RCS relies on SIKORA technology for recycling

The RCS Group is a family-run, medium-sized recycling and waste management company founded in 1985 and based in Werne, Germany. Today, the activities are bundled into three business segments. While RCS Entsorgung GmbH coordinates the transport and disposal of waste for commercial customers, RCS Rohstoffverwertung GmbH sorts PET flakes for the non-food plastics processing industry. In addition, RCS Plastics GmbH processes the latter into high-quality regranulate for preform and beverage bottle manufacturers. To ensure the required food quality of the recycled material, the company group relies on SIKORA’s PURITY CONCEPT V for the quality control of the rPET flakes and pellets.

Cedric Steeg, Employee in Quality Assurance, holds material sample in front of the PURITY CONCEPT V.

Impurities in the material can lead to considerable problems in the production of beverage bottles with rPET pellets. In addition to the appearance, the functionality can also be impaired, so that bottles can even burst if the material quality is insufficient. Therefore, the RCS Group uses SIKORA’s inspection and analysis system PURITY CONCEPT V in the laboratory to check the quality before further processing of the regranulate into preforms. A material sample containing 80 g of rPET pellets is placed on the sample tray of the testing device. Within 30 seconds, the tray is automatically moved to the inspection area, scanned with the integrated camera and analyzed. A projector marks contaminated pellets in color directly on the sample tray. Simultaneously, the affected material is displayed on the monitor with an indication of the size of the contamination. This facilitates the assignment and removal of contaminated grains for further analysis.

The clear marking the contamination on the sample tray facilitates the removal and further analysis.

“With the PURITY CONCEPT V, we can find contaminants in just a few seconds. This previously required up to 45 minutes of manual sorting,” says Pascal Renner, Head of Quality Management at RCS. “Not only do we save time, but we also get clear, reproducible results. With the system, we detect black spots as small as 50 ┬Ám; the human eye can’t keep up here.” For quality control, the RCS Group has defined its own limits that the recycled material produced must not exceed. Immediately after sample analysis, it is apparent whether or not the batch meets the required criteria. The test results are documented and stored for traceability for 5 years. In addition to black spots, the recycling company also checks the material for butterfly grains. By evaluating the material with the PURITY CONCEPT V, conclusions can be drawn about any mechanical problems that may have occurred during granulation that lead to the undesired deformation. Additionally, the system can also be used to analyze amorphous and crystalline pellets as well as test plates.

The PURITY CONCEPT V impressed the RCS Group, as it reliably detects black spots and localizes them with precision. The company was also very satisfied with the consulting prior to the investment and the service of SIKORA during commissioning. “We are pleased that we have gained a reliable partner with SIKORA, with whom we will further advance the topic of recycling together,” says Renner.

PET bottles in the cycle: The flakes from used deposit bottles are processed into high-quality regranulate,

which is then used to produce new beverage bottles.