CHICAGO (July 19, 11:20 a.m. EDT) — One of Germany´s leading producers of injection-compression lines has come up with a system that can produce a pallet from recycled PET that it claims is price-competitive with wood.
Remaplan Anlagenbau GmbH´s latest shredding, densifying and extruding system is responsible for the breakthrough, said Remaplan General Manager Rochus Rüttnauer.
"Our process can use for washed post-consumer bottles or coextruded bottle scrap," he said at NPE in Chicago. "This second-grade PET scrap is normally not used, but it has a very good mechanical value."
With the Remaplan system, a prefriction dryer brings down humidity, and the crystallized PET is then vacuum-dried as a slide extruder injects thickening additives.
The end product actually is a combination of 75 percent post-consumer PET, 20 percent post-consumer polyolefins and 5 percent additives. The company has applied for a patent on the blend and equipment, Rüttnauer said.
"In transport items, you have to have a certain impact resistance," Rüttnauer said. "This recipe brings a good solution for transport products like a pallet."
The new system is capable of processing virgin material, but Remaplan is pushing its recycled-material-processing capabilities.
Rüttnauer figures users of his company´s system will be able to produce pallets to sell for $10-$12 each, which is about the same as wooden pallets.
"The low cost of input material and high production speeds bring the pallet price tremendously down," he said.
The pallet production lines have outputs of 440,000 to 1.6 million pieces per year. The lines also are able to produce boxes, crates, trays and other transportation items.
The system can process other materials such as unground polypropylene bottle caps, shredded high density polyethylene bottle caps and low density PE grocery bags.
Based in Landau, Germany, Remaplan has sold more than 50 lines for pallet molding since 1991. The company reported about $15 million in sales, Rüttnauer said.