Plastic items comprise much of the solid waste
tossed out by individuals and businesses across the nation, and
are not biodegradable. As such, recycling is the only option
for reducing the amount of plastic waste sent to landfills. Granulators
break down plastic and other materials so they can be recycled.
Kirk Winstead, president of Rapid Granulator, said the firm’s
600-series product is the largest of their range of easy-access
granulators. “These ‘open-hearted’ products allow cleaning and
maintenance times to be reduced by up to 50 percent, without
compromising safety or regrind quality. The 600-series uses the
same patented technology that’s already been proven highly successful
in our 300, 400 and 500-series products. The concept is completely
modular and can be tailored to any application within the plastics
processing and recycling industries,” Winstead reported.
The term “open-hearted” refers to a product’s ergonomic design
that, during a production change, for example, allows the operator
to gain complete access to the rotor and cutterhouse at the heart
of the machine in just three steps, without the aid of any tools.
“When one considers that apart from initial investment, cleaning
and maintenance represent the biggest cost factor over a granulator’s
lifecycle, whenever savings can be safely incorporated, it can
enhance the processor’s bottom line,” said Winstead. Centrally
located or beside-the-press, the 600-series is designed for the
high-volume granulation of injection molded, blow molded or extruded
plastic parts and waste, and can handle throughputs up to 10,000
The series, which has a rotor diameter of 24”/600 mm, is available
in 36”/900 mm, 48”/1,200 mm and even 60”/1,500 mm widths. Even
greater flexibility is available, as the machines can be equipped
with Rapid’s Super Tangential Cutter House to allow the granulation
of parts bigger than the rotor diameter.
Rotogran International designs and manufactures a full line of
size reduction and auxiliary equipment for the plastics recycling
industry. Mike Cyr, vice president of sales, said, “Rotogran’s
solid reputation is based on our ability to customize products
to meet specific applications while remaining sensitive to today’s
“Our granulators can be used as single pass primary units producing
up to 8,000 lbs. an hour of regrind, or our products can be paired
with a pre-sizing shredder to increase overall production. Metal
detecting conveyors with auto reject mechanisms prevent contamination
from ferrous, nonferrous and stainless steel. Easily replaceable
wear inserts within the solid steel cutting chamber save considerable
time and expense normally associated with processing harsh, abrasive
material. Hydraulically-assisted hopper and screen operation
dramatically decreases down time for routine maintenance.”
In the realm of plastics reclamation, and in specific plastic
granulators, John Farney, global technical sales manager, said,
“Cumberland Engineering offers a complete product array, the
most extensive application knowledge base and the most overall
experience of any manufacturer. We offer the highest quality,
most durable units available in the industry. Our solutions are
based on principles of durability and reliability – a benchmark
of the plastics industry.”
According to Farney, Cumberland designs stress attributes such
as strength and longevity. Units are fabricated from solid steel,
do not employ weldments and include the highest fit and finish
possible. Units are assembled using individually fabricated components,
which are doweled and bolted in assembly, resulting in an end-product
that can be cleaned and maintained through years of service.
There are Cumberland units that have been operating regularly
since 1958, according to the original owners.
“As the longest operating supplier, we have application experience
in all areas of the reclamation of plastics. From tires to PET
or post-industrial waste, our units excel, whether the performance
level is 500 lbs. per hour, or 12,000 lbs. per hour. From engineering-grade
resins to simple polypropylene, we provide solutions to achieve
the highest performance, with fantastic return on investment.
“Our X-series granulators, commonly used in recycling, offer
key economical attributes such as ease of operation, maintenance
and high output with low power consumption. These units provide
easy and safe access for maintenance and cleanout, with optimal
design for feeding and operation,” Farney said. He claimed that
complete machine maintenance, including knife changes, can be
accomplished in about 90 minutes. Clean-out or change-over from
one resin or color to another requires less than 15 minutes.
“Add high energy efficiency, and the lowest operating costs possible,
and the units bring the quickest payback possible,” said Farney.
He added, “In an industry where demands for constant improvement
and growth in terms of performance are needed, these and other
units are adapted for ever-growing and changing achievements.
One key enhancement is the addition of an in-feed crammer, designed
to augment the feeding of PET bottles and other reclaimed materials,
to increase ingestion, reduce feeding time and increase output.
By restricting the bounce and movement of materials fed to the
unit, the crammer aids in material feeding, and augments the
performance of applications and units suited to its use.”
Farney noted that within industry segments, the prevailing trend
is to achieve more performance, without increasing costs and
without creating a larger demand on energy resources.