Pelletising polypropylene: Applied Machinery

Daniel Fisher, Applied Machinery Project Manager, wants to revive domestic plastic recycling through sustainable Polystar pellets. 

The recycling conversation is becoming more layered and complex by the day, with notoriously problematic plastic often taking centre stage. While the problem of plastic waste is widely understood, manufacturing processes still heavily rely on the material.

Daniel Fisher, Applied Machinery Project Manager, says responsibly processing plastic while keeping up with demand requires straightforward remanufacturing options. He adds that one such option is recycled plastic pellet production.

Daniel says to implement a wider uptake of recycled pellets in the manufacturing industry, resource recovery operators need simple-to-use equipment.

“When dealing with a difficult waste stream such as plastic, it’s common for operators to think that a more complex system will perform better,” Daniel says.

“But as the exclusive Australian distributor of Polystar Machinery, Applied Machinery is committed to supplying customers with straight forward and cost-effective solutions.”

Applied Machinery has worked with the Taiwan-based recycling equipment manufacturer for four years.

Polystar manufactures a range of one-step machines designed to reprocess multiple waste streams, notably polyethylene and polypropylene flexible packaging material.

Polystar technology is designed to be simple to operate and easy to maintain.

“The recycled output result is high-quality plastic pellets that can be repurposed back into manufacturing straight away,” Daniel explains.

“The pellets save waste disposal costs by producing a saleable product, while also offering an alternative to raw material extraction.”

Applied Machinery can offer customers the full suite of Polystar products, including the Polystar HNT and the Polystar Repro-Flex.

“HNT machines are typically suited for flexible, post-industrial film and have the added benefit of being able to produce quality pellets from even the most heavily printed packaging material.”

Daniel says the Polystar Repro-Flex is suited to multiple recycling applications including plastic bags, film scraps, bubble wrap, shrink film and laminated film.

“Repro-Flex machines also work well for post-industrial film waste, as the system can process washed flakes, scraps and pre-crushed rigid plastic waste from injection and extrusion,” he adds.   

Both the HNT and Repro-Flex feature an integrated cutter compactor, which removes the need for pre-cutting.

“The cutter compactor, which generates frictional heat during the compacting process, also helps remove moisture from the material.”

According to Daniel, eliminating moisture is a particularly significant feature when generating recycled plastic pellets, as even minimal water can render a whole batch unusable.

Daniel says the integrated Polystar system also eliminates the need for separate crushers and the common problem of inconsistent feeding.

“The integration of the cutter compactor and extruder ensures extremely fast and stable feeding, as the tangentially connected extruder is continuously filled with pre-compacted material.”

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The behemoth single-shaft shredder

Applied Machinery’s BH Series heavy-duty single shaft shredder can be considered a “behemoth.”

The heavy-duty size reduction machine is designed for shredding a wide variety of materials with the powerful, wear resistant machine structure well suited to demanding recycling applications.

Applications include municipal solid, industrial and demolition waste, wood waste, plastics, alternative fuels and a range of other items.

Its v-cutting rotor design allows for staggered cutter positioning alongside heat treated and adjustable counter knives ensuring cutter clearance can be maintained.

A classifier screen enables accurate particle size control while a force feeding ram supports a precision machined chamber base with adjustable/replaceable brass guides.

The machine’s powerful electric drive motors, heavy duty oversized gearboxes and shock absorption system ensure smooth processing with improved performance. Its bearings, hydraulic opening design and electrical control panel mean the machine is robust and intuitive.

Other equally capable machines include GC Series Granulators, ideal for a range of materials such as plastics, rubber and fibres and K Series high performance single shaft shredders suitable for processing a wide range of materials.

Applied Machinery works with its customers to find the right machine for them, with a number of Genox shredders and granulators also available for niche applications.

Applied Machinery’s plastic washing systems

Applied Machinery’s plastic washing systems are designed for high performance recovery of rigid or flexible plastics derived from a variety of sources.

The modular systems tackle HDPE bottles, PE films, PP woven bags and PET bottles.

Depending on the application, the plants may comprise a bale breaker, infeed conveyor belt, pre-shredder for wet or dry size reduction, pre-washer to remove sands and dirt and screw washer.

Other features may include a hot washing tank with alkaline (caustic) soda to remove glues and oils, a sink float separation tank to remove non-contaminants and granulator for wet granulation and washing. For high speed washing or material scrubbing, a horizontal friction washer can be applied. In addition, centrifugal dryers, screw presses, thermal drying systems, zig zag classifiers and bag stations are also plant features.

The correct combination, sizing and equipment configuration of the equipment results in a reliable, efficient plastic recycling system producing high-quality materials ideal for sale.

Typical designs cover a PE washing system for recycling materials to high purity and low moisture, such as post-consumer HDPE bottles (with labels), drums and containers and LDPE and LLDPE products.

A PP woven bag recycling line offers a system that minimises the quantities of fines created and keeps material loss to a minimum.

