Recycler and resin broker Plastics General Polymers Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., has invested in additional size-reduction equipment to increase its shredding and granulating capacities.
The firm acquired a new 200-horsepower shredder and two used Nelmor dual-stage shredder-granulators, owner Carl Weir said.
Plastics General purchased the shredder from Vecoplan LLC of High Point, N.C., last year to deal with sizeable things the company could not handle, such as large trash containers and pickup bed liners, Weir said. ``Shredders are great equalizers'' with their output suitable for the blades of a grinder.
One of the Nelmor units went into service in mid-2007, and the second was acquired several months ago.
Also, Plastics General operates two 100-horsepower grinders, one each from Cumberland and Zerma, and three Rapid granulators and a heavy-duty Getecha granulator along with mechanical and electronic metal separators and sensors, including 45-inch-wide belts with electromagnetic detectors.
In recycling, ``we are probably handling 4 million to 5 million pounds now, and we are capable of handling 8 million to 10 million pounds'' per year, Weir said.
Most of the business comes from west of the Mississippi River, however Plastics General does have a customer in Pennsylvania that loads scrap onto a common-motor-carrier trailer and ships the material on a piggyback flatbed train car to Arizona for processing, Weir said.
``We do business with the same customer in that and other plants,'' he added. ``We are doing that with two or three customers now.''
As of late April, the firm had a physical inventory of 2.3 million pounds of regrind.
In addition, the brokerage side of the business listed materials - mostly small-lot prime virgin and generic resins - weighing a total of about 2.1 million pounds and available in other locations from a wide variety of unidentified processors and brokers.
An interested buyer can make a reasonable offer and usually obtain specially engineered or commodity resins at a price lower than that for a minimum shipment through traditional channels.
Plastics General's online trading forum, called World Plastics Trading Center, allows companies to trade resins, but ``most people are not adept at using it,'' Weir said. ``They find out that their organization is not set up with a quality-control system to do it.''
A North American plastics processor selling scrap through the WPTC or elsewhere ``can earn $4,000-$5,000 a month once you train them, but there is a big learning curve for that,'' Weir said. Plastics General brokers each transaction and arranges for transportation of the material to the buyer. The firm launched WPTC in 1997.
Plastics General employs 30, occupies 50,000 square feet and had 2007 sales of $9.6 million on total recycled and brokered volume of 12.2 million pounds. About 45 percent of the business involved post-industrial recycling, and the remainder dealt with brokered transactions.