INTAREMA® - the 30-year evolution of the global market leader From a vision to the new dimension in plastic recycling systems
30 years of innovations from EREMA
EREMA managed the major breakthrough with the first generation of systems launched in 1983, the year it was founded. The company combined for the first time ever a cutter/compactor with a - back then still radial - extruder and thus made it possible (also for the first time) to cut, compact and extrude waste plastic in a single, continuous process. "Waste" was transformed into high-quality recycled pellets - a valuable secondary raw material. The machines were straightforward to operate, had low space requirements and consumed on average 30 % less energy compared to the competition at that time. Major importance was attached to this new technology for the economic recycling of thermoplastics (especially very light plastics) within a very short time.
EREMA continued to develop this technology and with the launch of the second plant generation in 1993 once again brought about an advancement in the industry on a large, almost dramatic scale. Thanks to the extruder now being located tangentially to the cutter/compactor, EREMA was able to enhance the quality of the end products enormously while increasing output and performance considerably, too. Additionally, a newly defined and optimised scaling of the cutter/compactor in relation to the screw diameter of the tangentially connected extruder made feeding even easier with very large individual portions and optimised material preparation for the extrusion process. Furthermore it was possible to direct the preheated material to the extruder with much more homogeneous temperature distribution, thanks particularly to the longer residence times in the large cutter/compactor. This technology has since become a genuine all-round talent and has now culminated in the inverse-tangential configuration of the new development INTAREMA®. The groundbreaking new feature can be seen in its name which comes from INverse + TAngential + eREMA® and is based on the newly developed and globally patented Counter Current technology from EREMA.
Centrepiece: the multitalented cutter/compactor/extruder combination
Cutting, homogenising, heating, degassing, compacting, buffering and dosing - all in a single step: the patented cutter/compactor is an all-round talent and rightly called the "centrepiece" of an EREMA facility. It stands out in particular through its flexibility in processing a multitude of feed materials - irrespective of which polymer type, density, shape and moisture content - and prepares it in the best possible way for the robust single-screw extruder. This is a crucial factor, because the better the plastic material is prepared already at the beginning of the recycling process, the higher the quality and throughput at the end of the process - in the finished recycled pellets.
Feeding is automatic: loose material such as film shreds or regrind material is fed in via a feed conveyor belt and film enters direct on rollers using a roller intake system. The cutter/compactor cuts and mixes the feed material with rotating tools. At the same time the feedstock is dried - solely by the frictional heat which is generated - and compacted ready for intake in the extruder. The inverse and tangentially connected extruder is now filled directly and continuously from the cutter/compactor with the material that has been pre-dried and pre-compacted. This results in the following benefits: the compacted material contains hardly any oxygen which can otherwise lead to oxidative degradation of the polymer and the sensitive melting procedure in a short extruder takes place with minimal shearing stress. All in all this means a stable extrusion process and less wear on the extruder screw and cylinder. Inside the extruder the material is melted, homogenised and then pelletised after passing through a fully automatic, self-cleaning filter.
K 2013: EREMA sets new standards with the Counter Current system
With the patented Counter Current system, the central core technology of the new INTAREMA® plant, EREMA is setting another milestone in the plastic recycling systems in 2013. The innovation is in the interface area of the cutter/compactor and extruder. To date the worldwide technical standard has been a system in which the material in the cutter/compactor moved in the direction of the extruder. The difference with the Counter Current system is that the material spout in the cutter/compactor is now reversed and thus moves against the direction of the extruder. The result of this inverse-tangential configuration is increased process stability and, at the same time, considerably higher throughput. With this new innovation EREMA confirms once again its position as global market leader in plastic recycling systems.
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