Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along and changes everything. FIMIC, the Italian company known as the specialist in automatic self-cleaning melt filters, has been able to introduce a few of these into the world in the last two decades. In 1996, it introduced the first scrapper technology and this new technical solution did not just change FIMIC’s core business, it changed the whole plastic recycling market’s approach to simple, economical and continuous melt filtration.
FIMIC recently held the launch of its latest breakthrough solution for the recycling process. Ms. Aria Chen, FIMIC Regional Sales Manager, talks about how FIMIC has been innovating to provide excellent options for its customers and in support of the global plastics industry’s drive towards intensified recycling.
FIMIC has been offering solutions for the plastics recycling sector. What are these and how do they ensure that your customers achieve their production goals?
Ms. Chen: FIMIC melt filter specialists have been able to develop other solutions to target highly contaminated plastic materials, especially post-industrial and post-consumer plastics. They are continuously aiming at designing and developing new technical solutions to provide those who choose FIMIC technology as part of their more efficient line of work and productivity.
Today, FIMIC is the only company on the market that specialises in melt filtration with a range of five different types of automatic melt filters, five different technologies designed to match each customer’s requirements with each chosen based on the final application, the required filtration level, the material to be processed and the required hourly production.
The RAS system is a scraping filter known for its flexibility and strength. Using two blades and one screen only, is able to scrape all contamination types, and efficiently reprocess both post-industrial and post- consumer materials thanks to the adjustable discharge valve system. Following the success of the RAS filter, the introduction of the ERA filter has responded to the need for double filtration in certain applications, saving on investments and consumption by performing a double filtration step in a single machine with two consecutive filtration chambers.
RAS+REF, the melt filter that introduced FIMIC’s technology to the plastic recycling industry, enhanced with the possibility to work in backflush mode, can in fact operate in two different ways: in scraping mode or in backflush mode, providing more options to anyone wishing to process materials with mesh, punched or laser screens, representing an ideal option in case the customer is also into reprocessing clean materials other than dirty ones only.
The TEN melt filter is the innovation of the first automatic screen changer, and allows continuous filtration on woven mesh, eliminating material build-ups and reduction of output with the additional option of adjusting the mesh output to guarantee regularity and quality of post-industrial waste alongside the chance to avoid constant supervision of the operator, making daily work much simpler.
Given the continuously evolving demands of the plastics recycling sector, how has FIMIC responded?
Ms. Chen: These days there’s no end to the amount of material to be recycled, and yet it is necessary to keep really high-quality standards for the end product. That’s why FIMIC designed a really unique melt filter, representing the culmination of its technology and the expertise that made FIMIC the filtration specialists, the largest melt filter on the market: GEM, the twin melt filter that works twice as much with its unmatched filtration surface and using just two parallel filtering screens guaranteeing better results than anything else on the market, an ideal application for high-throughput recycling lines.
The plastics recycling market is booming for some years already due to a variety of factors acting altogether. Consumers are getting more and more sensitive to environmental protection as well as the need to establish a circular economy for plastics, hence the use of more recycled plastics has become acceptable in the production of new plastic products.
The major quantity of waste plastics is post-consumer, which is of course very contaminated. To reach high quality recycled plastics from contaminated waste, you need automatic technologies to filter out impurities and contaminations from the plastic flow. That’s where FIMIC technologies can help more and that’s one of the reasons of their success.
FIMIC’s “SPA” screw pump is a revolutionary product that
enables considerable savings and lower operational costs.
What revolutionary technology is FIMIC’s latest contribution and how is this going to enhance plastics recycling?
Ms. Chen: This year, FIMIC is introducing a revolutionary application, an innovative technology and a breakthrough solution for the recycling process. This product is a reflection of how FIMIC is going to reinvent the working process of those who recycle plastics.
The latest technology developed by the FIMIC specialists in automatic self-cleaning melt filters is a revolutionary machine, a screw pump that allows to easily transport plastic melt from the extruder to the filter without using gears with a single screw. This technology requires very low maintenance, the ideal solution for those seeking to achieve the highest possible quality out of their recycling lines, significantly lowering maintenance and operational costs.
Everybody knows that regular gear pumps used in plastics recycling are very sensitive to contaminations, getting damaged very easily by contaminants especially when using post-consumer plastics. Because of this, constant maintenance is required and often, it is also needed to install a safety filter to protect the gear pump itself, with significant increase in investment, manpower, and maintenance costs. Additionally, gears must be periodically replaced by the operator, a further downtime leading to operation losses.
The FIMIC’s “SPA” screw pump allows considerable savings, because operational costs are reduced to a very minimum. In fact, there is no need for maintenance, nor to install a safety filter for pump protection, nor expensive spare gears that the operator will no longer be forced to replace.
SPA’s operational simplicity is just maximum. Regular gear pumps are complex to operate, while the SPA is easy to use and does not require periodic replacements by the operators. It can be installed either before or after the filter, being perfect for applications which require a double filtration step, or to help twin-screw extruders to build up enough pressure without melt return and requiring no safety filter to protect it. FIMIC SPA installed before the filter allows it to protect the twin-screw extruder used especially in compounding applications and installed after the filter allows to stabilise the pressure of the material and to maximise the productivity of the filter and the extruder itself.
SPA combines both FIMIC’s typical high engineering standards and the highest quality of manufacturing materials, to offer a superior, reliable, and high-performance product. SPA’s innovative operation guarantees to all players in the recycling industry significant savings in operational costs, as well as an excellent final result.
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