‘The cycle starts here’ was the slogan adorning the entrance to Austrian machinery maker Lindner’s demonstration area at K, as the company showcased its latest model in the Micromat shredder series alongside a new hot-wash system.
Ear plug-wearing visitors watched the next generation Micromat 1500 shredding a tough mix of materials before dispensing flake into a container. It was shown working in tandem with a Loop Dryer dry-cleaning system in daily live demos.
“This Micromat model is a smaller machine than the others in the series, so more of an entry-level system,” explained Pia-Maria Steiner, marketing and PR for Lindner. “This machine at the fair has been sold to Comberplast from Chile, which recycles fishing ropes into pallets. These ropes are very tough to shred as they are extremely robust.”
During the exhibition the shredder was handling a variety of HDPE-related packaging. The 1500 size refers to the length of the rotor in millimetres.
Stefan Scheiflinger-Ehrenwerth, head of product management at Lindner, illustrated the Multiplex cutting system, which has a three-dimensional arrangement of rotor knives to enable it to shred almost any plastics. This means that output can be increased by some 40 per cent on average compared to previous technologies.
“In terms of serviceable parts, the knives can be turned four times, and you get about 200-300 hours of use,” he explained. “You know when the knives need replacing when the process starts to be slightly slower or less efficient.”
Machine software and controls have also been redesigned with the Lindner Mobile HMI (Human Machine Interface) making it easier for operators to use. It also allows the shredder to communicate with downstream equipment in the process chain and, for example, to function as a dosing unit for the facility or pass on data about the quality of materials to the extruder.
As demand for recyclate that is barely distinguishable from virgin material soars, pressure is increasing on the mechanical recycling process. As such, Lindner Washtech has rolled out a three-stage hot-wash system, which it believes is more reliable than batch processing.
In the first stage, shredded and pre-washed plastics are fed into a reactor, mixed with hot water and washed. Mixing arms are already applying concentrated friction to the material at this point. The double discharge screw conveyor then feeds the plastics into the hot-wash Rafter in optimally dosed quantities. Here, continuous friction is applied to the material to remove and separate residues. In the third and final stage, the Twister friction washer removes the hot water or hot caustic solution. The liquid is then separately treated.