KW Plastics Recycling pushes limits of ERF melt filter

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 5, 2014 1:43 pm ET
Updated: February 7, 2014 9:35 am ET

Image By: Ettlinger North America Mike Diletti, managing director Ettlinger North America

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Recycling, Machinery

KW Plastics Recycling has become the largest North American customer for the ERF melt filter from Ettlinger Kunststofmaschinen GmbH—running 13 of the ERF250s on recycling lines in Troy, Ala.

The German company set up Ettlinger North America LP in Wheaton, Ill., near Chicago, last year. The North American business started in 2011, but did not have its own facility.

Traditional melt filters push the melt through screens that need to be flushed or changed frequently. The Ettlinger rotational filter is different. On the ERF, after coming out of the extruder, material enters a rotating, drum-shaped filter, which is continuously scraped clean by a knife. That cleans the filter constantly. An auger screw removes unmelted waste such as paper and aluminum.

KW Plastics is a major recycler of post-consumer plastic, including containers from high density polyethylene and polypropylene. CEO Kenny Campbell said the recycling operation is still finding out benefits from the ERF. "We found that our rates improved--better rates, better quality and you waste a lot less material," he said.

"The other thing is, it actually does a better job of filtration, we've found, than the conventional-type screens," he said. The high-quality recycled material goes through a pelletizer.

KW Plastics Recycling runs 26 extrusion lines, including single-screw and twin-screw extruders.

Recycled plastic accounts for nearly 90 percent of the total material KW runs. Ettlinger officials tout the ERF's ability to run heavily contaminated scrap plastic, and remove waste. Campbell said KW does thorough cleaning, washing and drying of its recycled plastic before it gets to the filter.

Campbell said the EFR just works better and more efficiently, with less hassle than traditional screen filters. "There are several advantages to the unit. One is it doesn't require any supervision. Two, the waste purge it generates is only a fraction, as compared to the other screen changers. It just doesn't waste much material at all."

Regular melt filters need backflushing to clean them out. That's not an issue with the ERF.

"One person could easily oversee half a dozen extrusion lines, or more, without any problem," Campbell said.

Initially, Ettlinger North America placed an ERF at KW for a 30-day trial. Campbell said he didn't know if the rotating filter would fit the recycler's needs. The supplier claims the ERF250 can run 4,400 pounds an hour. But Campbell said KW technicians found that number was conservative, and it can run at a much higher rate. The ERF also does a good job on stiffer fractional melt materials that do not flow as well, such as high density polyethylene from blow molded bottles.

And Campbell said the filter gives consistent melt pressure, which is important because KW Plastics Recycling compounds its material before pelletizing.

KW has ordered an ERF500, which links two filter drums in a common base with a single controller—essentially doubling the output of the 250 model. Ettlinger will deliver the 500 to KW in July.

Mike Diletti, managing director of Ettlinger North America, said KW will be the first customer in the United States to get an ERF500. He said KW hopes to get 13,000 to 14,000 an hour on the new filter, versus his current 6,500-7,000 an hour from the ERF250.


Comments

KW Plastics Recycling pushes limits of ERF melt filter

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 5, 2014 1:43 pm ET
Updated: February 7, 2014 9:35 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Dutch company launching $100 million PP, PE recycling plant

April 18, 2014 10:42 am ET

Quality Circular Polymers is building a new plastics recycling operation in Geleen, the Netherlands' Chemelot industrial chemical site, with a...    More

EU moving closer to rules that will reduce plastic bag use by 80 percent

April 17, 2014 10:54 am ET

European Union countries could have to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags by at least 80 percent by 2019 under draft rules backed by the...    More

Image

Top export markets for Italian machinery and molds

April 17, 2014 9:00 am ET

Top export markets for Italian machinery and molds    More

Negri Bossi's new owners may 'bring significant manufacturing' to US

April 16, 2014 1:09 pm ET

Italian plastics equipment major Negri Bossi may “bring significant manufacturing of injection molding machines back to the United...    More

Image

Polyair rebuilds from Sandy with help from Process Control

April 16, 2014 4:11 pm ET

Hurricane Sandy gutted Polyair Inter Pack Inc.'s Carlstadt, N.J., plant more than a year ago, and Brian Clawson won't soon forget the devastation.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events