What to See at NPE 2006: Recycling and Scrap Reclaim
Recycling and reclamation are once again hot technologies—this time because of high resin prices. Grinders are getting bigger with more horsepower for higher throughputs. A lot of new equipment is designed to reclaim traditionally difficult film and fiber scrap. There are also new ways to separate and recover even small amounts of high-value resins from medical and micro molding and from two-shot overmolding.
There are also lots of new exhibitors, including 13 from China and three from Taiwan. There are also U.S. firms with a Chinese connection, like Avian USA showing grinders built in Shanghai.
Tackling difficult reclaim
NGR-Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen from Germany is exhibiting X:Gran, the world’s largest one-step recycling line, able to convert whole bales of fiber, raffia, nonwoven, or carpet scrap into pellets. Hosokawa Polymer Systems will show a photo of the world’s largest grinder: 600 hp with 10-ft cutting chamber for biax film scrap.
Many reclaim lines at NPE offer new feeding mechanisms or higher torque for film and fiber. For example, American Kuhne will introduce its AKlaim ram stuffer. Higher torque also helps: Granutech-Saturn has twin-shaft drives with up to 39,000 ft-lb of combined torque, possibly the industry’s highest. Vecoplan’s new shredder combines a gearless permanent-magnet torque motor with patented SureCut rotor to double throughput of film and fiber while using only 20% as much energy as a conventional shredder.
Republic Machine will show a new RMI SecondCut shredder that eliminates wrapping of fibrous material. Weima has a new WL series of shredders for woven and non-woven scrap. Davis-Standard is developing a new cascade dual-extruder line for high output of low-bulk density film and fiber. And Osprey is showing a new line of film grinders.
Getecha is showing a micro-granulator for runners from micromolding. Cumberland and Size Reduction Specialists offer new granulators with dust containment to reclaim medical molding scrap in clean rooms.
Moditec is introducing a device to protect granulators from even small bits of tramp metal. If a bed knife contacts metal, it completes an electrical circuit and causes a shutdown in 40 millisec. Bunting Magnetics has new drawer magnets able to catch metal bits too small to be seen.
For multi-material separation, Eriez Magnetics will demonstrate its new Polymag system that uses a magnetic additive in one resin component. (It’s also marketed by AEC, Cumberland, and Sterling.) Hamos GmbH will discuss electrostatic separation of dual materials at the stand of Bunting Magnetics.
European plants are the first to use several new technologies for solvent-based recovery of PVC wire coatings, centrifugal recycling of post-consumer nylon carpet, and mechanical separation of multi-material flakes.
There are lots of ways to economize on resin costs, but here are four that you may have overlooked: negotiating smarter resin contracts, buying “futures,” using recycled resins, and more efficient purging aids. The main idea is to give yourself more choices, no matter what direction resin prices go.
Brominated flame retardants restrict its use. Most now goes to China, but new recycling processes promise to ‘clean up’ e-waste.