modified impact hammer mills) can be used with water and added to a wash line when more intensive washing and shredding is necessary. They remove glues, coatings, paints, and labels.

For more washing, Herbold Friction Washers typically receive a slurry of plastic fragments and water from a wet grinder/granulator, but they are sometimes installed after separation tanks. Fed from the lower end of its inclined cylindrical trough, a Friction Washer makes use of a fast-running paddle screw to dewater and clean the fragments as they are transported to the outlet at the top of the trough.

Herbold Separation Tanks separate floating materials from sinking materials. Fed by Herbold Mixing Tanks (turbo washers) and operating under pressure, Herbold Hydrocyclones, often used in recycling polyester (PET) bottles, accomplish the same task more effectively, especially when used in combination with a Separation Tank. Floating materials leave at the upper end of a Hydrocyclone with most of the water, while sinking materials are expelled from the lower end. This effect can be adjusted by changing the sizes of the outlet nozzles. Herbold also offers filters, pumps, and piping for recirculating washwater.

Herbold Mechanical Dryers centrifugally dry plastic fragments while spinning off some remaining contaminants, but they can also be used as intensive washers. The washing version uses a high-speed agitator and a high volume of water to remove paper and other contaminants. Herbold Thermal Dryers provide additional drying when necessary. For difficult-to-dry materials such as stretch film and foam, Herbold offers the HV Plastcompactor, which simultaneously heats, dries, and compacts.

Herbold Meckesheim USA, a subsidiary of Herbold Meckesheim Germany, designs, manufactures, and installs size-reduction equipment and wash line systems for the plastics industry, specializing in the recycling of industrial and post-consumer plastics. Components of the company’s systems are designed as modular “building blocks” so that a system can be extended or modified according to the customer’s requirements.