News for the plastics and rubber industry. Macplas
Technology Wednesday, 12 May 2021

The "bottle to bottle" during the pandemic: Previero turns a difficulty into an opportunity

Some turnkey plants with an output range between 2,000 kg/h and 9,000 kg/h of washed and regranulated PET flakes from post-consumer bottles collection were recently sold by Previero-Sorema in Latin America.


These PET bottle recycling plants include automatic feeding, prewashing, delabeling, wet grinding, hot washing, rinsing with flotation and drying sections. Bottles and flakes detectors for material and for colours are also incorporated in the lines, with a single SCADA supervisor system by Sorema for efficient local and remote quality control.  The company also offers the possibility of integrating an in-line wastewater treatment plant with the following features: filtering, chemical treatment, biological treatment, sludge dewatering, and super filtration modules (quartzite filters, activated carbon filters, ozone and reverse osmosis treatments etc.)  so that the customers are sure of reaching maximum quality and efficiency with minimum management problems.


In order to overcome the travel restrictions that prevented its engineers from reaching the customers’ facilities for the installation and commissioning operations, the company created a specific team of skilled and experienced personnel, who developed a dedicated working programme to supervise remotely the installation operations for the machines delivered and the execution of utility connections on site. Thanks to this, all the components of the line have become accessible from PC and tablet. This posed a major challenge for the company  in that the difficulties did not concern a single machine, but an entire PET bottle recycling line, involving many machines, sensors, valves, pipes, pumps, dryers and so on, that must work properly all together.


Thanks to the high standards applied by Previero in the construction stage - with special reference to the factory pre-acceptance test which includes the complete assembly of the line before shipment and dry tests for most of the equipment - Sorema managed to overcome this critical situation. After a preliminary work, the customers were able to assemble and put in operation the washing system, for the first time without the physical presence of Sorema’s engineers, but always supported every day with remote assistance, video conferences, telephone calls and e-mails from a dedicated Previero-Sorema’s technical team.


The PET “bottle to bottle” washing and recycling plants were smoothly started-up. The lines have managed to achieve the desired targets of product quality and quantity with the full satisfaction of the customer as regards the plant as well as the partnership developed in such difficult times. Now the company believes that this emergency solution may become the standard method for commissioning washing systems in the future, looking at the positive experience and in absence of particular drawbacks. This new modus operandi brings a sizeable reduction in costs for the client, in face of a slight increase in working days to finish the work. A new approach which will not affect Sorema guarantee terms and its proverbial prompt and effective after-sale assistance service.