How we saved a Plastics Recycling Company over £75,300 per year

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A leading UK plastics recycler started having their Erema hot melt lasered filter screens ultrasonically cleaned instead of replaced after burning off. This resulted in annual cost savings on replacement discs that THEY estimated at £75,328.

In addition to these direct cost savings, their Engineering Support Manager reported increased productivity totalling over 20% from their recycling lines using the cleaned screens compared to the blocked old screens.

Other reported benefits included;

  • Improved quality and consistency of the finished product;
  • Increased reliability of production output;
  • Higher capacity allowing quicker delivery;
  • Improved ability to increase output in response to demand;
  • Higher customer satisfaction from a more consistent product.

As their Engineering Support Manager concluded…

All in all a massive win for us, reducing costs and increasing revenue simultaneously in a very competitive market.


Direct Cost Saving:

  • 196 discs cleaned in 15 months = 13 per month
  • Each disc lasts at least twice as long with ultrasonic cleaning (minimum 4 times burnt/ultrasonic cleaning, compared with maximum 2 burnt alone) = 50% reduction in replacement discs
  • 4 discs cost €7,000 = £1521 each at 1.15 exchange rate less cleaning and carriage cost = net saving of £965.74.

Annual saving = 13 discs per month x 50% replacement x 12 months x £965.74 net cost = £75,328

Productivity Improvement

  1. In 2 cycles a burnt disc gives 120 + 20T = 140, an ultrasonically cleaned one gives 120 +120T = 280T. This represents a 71% improvement, assuming a new and ultrasonically cleaned disc have similar productivity rates
  2. A burnt disc lasts for 1 day giving 20T, an ultrasonically cleaned disc lasts an extra  4 days giving 120T = 30T per day. 20T to 30T per day is a 50% improvement in productivity
  3. If an ultrasonically cleaned disc goes for 5 days giving 120T this is 24T per day, compared to 20T in 1 day from a burnt disc = 20% uplift in productivity

This is far more complex to calculate with variables such as duration of discs in various states of cleanliness and their respective production rates to arrive at like for like productivities. We have gone for the lowest level of improvement based upon a conservative interpretation of the figures.

Lower Capital Cost

Erema’s approved cleaning method for cleaning these hot melt laser filter screens is to burn off the plastic and other residue blocking the holes in a vacuum oven followed by a jet wash. These ovens cost nearly £50,000 and still only result in a limited extension to the life of these disc filters. Our customer already uses this burning technology but finds our ultrasonic cleaning process dramatically extends the life and productivity of their discs. If you either don’t want the cost or hassle of burning your discs in-house then Sonic Solutions can do the burning for you along with the ultrasonic cleaning. You just ship the filter screens to us as they are when they come out your melt block. We burn them, ultrasonically clean them and return them within a few days, ready to use again.

Lower Cost on other parts

If you are replacing other process parts like dust filters, heat exchangers, dies and rollers because they’re dirty you could save yourself thousands of pounds by ultrasonically cleaning them instead.  We’re also cleaning anilox print and costing rollers, dust particulate filters and heat exchangers for this customer, improving the quality of their end products, production throughput and operative productivity.

For a free trial clean, a no-obligation discussion, or even a visit when the current situation permits, just call us on 01924 495 975 or e-mail Ben on [email protected]

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