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GRANULATORS | TECHNOLOGY


gradable plastic products and one test unit is available at the CMG Tech Center in Bologna, Italy. The range of capacities of the Bio-Gran line is from 200 kg/h up to 2,000 kg/h. For other plastics processors and converters, the company has introduced a line of beside-the-press granulators, the G17 series. Along with featuring a high degree of regrind dimensional homogeneity, the small dimensions of the regrind and no powder make the G17 series ideal for manufacturers producing highly technical parts, generally utilising costly polymers in injection moulding processes producing a relatively large sprue/cold runner. CMG Granulators adds that its future develop- ments will focus on efficiency of operation and output enhancement. “Recycling equipment is subject to a heavy workload by nature, resulting in frequent maintenance cycles,” says Santella. “The development of new structural designs, coupled with the most advanced controls, is what we are currently working on, and we will soon launch a further innovative solution for recyclers.” The current market for granulators in plastics


recycling is definitely growing, agrees Mark Hellweg, Managing Director of Hellweg Granulators. In-line processes and digitalisation are the main trends driving new developments for the ‘Smart Factory’ of the future, he says. One major development from the company recently is a digital control system – Smart Control. The system enables networked communication of machines with upstream and downstream components, as well as with operators, according to Industry 4.0 principles. It measures and stores a number of parameters including power consumption, rotation speed, bearing temperatures, as well as the service life of bearings, blades, sieves and the wedge-profile drive belts (V-belts). Evalua- tion of the data enables conclusions to be drawn about the energy consumption used in granulation of various plastics down to defined particle sizes and about the related service lives, for example of bearings, blades and V-belts. The efficiency of the granulation process can be assessed by comparison with stored reference values, enabling potential malfunction and damage to be predicted at an early stage and then avoided. A ‘boost operation’ enables a short-term


increase in grinding performance, in order to compensate for production-related fluctuations. In addition, certain rotation speed ranges have been defined for various plastics, by means of which, for example, granulation of low melt-temperature materials can be performed in continuous opera- tion without problems arising, so that water-cooling is not required. Smart Control evaluates measured


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power consumption over longer periods of time. The operator can use a digital Ampere meter in real-time operation and access detailed statistics that have been created over long-term operation. Standardised soft starting of the motor and a new motor brake make the granulators energy saving and safe. Power consumption can also be reduced with the new ‘eco’ operating mode, as this adapts the rotation speed according to input quantity. Rapid Granulator is also observing a buoyant


market for plastics recycling granulators, according to Anders Mårtensson, Sales and Marketing Director. The company’s latest development is the Rapid OneCUT PRO, a slow speed granulator, which is highly efficient energy and capable of producing high quality regrind. Features include an ‘Open Hearted’ design with quick rotor release. This arrangement easily opens up the whole cutter house and disconnects the gearbox, which significantly simplifies cleaning and maintenance. A gas spring supported cutter house simplifies the opening and controls the closing, meaning the heavy cutter house cannot fall down, which reduces the risk of injury. The fully modular cutter house is also designed with maintenance in mind, which offers easy service and part changes. In addition, the FlexiSPEED system uses a


frequency converter allowing adjustment of the speed based on the material for optimal perfor- mance, reducing the noise level and energy use by up to 30%. Rapid EnergySMART also utilises the granulator’s overcapacity and saves up to 80% of energy costs. It is also equipped with the Rapid Stop&Go mode, where the granulator will run in intervals, saving more energy. The SquareCUT cutting tooth design generates uniform high quality regrind. Weima and Neue Herbold have collaborated in the two-stage processing of plastic waste – shredding and granulation. A two-stage process- ing system is often required to achieve particu-


September 2021 | PLASTICS RECYCLING WORLD 63


Above: Hellweg Granulators has developed Smart Control, a new digital control system for its granula- tors


IMAGE: HELLWEG


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