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Up to 80% increased production rates in plastic recycling

By Andritz |

ANDRITZ approached the solution to the common problem of feeding system blockage in industrial plastics recycling, by developing a new screw conveyor for the CENSOR decanter centrifuge, which prevents clogging more efficiently. Results show, that this solution can increase production by up to 80% while lowering maintenance costs by up to 20%.  

Facing the challenge of improving productivity and reducing downtime at recycling centrifuge 

Recyclers of post-consumer and post-industrial plastic materials rely heavily on decanter centrifuges. But the processing of shredded plastics into several fractions is not always a simple task. Excessive or varying feed rates can lead to regular blockages. And a blocked feeding system must then be stopped, flushed, and cleaned. All of which leads to significant production losses and additional manpower requirements. To resolve this, ANDRITZ decided to design and manufacture a new screw conveyor for the existing ANDRITZ CENSOR ACZ decanter centrifuge that would:
• Substantially reduce downtime due to feeding system blockages
• Enable increased feed/production rates
• Reduce potential mechanical wear as a result of increased feed rates

The upgraded screw conveyor, retrofitted into current decanter centrifuges, has been undergoing trialsat multiple customer locations since October 2015. Following successful on-site trials, the new screw conveyor design is intended to existing CENSOR ACZ decanter centrifuges as well as in new, integrated decanter centrifuge designs. 

A high-throughput, low-maintenance screw conveyor design

The upgraded decanter began initial on-site tests in the fall of 2015, and expectations were high among both plant managers and our ANDRITZ specialists. The initial aim was to increase production by at least 30% while lowering maintenance and repair costs in relation to annual recycling tonnage. It became clear during the design phase of the new screw conveyor that considerable production gains could be achieved. These necessitated new features to reduce wear resulting from the higher feed rates. Thanks to these adjustments, the on-site trials proved that downtime and personnel hours related to clogging could be considerably reduced, and an extended lifetime – measured in annual tons – could be expected. 

Up to 80% higher production, 20% lower maintenance costs, return on investment under a year

Depending on the combination of product features and peripheral systems on site, the multiple trials proved that the redesigned screw conveyor could help the decanter to achieve a production increase of up to 80%. Maintenance and repair costs per annual ton of recycled plastic were also reduced by approximately 20%. The results, needless to say, greatly exceeded our customers’ expectations. The first upgrade package sold in December is currently estimated to pay for itself within six to ten months, depending on actual production quantity. This is nearly equivalent to having an extra CENSOR ACZ decanter centrifuge in production, at just a fraction of the upfront investment cost. This is just one recent example of how our R&D experts are working together with our customers to help redefine productivity for countless recyclers worldwide.

ANDRITZ CENSOR ACZ decanter centrifuge

Find out more about this project here