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Extrusion 5-2018


Extrusion 5-2018

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EREMA add-on technology for rPET packaging

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The MPR from Erema

Last year, EREMA premiered the upgraded MPR (Multi-Purpose Reactor) technology at the corporate Discovery Day event. Lately, the demand for direct processing of food-grade PET has been ever-growing. EREMA's customers are increasingly expanding their extrusion lines with food contact compliant production.

VACUREMA technology from EREMA alone enables recycling 1.3 million tons of PET annually. Various end products are thus produced including thermoforming sheet, food-grade preforms for beverage, fibers and strapping.

The order figures at the EREMA event nod unequivocally toward PET recycling with direct processing gaining popularity. This means no intermediate pellet material: post-consumer flakes or production waste go straight to one-step processing into end products. Over 20 VACUREMA inline systems have been supplied to international customers over the last fifteen months. Moreover, EREMA unveiled an innovative process for direct production of food-grade preforms using post-consumer bottle flakes.

The Multi-Purpose Reactor is a highly efficient crystallisation dryer aimed at processors upgrading their PET extrusion facilities for the production of food contact compliant items. Thanks to the technology, varied PET input materials are decontaminated, dried, dedusted and crystallized for the subsequent extrusion in a single step.

Christoph Wöss, Business Development Manager for the bottle sector at EREMA, explains: "The MPR is getting increasingly popular among customers who have a conventional crystalliser and a pre-dryer, facing long process times and high operating costs. With power consumption at only 0.1 kWh/kg, the MPR works as a crystalliser and a pre-dryer at the same time, making it the economically interesting alternative." Thanks to decontamination of input PET such as flat sheet waste regrind, washed bottle flakes, virgin PET or any mixture of them, raw material is food contact compliant before extrusion.

"The list of alternative suppliers of PET extruders without pretreatment is long and tempting. However, later investments in dryers or high-maintenance decontamination modules reduce the profits of PET producers in the end," warns us Christoph Wöss.

Perfect addition to an existing extrusion plant

The upgrade of the MPR technology announced one year ago attracted new customers and confirmed the commitment of EREMA to delivering state-of-the-art technology to its customers.

Søren Larsen, the owner of Sky-Light, a Danish specialist for individual packaging solutions, feels assured: "We place our trust in the MPR from EREMA when it comes to the food contact compliance of PET – and this is already the second time. In the new expansion of our production capacity, we once again added an MPR to the twin screw extruder. The growth in output through the increase in bulk density of PET flakes and flat sheet waste plus the stable IV value are more than convincing from the viewpoint of an entrepreneur." Sky-Light produces a few hundred million cups, snap-on lids, inserts, blister and transportation trays for food, electronics and pharmaceutical per year.

The MPR system was upgraded both technically and economically: it is now capable of cutting the connected load by over 30% with the same output. Roberto Alibardi, president of Alimpet, confirms: "The calculable operating costs in combination with the reliable output performance make for a foreseeable and short amortisation period." The Italian manufacturer, part of the Aliplast Group, produces thermoforming sheet for e.g. food containers using post-consumer PET. Aliplast Group employs two MPR systems as well as a number of VACUREMA systems for producing food-grade PET recyclates.

On top of that, the technology upgrade brought a higher automation degree and maintenance ease thanks to the vacuum system. Process water tank has been eliminated; instead, a utility-free vacuum pump is used to reduced operating costs. System footprint has been reconsidered, resulting in total floor surface cut by one fifth.


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