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Ettlinger has launched its latest series of high performance melt filters that it says offers increased throughputs in combination with ultra-low melt losses, with the same footprint and energy efficiency as its next-best models.

The ERF350 is the first in a new, performance-enhanced generation of the company's ERF series said to be suitable for processing all standard polyolefins and polystyrenes as well as engineering plastics including styrene copolymers, TPE and TPU.

Like the company's other ERF models, it is capable of removing foreign particles such as paper, aluminum, wood, elastomers or high-melting polymer composites containing up to 18 percent contaminants.

Depending on the type and level of contamination in the melt to be cleaned and the selected screen size, the ERF350 is said to achieve a maximum throughput of 3800 kg/h in combination with ultra-low melt losses. Compared to Ettlinger's existing ERF250 model, which can process a maximum throughput of 3000 kg/h, this represents an increase of around 28 percent for the same filtration surface and footprint.

Ettlinger says the throughput values have been confirmed by pilot customers in the first few months of use, also adding that users profit from more productivity when recycling contaminated waste plastics from industrial or consumer sources. It said that energy consumption is around the same values as its ERF250 model, despite the increased efficiency.

"Users of our new ERF350 melt filter very soon realise that their investment pays for itself in minimal time owing to the clearly superior performance," commented Volker Neuber, Ettlinger's Managing Director. "It's a highly efficient way for recycling plants to strengthen their competitiveness in terms of costs and performance in what is a fiercely contested market constrained by price tags. Companies which process large quantities will particularly profit from the new technology. Compounders where PP is converted for use in the automotive sector or manufacturers of, say, LPDE packaging films, are only two examples here."

Like all of Ettlinger's ERF and ECO filters, the new ERF350 model works with a rotating, perforated drum, through which there is a continuous flow of melt from the outside to the inside. The screen sizes range from 80 [micro]m to 1300 [micro]m. A scraper continuously removes the contaminants that are held back on the surface and feeds them to an exit screw or discharge shaft. This enables the filter to be used fully automatically and without any disruptions over a period of weeks and months without having to replace the screen.

The advantages of this design, says Ettlinger, are the constant melt pressure at the filter outlet leading to more reliable processing, ultralow melt losses and good mixing and homogenising of the melts. Where the ERF series is optimised for separating foreign particles from heavily contaminated polymers, the ECO series is ideal for filtering polyolefins, PET and PA as well as recycled material containing up to 1.5 percent contaminants during the extrusion of films, sheets and other semi-finished products.

Ettlinger products are available in the UK through Motan Colortronic, based in Derbyshire. Products in the Ettlinger range are available for trial and testing at Motan's premises.



Moretto Plastics Automation has been awarded a patent for its KruiseKontrol conveying system.

The company says the issuing of patent EP2003075 from the European Patent Office (EPO) ends previous disputes about the system's abilities in plastics conveying and its uniqueness in the market.

KruiseKontrol is designed to consider that different plastics have different characteristics and automatically adjust to control the velocity best suited to each material, without damaging it and controlling the speed inside the conveying pipes.

Users of the system indicate the type of material that is about to be transported and input how many machines are to be fed, before the system creates the optimum transport parameters for each polymer. In doing so, the materials are subject to less wear and common phenomena, such as 'angel hair' or powder formation, are avoided.

On the awarding of the patent, Lee Thomas, Managing Director of Moretto's UK distributor, TH Plastics, said the company is aware of the added-value that KruiseKontrol can offer to its customers. "There are hundreds of customers who are enjoying KruiseKontrol's performance today," he said.

Thomas said that Moretto plans to continue investing in innovation, with a clear research and development path for its systems. This, he added, includes the recent introduction of 'Industry 4.0'-compliant technologies.



The set-up of an economically viable as well as technically sensible raw materials handling concept starts with the storage of the raw material. The storage concept must fulfil specific criteria, which depend on the production systems which must be supplied, as well as the required throughput.

The extrusion of multilayer films or the compounding of large and small amounts of special polymers require different planning than injection moulding production with multiple material changes, for example. Dependent on this are the number of materials which need to be stored and of course the required amounts. Do small sacks (sacks with 25kg/container) or large sacks (BigBags, octabins with up to 1000kg) need to be stored, or would silos be more economical? If silos, then there are also many different options, such as full chamber silos, multiple chamber silos with up to four chambers, or mixed silos, for example. In addition, day bins and material distribution stations must also be factored in, depending on need and internal logistics.

From this, additional decision criteria also arise, such as necessary floor space required, automation degree, and transport distances, which have an influence on handling costs, as well as cleanliness and hygiene aspects. Disposal of packaging material must also be thought of. Safety aspects such as dust emissions and flammability of powders must also not be forgotten.

