Manfred Hackl - CEO, EREMA Group GmbH and Mike Horrocks - CEO EREMA North America, Inc. welcomed over 100 attendees from around the world to learn about advanced plastics recycling technologies. Speakers for the event ranged from EREMA SMEs (subject matter experts) to customers sharing recycling success stories to industry leaders advancing the cause of closing the loop through regulatory change. On hand also were key technology integration partners.
Here, Manfred introduced the star of the show, an unbundled pallet of PET water bottles. Manfred noted that only 9% of manufactured plastic products is recycled globally today and that EREMA's mission is to dramatically close the gap between what is currently recycled and what should be.
A primary barrier to more adoption of recycling, particularly in the US market, is the perception that recycling in general is difficult and that technologies don't yet exist to streamline closing the loop.
The pallet was introduced as our challenge of the day. The pallet would be deconstructed and fully recycled into high quality, useable plastic pellets.
The components of the pallet included the pallet shrink wrap, complete with labels!
It also included heavily printed bottle case wrap.
And of course the bottle caps!
In this case, the pallet wrap film was dirty with scuff marks from shipment. Used film like this can accumulate all manner of contaminants, from road dust and grit to staples to wood pallet chips as well as spills from whatever the bottle being wrapped might contain.
Below is the EREMA Interema TVE solution that was demonstrated at the event.
Here we show the pallet shrink wrap sheet being loaded, scanned for metal contamination and brought to the top of the EREMA system where it will be first shredded into flakes and dewatered.
In this video, we show the film recycling process being monitored and tuned.
This is plastic purge as the process is started-up. In the machine casing to the right you can see the pelletizing blades which will cut the plastic strand as it extrudes. The speed of rotation of the pelletizing blades dictates the thickness of the pellets. When the process is optimized, that casing is swung shut.
Here you can see the contaminated material beginning to be expelled from the process as waste. Yield loss is typically 1 - 5% depending on level of contamination.
The pellets pass through a cooling system.
And here we see the final product! High quality recycled plastic pellets from shrink wrap sheet using advanced recycling technology!
Here's the printed plastic film being loaded and run up the conveyor through the metal detector.
A visiting engineering professional is being shown how the process is monitored and tuned.
The contamination is separated from the process and disposed of.
As the process is being optimized, a bit of purge plastic is created.
Here the pellets are being cooled.
And here are the final high quality recycled plastic pellets from heavily printed plastic film!
This makes recycling bottle caps a technical challenge as the plastic streams need to be separated.
Here are the bottle caps headed into the process.
Optimizing the process is easy with the EREMA HMI.
Bottle cap recycled pellets being cooled.
The final recycled pellets ready for additional processing into recycled products!
We'll be posting more content from the day including summaries of presentations and features about our partners.
If you have an interest in learning more about our Discovery Days, or if you have an idea that you'd like to see presented next year, please feel free to reach out Mike Horrocks, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about the latest developments in plastic film recycling!