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Achieving Suitability for Foodstuff without Retrofitting the Line

Achieving Suitability for Foodstuff without Retrofitting the Line
9 Jul 2020  |
A PET film or sheet line can be retrofitted with an IR-CLEAN® system made by Kreyenborg GmbH & Co. KG from Senden, Germany, without any problems and, above all, without any time and efforts for reconstruction.

Suitability for food production of the semi-finished products and optimization of the production line’s performance are both guaranteed. Recently, these advantageous features have convinced two manufacturers of PET thermoformed trays for foodstuff in South America, who have opted for these ‘Add-on’ modules from Germany for a total of three production lines of throughput of more than 1,000 kg/h respectively. Now, these plastics processing companies are able to process up to 100% of recycling PET ware and operate on the packaging market with high- quality solutions suitable for food production applications.

A high decontamination output, FDA and EFSA approvals, a simple and both energy-efficient and performing process control as well as reduced assembly space make the IR-CLEAN® an attractive additional component for every PET line. Having accomplished a reiterated process optimization and an additional challenge test, Kreyenborg has now even succeeded in increasing the decontamination performance. Recycling material that has been treated in the IR-CLEAN® may be used at 100% for the production of any kind of food packaging (storage for 365 days at room temperature). This is due to the IR-CLEAN’s process concept that handles PET recycling material quickly and effectively.

Both sheet manufacturers located in South America use their own, shredded in-house edge-trim produced in the thermoforming process on the one hand and additionally bought post-consumer recycling material on the other hand. The material is conveyed into the metering hopper of the IR-CLEAN® unit and flows into the rotary drum through a volumetric metering system. At this point, the welded continuous screw spiral guarantees a homogeneous flow of the material with a pre-defined residence time (first-in / first-out principle). Due to the constant rotation of the rotary drum and the mixing elements incorporated in the screw flights, the material is stirred continuously and its surface is at the same time revolved on a permanent basis. This is an ideal method for an efficient decontamination process.

The Infra-red module installed above the material bed heats the material up to a high-temperature level quickly and immediately, while a constant airflow extracts the air loaded with humidity and other contamination particles. This entire process is completed within a few minutes only. The recycling material then prepared is directly conveyed into the existing extrusion line. Neither any other kind of machine component nor any other kind of material treatment is required to process the recycling material for PET sheet to be used in food packaging.

Owing to the perfect pre-treatment of the material, the South American film manufacturers are now in a position to run their extrusion lines with higher throughput. Consequently, the IR-CLEAN® combines ecological with economic benefits in processing recycling material, while increasing the performance of sheet extrusion lines.

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