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GRANULATORS | TECHNOLOGY


Key role for granulators in circular economy drive


High quality and efficient granulation is essential for effective plastics recycling. Mark Holmes looks at the steps manufacturers are taking to meet industry demands


Granulators for plastics recycling are in high demand as progress towards the circular economy takes hold among plastics processors. However, the modern granulator not only has to produce regrind of a good and homogeneous quality, but also be highly energy-efficient. Manufacturers are also introducing an increasing degree of digital control to the granulation process to meet Industry 4.0 standards for the ‘Smart Factory’ of the future. The demand for granulators for plastics recycling


applications is extremely positive at present, according to Italian manufacturer CMG Granulators. “Any recycled plastic feedstock, whether it is post-industrial or post-consumer, is now acquiring increased value as it is turned back into high quality recycled polymers, and granulators play a vital role,” says Giorgio Santella, General Manager. “Old style granulators were considered part of the size reduction machinery category. This is not the case anymore. Size reduction equipment is only utilised to perform logistics optimisation in waste manage- ment. Instead, granulators are machines that play an essential role in the process of recycling plastics and are used in high value processes.” He says: “Newly designed granulators offer the


www.plasticsrecyclingworld.com


highest degree possible of regrind dimensional homogeneity. This element on its own is key to increasing the efficiency of any recycling line and plant. The big difference between reducing a plastic object into smaller pieces with old style granulators compared with producing homogene- ous regrind with modern machines is the higher output that can be achieved. In addition, regrind granulometry homogeneity is the main contributor to quality and mechanical features of any recycled polymer.”


Santella adds that modern granulators also offer other advantages that can be seen in the increased interest in in-house recycling of production scrap or rejects. Plastics converters are still worried that by adding a granulator to a facility it can be a source of dust, increased maintenance and additional production logistics. However, modern granulators have none of these consequences. As well as being quiet and free from powder pollution, they can also produce virgin-pellet-like regrind material that is immediately processable. Another industry trend is that as demand for


recycled polymers increases, the number of new companies entering the plastics recycling industry


September 2021 | PLASTICS RECYCLING WORLD 59


Main image: The Bio-Gran from CMG designed for use in the production of biodegradable flexible packaging and allows the immediate recycling and reintroduction of both production scrap and rejects


IMAGE: CMG


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