STADLER designs and installs state-of-the-art light packaging sorting plant in Eitting, Germany for PreZero Recycling

PreZero encargó a STADLER, empresa internacional alemana especializada en la planificación, producción y montaje de plantas de reciclaje y clasificación llave en mano, que le diseñase e instalase una vanguardista planta de clasificación de envases ligeros nueva en Eitting.

Environmental services provider PreZero is driven by the ultimate goal of reducing the consumption of natural resources in a world where they are no longer wasted through closed loops – aiming for 100 percent reusable material. As part of this strategy, it commissioned STADLER, the globally active German company specialized in the planning, production and assembly of turnkey recycling and sorting plants, to design and install a new state-of-the-art light packaging sorting facility in Eitting.

The new facility is the most advanced light packaging sorting plant in Europe, capable of sorting the packaging fractions by color and, very importantly, even filter black plastics. This results in extremely high-quality output that can be recycled into new products. With an annual throughput of approximately 120,000 tons, it is also the biggest light packaging plant in Europe.
Forward-thinking innovation for high capacity and accurate sorting

The sorting plant receives light packaging made up of tin foil, ferrous and non-ferrous scrap, aluminum, composites with aluminum content, film PE plastics, nets and foam, PP and PS plastics, EPS, PET bottles, other PET, PVC and plastic packaging, TetraPak cartons, paper and cardboard. The process, which includes advanced fines preparation and automated film color sorting results in 18 different output fractions separated by material and color.

The design required the innovative thinking that is the hallmark of STADLER’s design teams: “This was the largest project to date for us, with 272 conveyor belts installed filling the hall on five levels and supported by over 1,000 tons of steelwork,” explains Wolfgang Köser, joint Project Manager. “To achieve the high-quality sorting PreZero was looking for, we used state-of-the-art technology in our design,” adds Benny Kalmbach, joint Project Manager. “The advanced equipment included 38 NIR (Near Infrared) optical sorters, our ballistic separators and robot-assisted secondary sorting.”

STADLER’s design team developed a design that not only delivered the required quality output and capacity, but also ease of operation. “The continuous level concept facilitates the operation of the system and ensures good accessibility to all the equipment for cleaning and maintenance,” says Wolfgang Köser.

The fully automated bunker management at the plant is another state-of-art process: “This means, for example, that there are no longer staff members permanently tied to the baler. In addition, the desired bale weights – and consequently bale lengths – can be achieved according to the customer’s specifications through the weighing cells under all bunkers. This has the advantage that the trucks can be loaded optimally for the best possible transport result,” explains Benny Kalmbach.

A complex project delivered on time, on a tight schedule

Thanks to a successful close collaboration of the teams at STADLER and PreZero, the project was completed in a very short time, as Wolfgang Köser explains: “We had a very tight schedule, with just 12 months from signing the contract to start-up with material, but we succeeded with a good and close cooperation between us at STADLER, and the teams at PreZero and the other companies involved in the project. Short decision-making processes and a target-oriented approach enabled us to move forward quickly at every stage.”

Stefan Kaiser, Head of Engineering Sorting Systems International PreZero Recycling Deutschland, is very satisfied with the whole process, and “the open communication, straightforward thinking, focused and time-efficient collaboration, and on-time delivery. I particularly appreciated how STADLER’s team listen to the customer and their proactive thinking of new ideas, acting as partners.”
The start-up of the sorting plant was on schedule in early January 2022, and “the ramp-up phase is running perfectly,” says Stefan Kaiser.

On the path towards a world where resources are not wasted

With the view that any waste that is not recycled is a wasted piece of raw material, PreZero strives for a continuous improvement of its processes, working towards the creation of a world where resources are no longer wasted through closed loops – aiming for 100 percent reusable material. As part of the Schwarz Group, a leading food retail company in Europe, it is able to develop innovative solutions along the entire value chain – from production to retail, collection, sorting and recycling to reuse – in order to close the loop.

The new light packaging plant designed by STADLER is part of PreZero’s strategy to achieve this goal: “For us, this is the first step in the transition from a waste plant to a production plant of industrial standards,” explains Stefan Kaiser.
For STADLER, the project provided a further opportunity to develop innovative solutions to serve the recycling industry with high-quality recyclates, supporting the transition to an efficient circular economy.

Un proyecto complejo, entregado a tiempo, a pesar de los plazos tan cortos con que se contaba

Gracias a la estrecha colaboración habida entre los equipos de STADLER y PreZero, el proyecto se terminó en muy poco tiempo, tal como explica Wolfgang Köser: “Teníamos unos plazos muy ajustados; solo 12 meses desde la firma del contrato a la puesta en marcha con material. Pero gracias a la estrecha y estupenda colaboración habida entre STADLER y el equipo de PreZero y del resto de empresas que participaron en el proyecto, todo salió bien y dentro de los plazos marcados. Los rápidos procesos de toma de decisiones y una estrategia centrada en objetivos concretos fueron lo que nos permitió avanzar rápido durante las distintas fases del proyecto”.

Stefan Kaiser, Jefe de Ingeniería Internacional de Sistemas de Clasificación para PreZero Recycling Deutschland, está encantado con cómo ha ido todo y “la gran comunicación, mentalidad directa, concentración y colaboración eficaz y entrega en el plazo acordado. Valoro especialmente la atención que todo el equipo de STADLER puso a las peticiones del cliente y su actitud proactiva para dar con ideas nuevas, en su papel de socio”.

La puesta en marcha de la planta tuvo lugar, según estaba previsto, a primeros de enero de este año, y “la fase de activación está yendo perfecta”, afirma Stefan Kaiser.

Rumbo a un mundo en el que no se desperdicien los recursos

Asumiendo que todo residuo no reciclado es una materia prima desperdiciada, PreZero trata de mejorar permanentemente sus procesos y se esfuerza en crear un mundo en que los recursos dejen de desperdiciarse gracias a los círculos cerrados, con el objetivo de que el 100 % de los materiales sea reutilizable. Integrante del Grupo Schwarz, una de las minoristas alimentarias líder a nivel europeo, es capaz de desarrollar soluciones innovadoras a lo largo de toda la cadena de valor; desde la producción a la venta, recogida, clasificación y reciclaje, hasta su reutilización, con el objetivo de cerrar el círculo.

La nueva planta de envases ligeros diseñada por STADLER forma parte de la estrategia de PreZero en pro de este objetivo: “Para nosotros, este es el primer paso de una transición para dejar de ser una planta de residuos y empezar a ser una planta de producción de estándares industriales”, explica Stefan Kaiser. 

Para STADLER, este proyecto ha supuesto una nueva oportunidad para desarrollar soluciones innovadoras para la industria del reciclaje con reciclados de alta calidad que sirvan como plataforma para la transición a una economía circular eficiente.