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
Companies & Associations

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

Plastics recycling is in full swing behind the scenes at NPE 2015

March 26, 2015 11:00 am ET

Paul Benvenuti walks the NPE 2015 show floor in Orlando with purpose. Keep up or be left behind, because this man has a job to do this week, and he's ...    More

Image

NPE nudges attendees to recycle

March 24, 2015 1:47 pm ET

A public awareness campaign developed by Keep America Beautiful is receiving prominent display at NPE 2015 as part of the show's overall effort to...    More

Image

SPI launching recycling summit

March 23, 2015 5:10 pm ET

The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. announced Monday at NPE 2015 that the plastics trade association will return to Orlando in 2016 for a brand ...    More

Image

Designing a new image for plastics and recycling

March 23, 2015 2:36 pm ET

New York has its fashion week, and so does Paris and Milan. But they're no competition for Orlando this week as student designers who helped kick off ...    More

Image

DuPont exec: Still lots of lightweighting needed in the auto industry

March 23, 2015 6:00 am ET

In that role, Jeffrey Sternberg is responsible for bringing the breadth of DuPont advanced materials — as well as renewably sourced materials an...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

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 billion 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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events