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

Image

Asia continues driving sales for Engel

October 21, 2014 2:42 pm ET

The number seven seems to be special for European plastics machinery makers at the moment — injection press giant Engel Holding GmbH said Oct....    More

Image

Plastic particles showing up in Germany's Lake Constance

October 21, 2014 1:16 pm ET

While Fakuma 2014 exhibitors and visitors occupied themselves with topics like molding of micro-sized plastic parts during the show, the presence of...    More

Image

Bioplastics, design join forces for SOMA

October 21, 2014 11:33 am ET

A polylactic acid made by Germany's Fraunhofer UMSICHT is a key part of the Soma home water filtration system, which its developers call the...    More

Image

Trexel charges patent infringement against Taiwan company

October 20, 2014 3:25 pm ET

Trexel Inc., the supplier of the MuCell microcellular foaming technology, is accusing a Taiwanese company, Chuan Lih Fa Machinery Works, of violating ...    More

Image

Humanoid robot provides inspection service with a smile

October 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

Everyone knows robots can improve production and quality. But no one says they can't show a little personality while they're working.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events