Out now: Recycling Technology 2021!
Vecoplan’s technology enables
a seamless recycling economy
Demand for plastics is increasing worldwide and so ever more waste is generated. However, this can be recycled and returned
to production with a high degree of quality. Vecoplan AG of Germany offers machines and plants that shred, convey and process
primary and secondary raw materials, enabling a closed-cycle economy.
Vecoplan’s powerful shredders provide for efficient and cost-effective
processing of technical plastics.
The all-important cutting unit.
cross Europe, 41% of plastic waste is in-
cinerated whereas only 31% is recycled.
‘Demand for recycled materials is still
too low,’ says Martina Schmidt, head of Veco-
plan’s recycling & waste division. For this to
change, manufacturers of consumer goods,
building materials and furniture must rethink
According to forecasts, global demand
for plastics will double in the next 20 years.
‘Increasing demand for plastics can also lead
to a tense supply situation,’ explains Schmidt.
‘For example, delivery times for engineering
plastics can be up to four months. This also
increases prices. It’s an unsatisfactory situa-
tion for processing companies.’
The recycling of plastics provides an eco-
nomical solution, but quality is essential. The
purer the recyclate, the more easily it can be
processed and used to produce high-quality
products. ‘Without consistent quality, there’s
no process reliability, so we won’t have a good
end product,’ says Schmidt.
A producing industry can directly process
production waste in the form of purgings
or rejects into granulate and return these to
the shortest possible production circuit; the
granulate possesses the same quality as pure
material since contamination and material
mixing are excluded. This means no waste is
produced in the first place and the circuit is
‘In the ideal scenario, regranulate pos-
sesses the quality of pure material, so it can
be replaced one to one in the final application,’
The right solution
This is not quite as easy as it sounds, and
shredding holds the key. Schmidt cites glass
fibre-reinforced plastics as an example. ‘The
fibres added to this material must be of a cer-
tain length to ensure the required rigidity,’ she
says. ‘If fibres are too long, the quality suffers
and the same is true if they’re too short.’ Vis-
cosity also plays a role when other materials,
such as PET, are to be compounded in the ex-
truder. Material flow behaviour is improved if
shredding takes place in a single-stage rather
than multi-stage process.
Vecoplan works closely with customers to
find the right solution for the particular ap-
plication. The machinery manufacturer de-
velops plants which it adapts to the individual
application in numerous tests conducted at its
in-house technical centre.
So what kind of machine and components
achieve the best recycling result? ‘This de-
pends on the subsequent processing steps,
which can be washing, sorting, extruding, etc,’
says Schmidt. ‘As pre-treatment experts and
with our maximum degree of flexibility, we
can optimally adapt our shredding technol-
ogy to the materials in question and to the
In this way, Vecoplan lays the foundation
for efficient and high-quality further pro-
cessing. ‘With our shredders, the cutting ge-
ometry is decisive,’ Schmidt insists. ‘We can
exactly adapt our plants to input and output
requirements by changing the rotors and cut-
ters, and selecting the right screen. The drive
technology and a sturdy design are also very
important because they prevent premature
wear when shredding abrasive materials like
glass fibre-reinforced plastics.’
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