Extrusion International 5-2023

14 Extrusion International 5/2023 INDUSTRY NEWS Presence in the Plastic Recycling Market Expanded NEXT GENERATION GROUP, a leading provider of unique plastic life solutions, acquires a majority share in HydroDyn, a renowned technology provider special - izing in plastic waste cleaning and purifying. This stra- tegic partnership solidifies the group´s commitment to offering comprehensive plastic recycling solutions, par - ticularly in the field of post-consumer recycling. Under the terms of the agreement, HydroDynwill retain its operational independence while working closely with NEXT GENERATION GROUP, by using a high synergy po - tential. This collaboration will allow both companies to leverage their expertise and resources to deliver compre- hensive and efficient end-to-end plastic recycling solutions that address the evolving needs of customers in the recy- cling machinery market. The shared objective is to priori- tize the attainment of specific polymer characteristics that are essential for a diverse array of commodity applications, in order to effectively substitute virgin plastics. "By joining forces with HydroDyn, NEXT GENERA - TION GROUP is well-positioned to meet the increasing demand for integrated plastic recycling solutions," stat - ed Josef Hochreiter, CEO of Next Generation Holding GmbH. "HydroDyn's proven track record and innovative technology make them an ideal partner as we strive to lead the way in driving sustainable recycling practices." The acquisition provides HydroDyn with access to NEXT GENERATION GROUP´s extensive global network, unlocking new opportunities for growth and expansion. Michael Hofmann, CEO of HydroDyn, expressed his en - thusiasm about the partnership, saying, "Joining the group not only gives us access to a world-class network but also provides the financial backing and stability need - ed to realize our ambitious growth plans. Together, we can make a greater impact on plastic waste reduction." NEXT GENERATION GROUP www.ngr-world.com HydroDyn www.hydrodyn.de In-Line Thermoforming WM Thermoforming Machines has realized and sup- plied the first complete INTEC thermoforming In-line plant in February 1993. Since then, more than one hun - dred complete In-line plants have been supplied and are now operative all around the world. The main countries where these In-line systems are installed are Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Rus - sia, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Brazil and Australia. Final users of the Intec lines are manufacturers of disposable plates and cups as well as of the so-called “aquacup” containers and the most used materials are High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) and Polypropylene (PP). Some of the plants have been designed for multilayer sheet, used for the production of items in HIPS and for PP cups; WM also finalized a line composed of 4 extru - sion groups for the production of two-colors cups. General functioning of the In-line system: “In-line ther - moforming” means a “closed loop process”; a complete “turnkey installation” which starts from the handling of the raw material granules and arrives to the boxing of the finished products. The line begins with the sheet extrusion group which may be equipped with one or more extruders, depending on the quality of the sheet needed (mono or multi-layer). In the extruder hoppers the required proportion of granules of virgin material and granulated scrap, returning from the line itself, are dosed and mixed before feeding the extruders. Single screw extruders mix and plasticize the materials and a compensation gear pump guarantees a constant feed to the flat extrusion die head. The flat die controls the characteristics and the thick - ness of the extruded sheet which is fed into a tempera- ture controlled calender. There are two different types of calender available depending on the material used: 1. Laminating calender: consists of three rolls that provide to the thickness calibration and the cooling of the sheet itself, then a haul-off unit feeds the transport toothed chains of the thermoforming machine where the sheet is re-heated by an oven consisting of upper and lower heater banks with infrared heating elements. This kind of calender may be used either for HIPS and PP. 2. Thermocalender: consisting of five coated rolls used to maintain the temperature of the extruded sheet, that is fed directly to the thermoforming machine where the material is thermoformed without passing in the oven because no re-heating is required. The thermocalender is normally used for HIPS only. After the calendering phase, depending on the na - ture of the final product, the thermoforming machine may be equipped with: • Forming and punching in place (cutting of the pe- rimeter of the product directly into the forming tool) in a single station; or • Forming and subsequent separate trimming (the cutting of the product edges is made after the forming into a separate press) two different stations. The products are then stacked, counted and sent to the packaging groups, while the line scraps are fed to a granulator. The re-grinded material is finally blown