A gigantic Polymer Systems Inc. granulator in operation for 18 years at a Ford Motor Co. molding plant in Saline, Mich., is getting a new cutting chamber. The chamber is made of abrasion-resistant steel and has a rotor with 20-inch-long knives that are cryogenically hardened to withstand the glass- and mineral-filled engineering plastics now common in automotive applications, Polymer Systems said. The rotor weighs 8,000 pounds, while the entire chamber assembly weighs more than 32,000 pounds. The entire granulator is three stories tall and is used by Ford mainly to grind up instrument panels and other large parts, according to Polymer Systems of Berlin, Conn. With two 200-horsepower motors, the machine has the capacity to process 15,000 pounds of plastic per hour. Polymer Systems believes the granulator is the largest ever built in the United States.
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