The material properties influence storage and later conveying. Moisture absorption must be kept in mind for hygroscopic plastics, particularly during the summer months. If the material is going to be stored in containers, blanketing with dry air can be a suitable preventative measure.

Flow properties also belong to the material properties, which again depends on the type of material, for example whether it is granules, flakes, powder, regrind or fibres. Whether the bulk material is free-flowing or non-free-flowing, sticky, clumpy or agglomerating, or is bridge-building, are also important properties to bear in mind. Some materials tend towards compacting due to their high bulk weight. Materials with very low softening temperatures can already start to soften between the dosing screw and the casing due to heat generated by friction. With the correct measures, these obstacles for conveying and dosing can be overcome.




A new mobile flexible screw conveyor for bulk bag discharging and manual dumping has been added to the range of Kent-based Flexicon.

The new conveyor has a multipurpose hood for transferring material discharged from bulk bags and/or manually dumped from sacks into elevated process equipment or storage vessels without dust.

Mounted on a frame with locking castors for in-plant mobility, Flexicon says the system improves mobility and reduces cost by eliminating heavy frame components typically employed to support bulk bags, relying on the user's forklift or plant hoist to suspend the bag above the unit during operation.

Variable control of flow through the bulk bag spout is enabled through an iris valve set on top of the dust hood. A bag support tray and hinged door allow the manual addition of minor ingredients from handheld sacks.

Flexicon says the flexible screw conveyor transports both free- and non-free-flowing bulk materials. Mounting flanges at the discharge end of the conveyor support boom permit the addition of a metal detector below the conveyor outlet.



A plastic injection moulder based in the East Midlands has installed a large 80-55 Engin Plast Central Granulation system in order to process its in-house scrap.

Tex-Plastics' Derbyshire division purchased the system from Renmar Plastics Machinery so that it could recycle the larger plastic components from its manufacturing process that were previously sold to a third party.

"As part of an ongoing investment programme, a major target for 2017 was related to improving our ability to recycle plastic waste resulting from our manufacturing process," explained Tex Plastics' Manufacturing Director, Guy Sentance. "Primary goals were to improve internal material recovery rates, as well as to meet the requirements of ISO 14001 Environmental Systems."

In order to quote for a suitable unit for Tex, Renmar assessed samples of the company's larger mouldings. The evaluation undertaken involved the use of a modelling system that simulated the passage of the 14 products supplied by Tex through the cutting chamber throat. This ensured that all mouldings would pass cleanly through the system, regardless of angle of presentation.

It was established that a smaller 60-40 model would require around 60 percent of mouldings to be pre-cut with a band saw, resulting in the suggestion and subsequent installation of the selected 80-55 model.

The main installation includes features such as compressed air cleaning for the bearing housing. This system counters the typical issue of fine plastic filaments wrapping around the main shaft and being forced into the bearing housings. A periodic blast of air removes contaminants, which are then isolated in a collection chamber. It also has a 'big bag' loading system and soundproofing enclosures for both the granulator and the blower.

Tex has subsequently ordered multiple press-side granulators from Renmar to process smaller items, such as cold runner systems, on a 'closed loop' basis. These smaller 22-18 units also utilise quiet rotor technology, a compressed air bearing protection system, and offer throughputs of up to 60 kilos per hour.



Maguire Products has developed software for its VBD vacuum dryers that it says ensures power consumption is "the lowest of any resin dryer in the plastics industry".

The company says the software constantly monitors the changing conditions of dryer operation and automatically adjusts the amount of energy needed. This will make the biggest difference, it says, on low throughputs where excess power draw is eliminated.

Prior to Maguire's development of the new energy saver software, the vacuum dryer used increasingly greater amounts of energy as throughput decreased, unless the dryer was set up for the lower throughput. At throughputs that were one-tenth of capacity, for example, energy consumption could be ten times greater than at full capacity if the dryer was not set up correctly.

If operated at full capacity of 136 kg per hour, the VBD-300 dryer typically exhibits an energy consumption of 46 watts/kg/hr when drying polycarbonate at 121 [degrees]C. Now, Maguire says the same dryer can operate at nearly the same low level of energy consumption at throughputs of only 11 kg per hour with no operator intervention.

"The new Maguire software eliminates the penalty for low-throughput operation by using data acquired from previous heating cycles to make adjustments to the current cycle, ensuring that the absolute minimum amount of energy is used while achieving adequate and complete heating of the resin," said Frank Kavanagh, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "We now offer the software as a standard feature on all VBD dryers, and it is available for upgrading existing dryers at no cost."

In addition, Maguire says all controllers for VBD dryers now include a standard onboard energy consumption display and logging capability. The controller shows both real-time and time-averaged values in the industry standard of watts/kg/hr.

Maguire products are available in the UK through Summit Systems, based in Tamworth.

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Publication:British Plastics & Rubber
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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