Limesplast: STS Compounder for high-quality reclaim pellets

For the processing of pure regrind material into high-quality reclaim pellets, Limesplast Kunststoffaufbereitung, Welzheim/Germany, recently put its second STS Compounder from Coperion, Stuttgart/Germany, into service. The reason for Limesplast’s choice
in favour of a second machine from Coperion was not least its excellent experience with the first machine, a Standard Twin Screw STS 50, and its resultant enormous increase in business: Limesplast’s customers, mainly suppliers to the automotive industry, were so impressed by the high quality and relatively low price of the reclaim pellets that the demand grew rapidly – so rapidly, in fact, that Limesplast ordered the larger STS 65, which has a capacity of 4,000 tonnes/year, in the summer of 2006. In both cases, the STS Compounders were competing against machines from low-cost manufacturers and against used twin-screw extruders in particular. What clinched Limesplast’s decision in favour of Coperion was the favourable price-performance ratio, the 18 months’ warranty and the machine’s comprehensive standard equipment. By means of a high-performance, side-feeding multi-component metering system, Limesplast can add colour and/or additive masterbatches, mineral fillers, chopped strands or impact modifiers to meet customer-specific requirements.
The starting material for the production of reclaim pellets is pure regrind material from polyamide (PA), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS), polyacetal (POM) or ABS/PC blend, which Limesplast produces in its own granulators from clean injection moulding scrap. The dedusted, completely metal-free regrind material is first plasticized – extremely efficiently – in the STS Compounder, a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. The melt is then homogenized and, if necessary, degassed. The material is processed so gently that the resulting reclaim pellets display mechanical properties that are virtually just as good those of the respective starting material. Thanks to the efficient self-cleaning action of the twin screws, changeovers from one colour or
material to another can be carried out extremely quickly. With the two cost-effective, highly efficient STS Compounders from Coperion, Limesplast has rapidly succeeded in effecting the transition from a manufacturer of regrind to a manufacturer of
reclaim pellets for a wide variety of applications. A modern bagging unit with upstream mixers ensures absolute homogeneity of the product. The company’s own laboratory checks and documents the quality of both the raw materials and the finished products. In achieving a greater degree of integrated production, Limesplast has created a broader and economically more successful basis for its future business, for the production and distribution of high-quality reclaim pellets and customized compounds are much more lucrative than is the case just with reground scrap.
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