Friedrichshafen, Germany — When Ettlinger Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH launched its melt filtration systems in 2003, the idea was to establish a business to serve the emerging recycling market as well as to launch a product family for which demand would be steadier than its other business: very large injection molding machines.
Ettlinger presses are used to mold products weighing up to 100 kilograms — think plastic pallets, fittings or manholes.
Over the years, the two business lines have grown and developed, and Königsbrunn, Germany-based Ettlinger has become a prominent name in advanced melt filtration systems.
The company has continued to refine and improve on the design of its ERF family of melt filters, soon moving away from the traditional static screen filters to the continuous melt filter systems the company sells today. The switch was mainly in response to customer demand: Static screen changers were limited, as sales manager Karsten Bräunig pointed out.
"Feedstocks are often derived from recycled post-consumer waste, and melt filtration systems are used to remove contaminants like paper, aluminum, wood, silicones or high-melting polymer composites from the feedstock. Contaminant levels above 0.5 percent make the process unstable," Bräunig said.
Using a continuous melt filtration system, an open filter surface is always provided, explained Bräunig. Ettlinger's ERF systems therefore have high throughput rates and are able to handle contamination rates up to 18 percent while also conforming with the trend for more automation.
"Also, the residence time of the contaminants in the melt is very short, which improves the quality of the recycled material," Bräunig said.