From plastics shortage to in-house recycling: Pallmann-size reduction technology solves the resource dilemma

Krefeld / Zweibrücken, July 7 th , 2021 – Since the beginning of the year, trade associations and the
media have been warning against the continuing raw material shortage in the plastics material field –
i.e. the General Association of the Plastics Processing Industry (GKV). Where plastics supplies fail,
production- and delivery capacities are endangered, prices are drastically increasing. Pallmann size
reduction technology unlocks solutions which also consider the aspects of sustainability.  
Cutting, agglomerating, fine grinding – with these core competencies, Pallmann, the specialist for size
reduction technology, within the Siempelkamp Group, offers a solution to the raw material crisis which
presently affects all areas of the plastics processing industry. The concept: Recycles, which arise during
production in many companies of all sizes, are processed with Pallmann equipment into new raw
material in form of granules or powder, which can be reintroduced into the production process instead
of buying expensive new materials.   
The Pallmann machine family number 1, which is valuable to this purpose, is dedicated to cutting. Clean
production waste – i.e. purgings, edge trimmings and rejects can be cut with Pallmann knife mills to a
size of approximately 5 to 10 mm. Thanks to the special cutting geometry, homogeneous materials with
minimum fines are produced and can be reintroduced into production just as new material. The
advantages: Reject material from production leads to less waste, less new material and thereby to more internal profit. „In case larger waste products cannot be reused internally, cutting allows for a reduction in volume, which pays off in transport- and disposal costs. Where appropriate, a cut product can be resold to other companies for new applications. This is linked to external profit based on an alleged waste product “, so Michel Marchal, International Sales Director at Pallmann.  
Even more interesting for in-house recycling is machine family number 2, which is dedicated to agglomeration. The Pallmann Plast-Agglomerator System, PFV, generates flowable granules with high bulk density from light-weight materials. Here, processing takes place under the melting point, thus material is not thermally stressed. The agglomerates can also be produced from mixed products, i.e. from different plastic materials, additives and fillers. Pure production waste such as film, fibers and foam are reusable up to 100 percent. Production waste consisting of numerous plastics or which contains other materials – such as additives, and fillers like minerals and paper – can be transformed into granules which can be used as filler and therefore new additives or fillers are no longer required. „A typical application is, for example, carpet made out of PE, PVC, PA or CaCO3. After agglomeration on a PFV, the granules can be used in ‘backing’, the lower, invisible layer of carpet“, explains Michel Marchal. „And for foam applications such as XPS for insulation and PET for wind mill blades, there is hardly any manufacturer who is not already using a PFV“. 

Fine grinding is the specialty of the third Pallmann machine family, which makes in-house recycling so interesting. Some applications require powders with a fineness of 0,5 to 1 mm. This is achieved through fine grinding of new material – granulate of 3 to 5 mm. If new material is scarce or more expensive, powder is consequently more expensive; the production step from granule to power alone costs up to 30 cents per kg – as a surcharge on granulate pricing. With the Pallmann Disc Mill PKM, a perfect powder can be produced in-house – whether from new material or alternatively from clean recycled material. „In many countries the ”Pallmann powder” has become a reference. Our customers demand a Pallmann quality powder, most powder suppliers use our PKM in order to achieve the special powder characteristics“, states Michel Marchal. „If a customer has his granulate fine ground, it costs approximately 20 to 30 cents per kg. If he performs fine grinding in-house with our PKM, his costs are significantly more attractive, namely 5 to 10 cents per kg!” 
“Every company produces internal waste – thus each of them could benefit from the in-house options.“ 
Self-generated raw materials, a clear statement towards more sustainability and cost reduction. Is this an option relevant to companies of all sizes? “From small family businesses to large corporations, every company produces internal waste. And they buy new materials which could be substituted by in-house recycled materials. Everyone benefits from managing less waste in order to reduce their costs. Furthermore, resource efficiency and ecological awareness are an indispensable part of the DNA of entrepreneurial responsibility. All of these arguments speak for our technology”, says Uwe Wagner, CEO of Pallmann. 

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