Move to Beside-The-Press Granulators Yields Major Results
Plastics processor transformed their regrind workflow and reduced lost material by 28,000 pounds per year. And that was just the beginning.
A plastics company that manufactures custom precision plastic tubing and profiles, offering a variety of services and products for health care, automotive, medical, and industrial sectors.
The company’s dated central granulation process was proving detrimental to their bottom line – most prevalently in the 30,000 pounds of reclaimed material lost each year.
After successfully testing several Sterling FX Series beside-the-press granulators on smaller extrusion lines, the company extended the in-line regrind workflow to larger lines with excellent results.
Using a new workflow and Sterling FX Series granulators, the manufacturer has reduced lost material from 30,000 to just 2,000 pounds per year via increased regrind efficiency, saving over 1,000 in manual labor hours as well.
With safety the #1 priority, Wisconsin processor with extrusion and injection molding lines transforms their central granulator workflow with advanced beside-the-press technology. The result is a safe and efficient regrind process that reduces material loss substantially.
The impact of material loss is a key area every plastics manufacturer must address to help ensure profitability and minimize overhead. So, after noticing a considerable amount of material loss, the management team started tracking and analyzing their regrinding process. Following a thorough review, they concluded that their central granulator workflow needed to be revisited. The issues and challenges they identified included:
- 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of regrind materials lost in the grinding process each year
- A complex workflow that was both inefficient and labor-intensive
- Manual tasks that required hand loading and handling five-gallon buckets of regrind materials resulting in plenty of unsafe heavy lifting, bending and twisting by some employees
- 224 pallets of regrind material taking up 3,000 square feet of valuable production floor space
- Additional offsite storage of regrind materials occasionally required, added handling and transportation costs
- Inability to meet company sustainability goals for re-use of materials
“It was not a great process,” says the Technical Development Engineer. “We did a value-stream map and found that there were just so many moving parts and steps involved in moving regrind materials in and out of the central granulator room. We were touching the materials too frequently – unloading, collect it into gaylords, forklifting gaylord, storing – so there were a lot of soft costs associated with the workflow. That’s when we started talking to the folks at Sterling.”