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Sustainable Feeding Solution Designed to Support Recycling in the Circular Economy

Sustainable Feeding Solution Designed to Support Recycling in the Circular Economy
22 Jul 2022  |
The plastics and performance materials industries are at the forefront of critical initiatives to increase recycling, reduce waste and to minimize human impact on the environment. The most successful plastic producers and processors are focused on consistently producing high-quality products while improving sustainability practices, demonstrating their commitment to the Circular Economy.

The SIMPLEX FB Feeder Easily Handles Challenging Recyable Materials

The European Commission’s ‘A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy’ aims for the recycling target to increase from 22.5% to 55% by 2025[1]. To help negate their environmental impact, these manufacturers are investing in solutions and technologies that deliver on their goals towards more optimized and sustainable processes. 

As a leading global provider, Schenck Process develops sustainable feeding solutions to support the Circular Economy, ensuring that products are handled and fed with precision, even when it comes to more challenging recycled materials with heterogenous characteristics such as particle size and form or bulk densities.

Recycled materials are often lightweight and fluffy, making them more difficult to handle and presenting challenges when feeding them to an extruder. Schenck Process designed its SIMPLEX Flat Bottom (FB) feeder specifically to handle recycled materials, such as shredded plastic film, fibers, or post-consumer waste. The SIMPLEX FB operates as a post-industrial feeder but can also manage post-consumer plastic material without pre-treatment, with the added benefit of avoiding the more costly, risky, and less environmentally friendly step of melting and processing waste materials.

The Need for the SIMPLEX FB Feeder

The SIMPLEX FB was initially designed as a solution to a customer’s challenge involving feeding shredded film waste and reworking it into their extruder lines. In response to the customer’s requirements, the team at Schenck Process developed and created a sustainable solution that did not require the material to be pre-shredded or processed. Integrating the film edge clippings back into the film production process allowed every scrap of plastic to be used without sacrificing product quality. 

By recognizing that the plastic and performance material industries needed a cost-effective, sustainable solution that could increase recycling and reduce waste, Schenck Process was able to provide this customer with a highly accurate feeding solution for recycling their lightweight material. 

The SIMPLEX FB has since been used successfully in many other recycling applications, including packaging manufacturers feeding sawdust and carpet producers reusing shredded carpet tiles that would have otherwise gone to waste.

The Key Benefits of the SIMPLEX FB Feeder

The innovative SIMPLEX FB feeder family enables manufacturers in the plastics industry to handle a wide range of light, fluffy, organic, inorganic, or virgin recycled materials without contamination, such as chopped polypropylene or PET plastic film to an extruder. Other examples include:

  • Flakes 
  • Fibres 
  • Other chemical materials with bulk densities of 0,01 – 0,5 kg/dm³
  • Raw materials from organic cultivation
  • Recycling materials (SRF)
  • Plastic flakes 
  • Cellulose
  • Hemp
  • Glass fibers
  • Carbon fibers

The SIMPLEX FB is a modular loss-in-weight or volumetric feeder fitted with a bottom-driven vertical agitator and an auxiliary agitator for safe, accurate and homogenous material dosing. Its stainless-steel cylindrical hopper can prevent bridging and when combined with internal agitation, it promotes mass flow while maintaining consistent feed rates up to 31 m³.

Customers can operate the SIMPLEX FB in conjunction with several other feeders within their process. The packaged hopper is used to refill the SIMPLEX FB quickly to maintain consistency and an optimal feed. 

Sustainable Feeding Solution Designed to Support Recycling in the Circular Economy

Alternatively, the volumetric version can be utilized as a refill system or surge bin for smaller loss-in-weight feeders. For added flexibility, the SIMPLEX FB is suitable for heavy-duty applications, and the discharge may be placed on the left or right side to ease integration into the process. Schenck Process also supplies the SIMPLEX FB Mini, which is ideal for achieving optimum results with lower throughputs. Schenck Process has also installed the SIMPLEX FB at its Test & Innovation Center in Darmstadt, Germany. Here, customers can test their materials to appreciate how the SIMPLEX FB could revolutionize their process and help them meet their sustainability goals. These tests can nowadays also be performed remotely in order to save CO2 and valuable processing time.

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Schenck Process Food and Performance Materials (FPM), a Hillenbrand company, engineers cutting-edge technologies and solutions across the bulk material handling spectrum. Our teams deliver complete solutions for your real-world needs, based on deep process and...

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