Lindner Micromats Helps Unifi, Inc. Transform Plastic Waste into High-Tech Recycled Fiber
Of the 400 million tons of plastics produced worldwide each year, too much still ends up in our waterways and landfills. Unifi, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance synthetic and recycled fibers, has decided to tackle this global problem. They collect used plastics, primarily post-consumer PET bottles, and transform them into REPREVE, a high-performance recycled fiber. Three shredders from Lindner’s Micromat series work 24/7/365 to ensure that the plastics are optimally shredded for the downstream processes.
The topic of plastics recycling has received a tremendous amount of media attention recently. Higher recycling rates, improved collection systems and more efficient processing facilities ensure that plastic waste is recycled and repurposed. Yet, there is much work left to be done and much plastic still goes unrecycled. Unifi, the world’s leading manufacturer of recycled high-performance fibers, is making a difference. To date, the company has transformed 35 billion plastic bottles into its proprietary REPREVE recycled fiber. Unifi’s process ensures that plastics are returned to the consumer goods cycle as a valuable raw material and promotes a more circular and sustainable economy.
When Unifi was looking for a reliable partner to set up an efficient shredding process in 2018, they chose shredding solutions from Lindner. Today a total of three Lindner Micromat 2000 prepare plastic and textile waste for its journey to extrusion, spinning and finally winding the fibers used by some of the world’s best-known brands, such as Williams-Sonoma Inc., Levi’s, and Toms Shoes. Scott Trivette, Operations Manager of the Repreve Recycling Centre and Future Innovation Centre in Yadkinville, North Carolina, describes the relationship with Lindner as “a great partnership, which we require because of our 24/7/365 operating model. A provider who can only be there for us between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. just doesn’t work for us. We need answers within hours, not days, and Lindner with its hub in Statesville, NC is always there for us.”
A Question of Performance
The Lindner shredders from the Micromat series are specially designed for the requirements of post-commercial and post-consumer plastics recycling. They have strong, high-torque motors for powerful shredding and are designed and built to optimize uptime and streamline maintenance tasks. “The lightning-fast safety clutch offers optimum machine protection and easy access to the rotor means that non-shreddables can be removed quickly and easily,” Trivette states. He continues that Unifi found the perfect solution in Lindner’s technology and service: “Lindner’s machines have enabled us to minimize downtime and maximize the throughput of the entire plant, which is essential with an average production of 1.5 million pounds of resin per week.”
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