Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer builds largest PP compounding and pelletizing system


In the past year, Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart/Germany, received the order for the biggest system worldwide for compounding and pelletizing of polypropylene (PP). This system is designed for a throughput rate of 55 to 60 tons/hr, which corresponds to the production capacity of a modern world-scale plant, and consists of:

- a twin-screw MEGAcompounder ZSK 380 Mc powered by a motor with more than 14 MW,

- an automatic non-stop screen pack changer as well as

- the largest PP underwater pelletizer with an intensively heated die plate.

This compounding and pelletizing system will be installed in Plock/Poland, the biggest Polish petrochemical site. The complete PP plant will be erected and operated by Basell Orlen Polyolefins, a joint venture of PKN Orlen S.A., a Polish chemical company, and Basell Polyolefins, the world's largest producer of Polypropylene and the licensor of many polymerization technologies and catalysts.

Since the compounding and pelletizing system is a strategic component of the plant, the decision in favour of Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer was taken by the operating company itself. Once again it has been possible, with the approval of the licensor, to eliminate a gear pump for building up the pressure that is necessary for screening of the melt and for pelletizing. This task will be performed by the screws of the ZSK MEGAcompounder, without a risk of overshearing the different PP grades. In the design phase prior to this decision, comprehensive tests and calculations on energy input were performed by Coperion Werner & Pfleiderer.

The compounding and pelletizing system allows to economically produce different PP grades within a wide viscosity range. Here, the variable speed drive for the compounding extruder plays a key role. Its heart, the Suprex gearbox is a so-called superpositioning planetary gear box adding the power and speed of a fixed-speed motor to a variable-speed motor. Thanks to this drive, variable operating screw speeds are possible which allow stress-free compounding and pelletizing of the complete range of PP grades within a wide viscosity range, with low energy input and, at the same time, high throughput rates.

Commissioning / start-up of the compounding and pelletizing system is scheduled for early 2005.

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