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Recycling was the dominant theme of the show, and several suppliers of turnkey systems showed their wares. (See also the Extrusion section of this report.)

Sikoplast Maschinenbau Heinrich Koch GmbH (represented by Bartex Recycling), displayed a model of its new grinding/washing line that separates EPS, wood and PVC from PE flake. The first line will be installed in Czechoslovakia early this year. It amplifies washer agitation by a suction pump that removes flake from the pre-separation wash unit and pumps it into the float/sink tank. This friction intensifies washing and reduces chances of nonpolyolefins staying with the PE, Sikoplast says. Lighter particles bob to the surface at the start of the float/sink tank, are trapped behind a barrier, and discharged. A complete system for 1500 lb/hr costs about $1-1.5 million, less if silos and some structural elements are made locally.

New grind/wash technologies are also being developed for problem materials. Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH has a new line of knife mills to remove cotton from PP. And Refakt Anlagenbau GmbH (represented by Herbold Granulators U.S.A.) has a pilot recycling line to clean motor-oil bottles. It will be installed early this year by a German oil industry group. The system removes oil with heat, steam and friction--but no detergent, as detergent puts oil into suspension, making it hard to decontaminate the wash water. After separation, oil is skimmed off the water and both oil and water can be reused. The pilot oil-bottle cleaning system costs $1-1.25 million.

Novel electronic color-sorting equipment from SEA/Societa per l'Elettronica Applicata in Italy (no U.S. rep) comes in over a dozen sizes and is said to have been successfully tested on colored plastic flake and pellets. Several are installed in Europe to separate off-color pellets, and SEA's CR 400 model is in commercial use sorting PVC from wire chop and color-sorting PET flakes. The technology is said to distinguish differences in color and in transparency. Models with throughput from 500 to 7000 lb/hr cost $30,000-120,000, depending on number of sorting channels.
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Title Annotation:Making Sense of K '92
Author:Schut, Jan H.
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Previous Article:Thermoforming.
Next Article:1993 may see stricter packaging laws.

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