The PET bottle washing system recovers labels and caps from soft drinks and water bottles and produces a clean, uniform-sized PET flake with low moisture levels.

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With China’s National Sword putting pressure on plastic recyclers, Applied Machinery has partnered with an Italian company to help recyclers hit contamination targets.

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Genox’s size reduction solutions

Applied Machinery offers a wide range of size reduction equipment to handle a variety of challenging waste streams and applications, from metal to tyres and cables. 

To process metals, Genox’s metal recycling plants handle a variety of metallic waste streams, including light iron scrap, vehicle shells and body panels (end-of-life vehicles), steel drums, white goods, electronic scrap and computer waste.

Genox tyre recycling technology features pre-shredding, recirculation systems, secondary size reductions, steel wire separation, fine granulation, product classifying, textile separation and dust collection.

For a high-volume processing machine, Genox’s cable recycling plants comprise functions which include pre-shredding, steel removal, granulation and copper or aluminium plastic separation.

A wider scope of applications is covered by Genox X Series Twin Shaft Shredders, equipped with powerful drive motors and high torque gearboxes. The robust pre-shredders are ideal for processing large volumes of various waste materials. 

The maintenance-friendly-designed machines feature options such as drive motor power and gearing, hydraulic drive, hydraulic force feeder and rotary screens.

High-speed granulation in a single pass can be achieved through GC Series Granulators that are ideal for processing materials such as plastics, rubber, fibres, copper cable and light non-ferrous metals. The machines are characterised by high efficiency, reduced power consumption and low noise and sound proof designs. 

Bulky or voluminous materials are handled with the Applied Machinery M Series, characterised by their efficient, high torque and low power consumption design. 

www.appliedmachinery.com.au

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Polystar’s recycling technology

Polystar’s technology addresses the issue of plastic recycling by offering a range of one-step machines designed for the reprocessing of polyethylene and polypropylene flexible packaging material.

Polystar machines are designed to be simple to operate and easy to maintain, all the while taking up minimal space and time. Their output comes in the form of high-quality plastic pellets that can be fed straight back into the manufacturing process, saving on raw material costs as well as on waste disposal.

This pelletising system – with its integrated cutter compactor – eliminates the need for pre-cutting in most cases and ensures the material spends less time in the extrusion process to minimise degradation. This means that the final product will be of the highest quality and the material properties will not be affected.

In addition to the double degassing in the first extrude, the venting area – the connection between the first and second extruder – serves as a third degassing section (optional) to further remove the ink and extra humidity level from the material.

The unvented extruder has a very short screw L:D ratio, in which the material travels in the extruder for the shortest time and distance. This results in minimal change in material property and higher output comparing to vented extruder.

Furthermore, the re-positioning of filtration before degassing ensures a superior degassing effect, producing high quality pellets from heavily printed material.

Applied Machinery Managing Director David Macdonald said manufacturers who want an easy, efficient solution to plastic film recycling now have the opportunity with Polystar recycling machines.

“Polystar requires less space and energy consumption whilst producing high quality plastic pellets, which are immediately reusable. The Polystar machines are a must get for companies that are serious about plastic film recycling,” Mr Macdonald said.

Polystar is a Taiwanese-based company that now has machines operating in 102 countries.

“Applied Machinery is proud to have been appointed a distributor for Polystar machines. We are confident that the product will appeal to manufacturers looking to effectively recycle their plastic film waste, and provide those manufacturers with a competitive advantage in the market place,” Mr Macdonald said.

Applied Machinery recently celebrated 25 years in business and, in addition to Polystar, represents a large range of other premium machinery manufacturers including Yawei, Genox, Hurco, Cosen, Chen Hsong, Alfarobot, Hermle, Akyapak, Pro-Plas, Hyundai-WIA and Kitamura.

www.appliedmachinery.com.au

Genox Vision Series Single Shaft shredders

The versatile Genox Vision Series Single Shaft shredders can be used in a range of challenging applications, including plastics, timber/wood, paper and cardboard, copper, aluminium, textiles and foams.

Standard features include a v-cutting rotor design with staggered cutter positioning and heat-treated rotor knives. Long life, adjustable fixed blades ensure cutter clearance can be maintained. Rotor speeds operate at 80 revolutions per minute across the V500, V600 and V800 models, with throughputs ranging between 300 to 5000 kilograms per hour, depending on the machine model, material type, screen size and application.

A classifier screen allows for accurate control over the particle size, in addition to a force-feeding ram with a segmented shredding chamber floor.

A powerful driving system includes shock absorption to reduce stress on drive performance. The rotor is equipped with multiple knives to shred the material against counter knives. In addition, dual speed hydraulics allows for a fast return of the ram to maximise throughputs.

Shredder settings are customisable via an electrical control panel, which features a standalone control cabinet, dual mode operation and intelligent programming to assist during overload scenarios and auto-shutdown.

Equipment from Genox Recycling Technology is available in Australia exclusively through Applied Machinery, with a machine distributed for practically all size reduction and recycling applications.

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