The use of regrind is viewed as a significant marketing opportunity as well as a cost-saving method in today’s world where more and more consumers are demanding recycled/reground materials in products. In the production process today, granulation is an important step but for many processors however, regrind has been considered as a problem.
Many cost-effective solutions to provide quality regrind to the manufacturing process without adversely affecting the quality, environment or the rates are available these days due to the advancements in technology and machine design. However, there are many common “traps” to avoid while thinking about granulation and granulators specifically, some of which are enlisted below:
- UNSUITABLE GRANULATOR
A plastic granulator is not just a granulator and there are various things from horsepower to throat size that one needs to know about granulators. Any professional blow moulder would agree to the same. To cut material efficiently, a specialised granulator, configured according to your needs might be needed. Not investing in it might lead to various problems like higher energy consumption, excessive dust and noise, lower capacity, and increased knife wear.
Through an analysis of certain aspects like process, material, the method of feeding, part dimension, capacity, screen size, an experienced professional will be able to design and recommend an appropriate solution for what the processor is trying to achieve.
The most neglected area of service in many plants is the maintenance of granulators and their critical cutting components. Poor or inadequate instruction manuals and lack of supporting solutions to simplify functions such as knife servicing makes the task of services a burden. To avoid that burden, it is important that granulator are designed for easy cleaning and maintenance. The granulator should have safety switches and also features like rotor locking device, etc. The operator should also have visual paths to all areas of the machine so that it is easier to inspect the machine and confirm that it is free from any complications.
- POOR KNIFE DESIGN
Another common trap is the poor knife positioning and design with little scissor cutting action, less than optimal rotor knife speed and poor rotor design. Such complications can lead to non-uniform regrind with high dust content and also a greater threat to wear and tear on the granulator. You should always look for adjustable rotating knives, which are bolted to the rotor. Modern machine designs also include pre-adjustable and cassette knives, that allow the maintenance staff to set the critical gap outside the machine reduce the overall downtime of installing re-sharpened knives.
- OVER-FED GRANULATOR
In the name of “testing the limits” of their machines, many processors tend to destroy their granulators shortly after receiving it. Over-feeding your granulator will lead to reduced productivity. It will lead to a decrease in air flow and infed material sitting on top of the rotor. Several electrical options to help with optimized feeding of the granulator like high-amp alarms, etc. It will save your system from plugging up entirely, hence avoiding damage.