As one of North America’s largest plastic thermoformers, we’ve refined and perfected our plastic regrind processes to ensure optimal material quality.
Here at Penda, we specialize in developing customizable parts and components for many industries using the plastic manufacturing process known as thermoforming. In thermoforming, manufacturers have a choice of what blend of material they use to form their plastic parts.
Within our facilities, we create our own material blend for the heavy gauge forming process we use to create our products. Over the years, we’ve perfected this process in an effort to ensure the consistency and quality of the materials that go into our material handling products.
Extruding Plastic Sheet
There are nine total extrusion lines that produce the plastic sheeting we use at Kruger Family Industries. Four of them are located at TriEnda, and the other five are located here at Penda. These extrusion lines pull material from four sources to extrude the plastic sheet. These sources are:
- Black color concentrate
- Virgin resin from silos
- Pelletized material
- Controlled in-house regrind
Most of the sheeting we produce here is a black colored sheet. Therefore, our specification and industry standard is 1% carbon black in our final product. A lot of the materials that go into our blend are black already, so it doesn’t take much colored concentrate to create a uniform look. Silos outside of our facilities feed virgin resin into the extruders as part of the material blend as well, which we source externally. Material from the pelletizer also goes into the extruded sheet, and this material consists of carefully controlled virgin resin and regrind plastic that is blended and compounded in-house.
Next is our in-house regrind which also comes from controlled scrap material. It is extremely important that these bins are free of contaminants, like wood, metal, or any other foreign material. The associates on our production floor are trained to ensure that the regrind is clean. Our management team is also focused on controlling the quality of this regrind material as well. On a normal day, the extrusion lines will run about 50% regrind material and we keep anywhere from 150,000 – 200,000 pounds of it on-hand.
The plastic sheet that comes out of our extrusion lines is typically about 2-3 inches larger than the production tooling they’re used for. Once a product, part, or other component is thermoformed, the excess material is trimmed as part of the finishing process. This trimmed excess is sent back into the regrind loop so it can once again be used for the manufacturing of our thermoformed products. Think of it as a small-scale plastic lifecycle that starts and ends at our facilities. The entire process serves to keep our products and materials consistent in their quality and performance and helps us achieve our goals of being environmentally responsible by reusing and recycling our materials.
If you have any questions about our regrind process or the materials we use, please reach out to us and we’ll happily answer any questions you have. If you’re interested in working with us to develop a custom OEM component that fits the needs of your product or business, go ahead and ask about that too! We love new challenges and coming up with innovative solutions to fit specific product needs, and after decades of experience in utilizing thermoforming, we’d say we’re one of the best options out there.