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NPE gives Re|focus summit opportunity to extend scope

Tue, Apr 17, 2018

The 2018 Re|focus Sustainability and Recycling Summit will be accessible to an especially large audience this year, as it co-locates with the triennial NPE.

The summit will address the challenges companies face as they increase recycled content and adopt sustainable manufacturing practices. In addition to gaining access to educational sessions on recycling and sustainability, summit attendees will have the opportunity to visit NPE2018’s Re|focus Zone, featuring displays of the latest recycling equipment, materials and technology to make green goals a reality.

Eagle Vizion will unveil three pieces of equipment in the Re|focus Zone, President Nathanaël Lortie said.

“We will have three new machines operating for customers to come by and test on-site,” Lortie said.

Early last month, the company was finalizing sales brochures for the three devices: the Melt Sorter, Flake Analyzer and Black Polymer Flake Sorter.

The Melt Sorter sorts PE flakes according to their process-specific characteristics. For example, it can identify and sort blow molded PE and injection molded PE. The company is in the development phase for sorting LDPE and other polymers, such as PP.

“If you’re a recycler and you’re trying to make sure you control your melt or viscosity of your plastic, we have that sorter where you can guarantee what comes out is going to have the right melt,” Lortie said. “That is one of the problems that PE guys have with recycled PE. They don’t know if the PE is from injected or blow molded plastic. We control that for them.”

The Flake Analyzer that will be at the show is for PET. However, it also is available in models for other polymers. It can analyze particles as small as 0.2mm in diameter and can help recyclers avoid the expense and delay of sending samples to a lab for analysis. It can analyze flakes at a speed of up to 44 pounds per hour.

“We give them a full PPM [parts per minute] count of every contaminant found in their PET,” Lortie said.

Eagle Vizion’s Flake Analyzer can analyze particles as small as 0.2mm in diameter at a speed of up to 44 pounds per hour./Eagle Vizion

The analyzer can determine whether PET is contaminated with aluminum, glass, PVC or other contaminants, as well as the concentration of the contamination, to allow recyclers to decide whether their feedstock is suitable for a particular use.

The Flake Analyzer can be used in either a lab mode or an “in-line” industrial mode.

In the lab mode, a sample is fed individually into a hopper, with the hopper accepting samples of up to 11 pounds. In the industrial mode, the Flake Analyzer is installed inline and continuously samples the PET stream. Acceptable samples can be returned to the process, and the customer can define contaminant thresholds.

The final machine Eagle Vizion will demonstrate is its Black Polymer Flake Sorter, which can sort black flakes by polymer type. Recyclers typically have difficulty processing black plastic because most sorters rely on infrared light, which black plastic absorbs. However, Eagle Vizion has developed what it calls a unique and revolutionary technology to identify and sort black plastic flakes based on type. It can handle up to 770 pounds per hour with particles ranging from 2mm to 12mm in size. At the show, it will sort PP, PE and blends of PE and PP. Eagle Vizion is working to increase throughput and the types of polymers it can sort.

The Re|focus Sustainability and Recycling Summit, to be held from May 8-10, will feature half-day educational programs. During the first two days, the seminars will be in the afternoon and on the third day, they will be in the morning.

“We felt that would give people a good mix of going between the sessions and being able to spend time on the show floor,” said Ashley Hood-Morley, PLASTICS director of sustainability.

Show organizers hope that attendees can go directly from learning about a new technology in the educational sessions to talking with an expert on the topic in an NPE booth, she said.

Oliver Campbell, Dell Technologies Inc.’s director of worldwide procurement and packaging, will deliver the keynote presentation from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. May 8. In it, he will address how Dell developed and adopted a program that uses plastics recovered from the ocean in product packaging. Campbell will share how Dell is developing a commercially scalable supply of ocean-recovered plastics that benefits the company and the environment. Also, under his leadership, Dell introduced breakthrough materials such as bamboo-, mushroom- and wheat-straw-based packaging.

In addition to the keynote, the three-day summit features five other educational sessions aimed at helping companies achieve their recycling and sustainability goals.

The 3:15 p.m. May 8 session, “Recycling Game Changer: Moving beyond Mechanical Recycling,” will explore the latest technologies for expanding recycling and allowing businesses to profitably use more recycled materials. One of the speakers will be John Layman, corporate R&D section head at Procter & Gamble Co. and chief technologist and founding inventor of PureCycle Technologies, a start-up company that is commercializing a purification technology for recycled resin. Also scheduled to speak is Joe Vaillancourt, CEO of Agilyx Inc., a privately held alternative-energy company that produces synthetic crude oil from difficult-to-recycle waste plastics. Robert Render, commercial manager at Ravago Recycling Group, will moderate.

A May 9 session, “Advances in Composite Recycling,” will examine successes with recycling composite materials, especially new processes aimed at recycling post-consumer composites. Speakers will include Chris Surbrook, of Midland Compounding and Consulting; Mark Janney, of Carbon Conversions Inc., and Brian Pillay, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.

Another May 9 session, “Under One Roof: Investing in On-site Plastic Processing at MRFs,” will examine how operators of materials-recovery facilities are adding enhanced plastic reprocessing capabilities. Speakers include Martin Baumann, VP of sales for Erema North America, a manufacturer of recycling machines and system components; Daniel Reshef, manager of steward relations and sustainability for Canada Fibers Ltd., a provider of materials-recovery and recycling services; Jose Augusto Viveiro of Braskem, a biopolymer producer; and Pillay, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Jim Keefe, executive VP and group publisher at Recycling Today Media Group, will moderate. The session begins at 3:15 p.m.

A May 10 session, “Biobased Bioplastic Polymers and the Future of Bottling,” will highlight recent trends in the growing bioplastics industry, including new polymers, products and production. Scheduled speakers include Michael A. Saltzberg, global business director for biomaterials at DuPont Industrial BioSciences; John Bissell, CEO of Origin Materials, a materials-science company; and Braskem’s Viveiro. Patrick Krieger, PLASTICS’ assistant director for regulatory and technical affairs, will moderate. The session begins at 9 a.m.

A second May 10 session, “Additives for Upcycling,” will explore the latest in additive compounding, which can turn recycled plastics back into materials with near-virgin properties. Scheduled speakers include Salvatore Monte, president of Kenrich Petrochemicals Inc.; Prem Patel, global strategy and business development manager for Milliken & Co.’s plastics additives business, and Timothy Dean, market developer within the Vistamaxx performance polymers group at ExxonMobil Chemical Co. The session is scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

“The speakers at the Re|focus Sustainability and Recycling Summit are pioneers in sustainability and are poised to lead the plastics industry to new heights,” said Kim Holmes, PLASTICS VP of sustainability. “Their insights, coupled with the education-in-action on the show floor in the Re|focus Zone, will help attendees realize and reach their sustainability goals.”

A new feature on the show floor this year will be the Sustainability Lounge. Part of the Re|focus Zone, it is “a multipurpose space that will offer information on PLASTICS and how companies can get involved with our committees and initiatives,” Hood-Morley said. It will include couches and tables that can serve as meeting spots or as places to take a break. The space also will showcase items created through recycling demonstration projects for end-of-life vehicle components and new end-market opportunities for recycled film, as well as products made using bioplastics. The lounge will offer a cash bar, serving coffee in the mornings and the happy-hour crowd in the late afternoon.

Registration also includes free access to all NPE2018 exhibits. Information about the Re|focus Sustainability and Recycling Summit is available online at http://refocussummit.org.

Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter



Eagle Vizion, Sherbrooke, Quebec, 819-678-1372, www.eaglevizion.com