An opportunity in Kenya

Kenya is a shining star in East Africa. With an industrial base poised to become one of the fastest growing in the region, Kenya has seen growing demand for advanced technologies to serve booming industries. Food and beverage processing, petroleum products manufacturing, textiles and fibres production, chemicals, garments and pharmaceuticals, rubber s and plastics production are highly dynamic that Kenya is projected to become an industrial powerhouse serving the African continent and other nearby countries.

According to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), the plastics industry in Kenya is well-developed and produces goods made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polythylene, polystyrene, and polypropylene. All materials are imported in the form of granules. Companies in the plastics industry are involved in the production of various plastics articles such as PVC pipes and fittings, packaging bags, plastics shoes, crates, bottles, floor tiles, household wares and containers.

Polystar Machinery Co., Ltd, a leading Taiwan manufacturer of plastics processing machinery, has recently installed a set of cutter-integrated plastic film recycling machine in Kenya. The film producer is based in Nairobi, and it supplies primarily shrink film, shrink bag/ sleeves, stretch films and PE sheets. The company produces and distributes plastic packaging products and offers solutions to various food processing industries such as diary, tea and coffee.

All-in-one direct recycling
In the past three months, Polystar has installed seven recycling lines in Kenya, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Malawi, and Ethiopia.

Polystar's high efficiency, onestep plastic recycling machine HNT-V is designed for the reprocessing of PE polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP) flexible packaging material, printed and non-printed. This cutter integrated pelletising system eliminates the need of pre-cutting the material, requires less space and energy consumption whilst producing high quality plastic pellets at a productive rate.

In addition to in-house (post-industrial) film waste, the system is also able to process washed flakes, scraps and regrind (precrushed rigid plastic waste from injection and extrusion). This equipment is highly recommended for packaging film producers of commercial bags, garbage bags, agricultural films, food packaging, shrink and stretch films, as well as producers in the woven industry of PP woven bags, jumbo bags, tapes and yarns. Other types of material such as PS sheet, PE and PS foam, PE net, EVA, PP mixed with PU are also applicable on this machine.

The HNT-V plastic recycling machine combines cutting, extrusion and pelletising into one compact and efficient recycling line. The cutter compactor of the recycling machine prepares (pre-conditions) the material into an ideal condition for the extrusion process and feed the material directly into the extruder with a centrifugal force. Comparing to the conventional recycling machines, this integrated system does not require a separate crusher, and therefore, eliminates the problem of inconsistent feeding (over-feeding or insufficient feeding).

The HNT-V is also designed to work with washed, post-consumer and used agricultural film. The cutter compactor, which generates frictional heat during the compacting process, helps to further dry and remove the water moisture from the washed film flakes (processed first by the washing lines). The recycled pellets can be used again in extrusion process, whether 100% (such as garbage bag, LDPE pipe production and etc) or as part of the mixture to reduce raw material cost. The pellets quality can also be improved by direct dosing of masterbatch and additives.

The integration of the cutter compactor and extruder ensures extremely fast and stable feeding, the tangentially connected extruder is continuously filled with precompacted material. This results in a much higher production output comparing to other types of recycling systems on the market.

The stable material feeding together with the hot die face pelletizer produce round-shaped, uniformed size pellets that are higher in value and optimal for reproduction (extrusion processes).

The unit is ideal for blown and cast film producers where leftover waste of edge trim from blown film in the format of scraps (T-shirt bags cut-offs from bag making and punching processes), complete film rolls and sheet can be efficiently recycled in a simple process. The high quality, uniformed sized recycled pellets are almost like virgin material which can be put directly back into the film production line.

For PP woven and raffia producers, the in-house waste generated from the production of PP woven bags, non-woven, jumbo bags, PP raffia, PP woven sacks and tapes can be used. The recycled PP pellets can be reused (100%) for production in most cases, such as in circular weaving looms and tapelines.

Demanding other machines
Other equipment for the production of plastics, in particular film and sheets, are also in high demand given the booming food packaging industry in Kenya. Polystar has also commissioned a 1800mm wide ABA type three-layer blown film extrusion line to a flexible packaging film producer in Kenya. The newly designed three-layer blown film extrusion line has the capacity of 250kg/hr whilst producing LDPE/LLDPE films with recycled material. The ABA three -layer blown film extrusion line is now producing films for mattress packaging, greenhouse cover and shrink film for beverage packaging. The machine's performance meets customer's satisfaction and customer is now seeking the possibilities for producing variety flexible packaging films.

Arabic Box:
Kenya has seen growing demand for advanced technologies to serve booming industries. In particular, the plastics industry demands processing and recycling machines that are highly efficient, cost-saving and flexible, requirements that are being met by Taiwan-based Polystar Machinery Co., Ltd

Source:International Plastics News - Middle East & Africa May 2014

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