Contrary to the equipment suppliers for the automotive segment, the suppliers of waste disposal and recycling technology see a boom in incoming orders. Herbold Meckesheim has full order books for 2020 and even further projects for 2021are already being finalised. That is unusual for a market that used to have delivery times of less than 6 months.
The reason for this sudden rise in demands can be explained by the simultaneous action of regional driving forces and long-term technological trends, states Herbold.
Among these driving forces are EU programmes and subsidies, the decision of different countries to make up for their obvious deficits in recycling plastics, above all France and Germany. Among the regional driving forces are also countries that all too much relied on the export of their waste to China. Among them are not only Ireland and Germany but also Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Among the regional driving forces are also China where they started to build a modern waste industry. Similar, but much smaller in Russia.
Another point is that a self-sustaining recycling industry has risen in the US, in Canada and Mexico that, graded according to the degree of difficulty, treats all kinds of waste according to the recycling knowledge developed in Europe. In this area considerable quantities are available, above all film waste looking for a different use than landfill and incineration.
Two technological trends have emerged:
1) Chemical recycling: different market participants are working on solutions and a lot of larger plants are being built in North America and Europe. In this field, the procedures supplied by Herbold are in demand in order to treat the flow of waste in a cost-saving, high-performance way and a constant high-level quality.
2) Equal to virgin recycled plastic: For the production of high-quality recycled material, Herbold has developed optimised washing procedures that allow to use a high percentage of recycled plastic material for new products. The main criteria compared with procedures of the past are a considerable odour reduction and hardly any visual errors caused by foreign colours or residual contamination.
These solutions are rendered possible by the clever conception and combination of the following process steps: size reduction, washing, separation and drying as well as compacting of fines, films and fibres.