With plastic products making up around 20% of the material found in solid waste recycling streams nationwide, it is one of the most commonly recycled materials, especially among residential recyclers. Items such as discarded bags, bottles and packaging material finds its way from the solid waste stream back on to the market every day. The process of recycling plastic isn’t all that difficult, so long as you have the right equipment. The primary piece of machinery used in plastic recycling is the granulator. This size-reduction device takes whole plastics down to a uniform blend of flakes in just a matter of minutes. Granulators are quick and easy to use, and as long as they used and maintained properly, they provide years of quality service.
The most important thing to know when maintaining a granulator is that the machine needs to be cleaned after every use. Often times, equipment owners forget that the simple step of cleaning can help a product last longer. With granulators, this step is especially important because plastic builds up and can clog the blades, rotor and electric motor. The inside chamber should be cleaned out and wiped down between uses. The screen should be cleaned periodically as well and inspected for clogs and signs or wear. In addition to being wiped down, the motor should be kept lubricated and the blades and rotor should be oiled on a regular basis to keep the device running smoothly.
Another important factor to consider when using a granulator is the condition of the material entering the device. Processing dirty material wears out the blades and shaft bearings, causing gaps between the stationary knives and rotating blades. This wear results in excessive play, reducing the quality of cut and throughput capability. Under these conditions, the material is torn rather than cut, reducing the consistency of the output and resulting in further maintenance. One proactive way to eliminate this problem before it happens is through use of a de-dusting system. This device is an air-driven attachment that removes significant quantities of dust from the cutting chamber, rotor and blades, thus extending the life of the blades and ensuring better quality cuts.
Maintaining a granulator is not especially hard to do, and taking the proper steps ahead of time can reduce downtime, increase service life and quality of output, and eliminate more extreme maintenance jobs in the future.