What are Granulators?
If you have been in a plastic manufacturing plant, you have probably seen a granulator, maybe a Cumberland granulator or a Rotogran. Regardless of the brand, granulators are an incredibly useful machine when working with plastic.
Granulators are used to break down plastic parts through a process of grinding parts into granules to be reused or removed as waste. So are granulators the same as grinders and shredders? As similar as the process is to grinders and shredders, granulators are different.
Granulators, Grinders, and Shredders
Shredders work at a low speed with high torque and dispense randomly sized pieces of material. The main difference between shredders and granulators is the output size; granulators can break pieces down to a much smaller size.
When comparing granulators and grinders, granulators typically have an open rotor design while grinders have a closed rotor design. The rotor design improves the efficiency of a granulator, allowing it to work with smaller materials, and have an end result of smaller granules than a grinder.
Granulators, grinders, and shredders can be used by themselves, or then can work together to break down parts. If you used all of these machines to break down a part, you would start with the shredder and end with a granulator.
Different Granulator Brands
Here are a few of the top brands that you should take into consideration when searching for the right granulator for your operations.
Cumberland has brought the world of plastic processing reliable machines since 1939.
Cumberland has 4 main granulator categories. Press granulators are integrated into molding and extrusion operations, directly next to the press. Central granulators process large volumes with flexibility in the cutting chamber to grind down dense parts. Heavy duty granulators are best for demanding uses. Thermoforming granulators are able to process a wide range of materials.
In size reduction, the name Rotogran is notable. Since 1982, Rotogran has been assisting the plastics recycling industry with their machines.
Rotogran’s granulators are the TN Series, PH Series, and 2 WO Series (heavy duty and medium duty.) Each series of granulator has different models with different dimensions underneath, so you can find the right fit.
Through an assessment of your facilities needs, Conair brings the machine that best fits your operation. Conair has 2 types of granulators: beside the press and central granulators. With Conair, you will find 2 styles of cutting chamber geometry, tangential and super tangential. Rotor lock devices are equipped for maintenance.
Nelmor is an established brand in size reduction. Nelmor’s granulator types are beside the press, central, heavy duty, and thermoforming.
Central granulators have the ability to configure the cutting chamber to grind parts of different densities. Tangential and offset geometries are also available with central granulators.
How to Choose the Best Granulator
Finding the right granulator starts with finding the right size for your facility. Knowing the input you will have for your granulator is a must before you purchase. Depending on your situation, you may be more inclined to have a combination of machines to pair with your granulator.
With the right type of granulator, you can then go into the specific model that best suits your operation. Depending on the materials you will be reducing, you may need a higher horsepower. Other metrics to check include the diameter of the rotor, the rotating knives, fixed knives, and throughput.
Are you going to go with a new or a used granulator? There are plenty of used granulators available through used plastic machine distributors that have the capability to match the output of a new granulator at a significantly reduced price. Determine your budget, and make the best decision for your business.