Think of it as a resin doctor that makes house calls.
Richards Group Inc. of Charleston, S.C., recently set up a new division called PolyClean USA LLC, a mobile polymer reclamation system.
The producer of bulk container liners parlayed its work in protecting transported material to helping resin producers and compounders salvage more of their damaged and off-spec material.
PolyClean is a self-contained mobile system that sorts color-contaminated, mixed and speck-damaged material at the resin producer or compounder's location.
Bill Hussey, PolyClean's sales and marketing manager, said the system — which uses Satake Color Master optical-sorting equipment — is an alternative to selling the resin at lower costs, transporting it to a toll recycler or writing it off as a loss.
"We saw there were some contamination issues," with a major resin producer, Hussey said. "We figured out [there was] an optical sorter capable of removing bad from good and came up with the idea to create a mobile service out of this. The data we got showed this would be a valuable service."
A 26-foot cargo truck equipped with the Satake system, a generator, air compressor, vacuum pump, a dryer, and an air-filtering system travels as far north as Columbus, Ohio, and as far west as La Porte, Texas. The company charges 12-25 cents per pound.
Hussey said the plan eventually is to have five trucks in operation. At full capacity, each unit can generate $1.2 million in annual sales for the new company. Hussey said the goal is to reach $5 million to $10 million in sales within five years.
So far, PolyClean has processed nearly 1 million pounds of material since the truck hit the road in September, Hussey said. The truck has been working nonstop since November.
"We can pull from a silo, gaylord box or rail car," Hussey said.