Polymer Processors in Melbourne has successfully commissioned Stage One of a plant upgrade - adding thousands of tonnes of plastics recycling capacity to Australia.
Supported by the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund and the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund, Polymer Processors is adding significant plastics reprocessing capacity to Australian manufacturing.
Polymer Processors is one of the largest plastic recycling facilities within Australia.
Australian-owned and operated, since 1987 the company has installed new equipment to keep up with client demand and to divert plastic waste from landfill. State-of-the-art machinery is used to shred, wash, extrude and pelletise various types of post-consumer and post-industrial waste.
Materials processed vary in size, shape, volume and plastic compound and include Polypropylene (PP), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and High Impact Polystyrene.
The two-stage expansion of the Melbourne facility will include the installation of WEIMA shredding machinery, SOREMA plastics washing plant, two EREMA’s INTAREMA® TVEplus® repelletising extruders and Westeria material handling.
The expansion is being supported by CEMAC technologies, the Australian distributor for WEIMA, SOREMA, EREMA and Westeria technologies. Stage one, which includes film and big bag shredding, material handling and repelletising, was successfully commissioned in September.
Stage two, scheduled to begin in early 2023, will include a SOREMA plastics washing line from Italy, additional shredding and extrusion capacities and a new purpose-built factory.
Jonathan Tan, CEMAC technologies Sales Manager, says the WEIMA Powerline shredder, which features the powerful Hagglunds Bosch Rexroth hydraulic drive train with 200 kW power, large 800mm rotor and 80 x 80mm teeth, “chews through bales of film and bulker bags without any problems”.
The material is fed via a Westeria heavy duty chain belt conveyor CHAINCON, dropping directly into the shredder.
Jonathan says the shredder is equipped with various features, such as an anti-vibration frame with adjustable levelling feet and 40mm thick side panels, automatic radar level sensor for automatic feeding, free flying Wing Ram, large 800mm diameter rotor with 80 x 80mm knifes, a heavy duty Vautid coated rotor surface, rotor sealing with additional wear discs made of Creusabro 4800 wear resistant material and reinforced and supported counter knives that are four times usable.
After shredding, the material is fed to an automated and level controlled Westeria Multifeeder bunker, which in turn directly feeds the new EREMA INTAREMA® TVEplus® re-pelletising line.
Jonathan says EREMA is a world leader in developing and manufacturing plastics recycling machines and system components. Founded in 1983 as a pioneer in the industry, more than 7000 systems are now in operation around the globe.
“The machines are highly respected for their level of innovation, durability and operational reliability,” she says. “In total, EREMA machines produce more than 18.5 million tonnes of recycled plastics pellets every year.”
Polymer Processors has relied on EREMA technology from its early days and has been part of the plastics recycling industry as it has evolved in Australia and worldwide.
Jonathan says that for its latest upgrade, Polymer Processors chose the newest INTAREMA® TVEplus® machine. This features counter current technology in the pre-conditioning unit, triple de-gassing, double laser filtration with enhanced melt filter performance, 3D dynamic mixing for greater homogenization efficiency and various other features enabling the processing into high quality pellets.
“The proven basic principle of TVEplus® technology is based on the fact that the filtration, and hence the highest melt pressure, takes place upstream of extruder degassing,” Jonathan says. “As a result, end products can be produced with the best quality and the highest possible recycled content.”
Jonathan said the project presented several challenges including fitting new machines into an existing building with a low roof line in stages and into existing infrastructure. Further, parts of the line needed to be designed for stage one while allowing for a seamless integration of the SOREMA wash plant in 2023.
CEMAC technologies designed the overall layout of the plant and worked through the design and engineering challenges.
“Starting with a full 3D scan of the existing facility, the project team worked with the various stakeholders to allow the plant to fit into the existing envelope and to bring it to the subsequent successful installation and commissioning,” Jonathan says.
“In stage two the SOREMA wash line will be installed in parallel to the existing and operating infrastructure.
“The complete line will enable Polymer Processors to increase plant capacity while processing a range of difficult materials with the highest level of automation. They’ll be producing quality recycled materials at a competitive level.”
Article printed in Waste Management Review, 9th November, 2022
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