is finding success for its patented MRS extruder in the devolatization of polyolefins, selling a system into South America that’s helping a company reclaim plastic fish wrap. Shown in North America for the first time at NPE2009 in June (see MPW’s report here), the MRS’s ability to extract solvents or other problematic volatiles during plastics manufacture or processing is winning it new business, according to Monika Gneuss, VP of sales and marketing at Gneuss Inc., the Matthews, NC-based North American headquarters of the family-owned German firm. The heart of the patented-technology MRS extruder is a multiple screw system consisting of a single-screw drum with satellite screws on the periphery that provide an expanded and rapidly heated melt surface for degassing and removing volatiles.
Gneuss told Plastics Today that the technology, which launched at K 2007, has helped her company fare reasonably well during the broader economic difficulties felt in plastics and elsewhere over the last year. “[Gneuss] haven’t felt the downturn as much because of the MRS,” Gneuss explained, adding that North America has proven to be the most accepting market, with three installations currently and one more anticipated before the end of the year, helping lift the company to a record year in the U.S.
Polyolefins are the new focus for the MRS, with the company recently installing the aforementioned line in South America for the reclaim of plastic fish wrap. In the past, due to residual odor, the company could only use 5% reclaim into new products, but with the MRS, it’s been able to increase that figure up to 60%. The technology’s applicability there is opening doors elsewhere. “Our lab has been very, very busy,” Gneuss said. “We think there are more applications in the future.” The potential for more applications could further increase, with Gneuss and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute currently working on FDA food-contact approval for materials reclaimed with the system. —Tony Deligio