November, 10, 2022. Recycling specialist Lindner showed all-in-one solutions for plastics recycling at K 2022 in Dusseldorf in Hall 9, booths B17/B19 and in the outside area CE02 as part of the VDMA Circular Economy Forum. In three daily demonstrations, different post-consumer rigid plastics were shredded live – and for the first time also wet washed. Working together with Engel there was yet another first: shredded rigid plastics were injection moulded and turned directly into new pallets on site.
Lindner is aware of what the recycling and circular economy wants: higher throughputs, short downtimes and maximum energy efficiency. The increased demand for quality recyclates also requires first-class washing components that can be added as modules depending on the degree of contamination. This can be achieved thanks to product innovations and the perfectly coordinated upstream processes of shredding – washing – sorting. Lindner says it offers all-in-one solutions to efficiently optimise these steps to process rigid plastics, films and PET.
Film recycling – optimised quality from the first process step
Whether post-commercial or post-consumer, films make up a lot of the world’s waste. Different degrees of contamination require adapted washing and drying processes. This is the only way to produce high-quality recyclates. According to Lindner, the specific features of its new Jupiter BW series ensure an increase in efficiency and quality. The new shredder setup is specially designed for film recycling. "Thanks to the Jupiter BW, we have succeeded in reducing the percentage of fines produced during shredding by 44% – as comparisons with other shredders have shown. The bad fraction to be disposed of by the recycler is thereby greatly reduced and more material is retained in the recycling stream," explains Stefan Scheiflinger-Ehrenwerth, Head of Product Management at Lindner Recyclingtech. "The precise cut shreds films to an optimal size of A4/A3 for downstream NIR systems. This makes the downstream sorting processes so much more productive and efficient", adds Scheiflinger-Ehrenwerth.
The new Micromat HP
The novelty at K 2022: Lindner’s Micromat HP series. Micromat series shredders have been used successfully in plastics recycling for many years. According to Lindner, the new series has powerful, gearless direct belt drive, an adjustable safety clutch that protects against non-shreddables and a unique adjustable knife system. The machine manufacturer claims the new model makes it possible to increase the throughput, leading to the improved productivity demanded by the market – the throughput for processing recyclable bales, for example, was raised from 3 t/h to 5 t/h. Another new feature, Lindner says, is the automatic belt tensioning system, or ATB, which guarantees an optimal operating point, making the process more energy efficient and almost eliminating the need for maintenance – both welcome developments considering energy costs and the shortage of skilled labour that also affect the recycling industry.
A clean and energy-saving solution
The demands placed on recyclate quality and throughput are increasing. Energy costs are to be reduced. Overall, these are no easy tasks considering the rising energy costs and the fact that plastics are increasingly extracted from waste streams, meaning that heavily contaminated input materials are finding their way into plastics recycling more and more. Lindner says it provides the solution to these challenges with no less than two new products: the patented Rafter-type pre-washing system and the new EcoDry thermal dryer. "Purity, throughput performance and energy savings – these are the topics currently occupying our clients and that’s why we are displaying two product innovations at K 2022. The new EcoDry thermal dryer achieves energy savings of up to 30% thanks to cleverly used heat exchangers and sustainably insulated material handling components. Having a residual moisture of <1%, the materials achieve a particularly high degree of drying, which means that the flakes are better prepared for the subsequent process," explains Harald Hoffmann, Managing Director of Lindner Washtech, Lindner’s subsidiary specialising in plastics recycling. "We are also presenting another production innovation: our patented Rafter-type pre-washing system. By using a larger rotor, the dwell times can be increased, cleaning the material to a higher standard. Additionally we were able to sustainably increase the throughput – 3 t/h for films," says Hoffmann, pleased.
From homogenous flakes to immediate injection moulding
As part of the VDMA Circular Economy Forum, Lindner once again showcased its products in the outside area at K 2022, this time with three live demonstrations daily. The new Micromat HP shredder, the Twister friction washer and the mechanical Loop dryer demonstrate the process stages of shredding, washing, drying with integrated water treatment processing post-consumer rigid plastics. As a special highlight, the shredding of post-consumer plastics, called dolly pallets, provided by Engel, took place daily. Together, Lindner and Engel showed how, with a residual moisture of <1% and a uniform particle size of 8 mm, homogenous and clean plastic flakes can be directly processed further in a two-stage injection moulding process. "This will open up many different possibilities for our clients," explains Michael Lackner, Managing Director at Lindner Recyclingtech. "Until now, injection moulders have bought granulate. Now they also have the option of purchasing and processing clean plastic flakes – as long as the parameters fit. Besides a specific particle size, a low residual moisture content is particularly crucial. These are exactly the requirements we meet with our recycling solutions," emphasises Lackner.
New precious materials from ocean waste
In partnership with the other plastics recycling leaders Erema, ExxonMobil and Engel, visitors could also learn more about the Atando Cabos project in Lindner’s outside area. The company Comberplast in Chile clears the coasts of broken fishing nets and ropes, turning them into new products such as crates for tulips or a well-known brewery. A demanding shredding task, considering that fishing nets and ropes are designed for robustness and durability and that the collected materials contain many abrasive substances such as stones and sand. Lindner’s Micromat was commissioned remotely in 2020 during the pandemic and has been supporting Comberplast in the daily production of new precious materials ever since.