US-based Unifi Inc. selected Italy equipment supplier Amut SpA and Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) for a US$25 million expansion that will increase its capacity to turn polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles into recycled fibers for apparel and automotive products.
The new bottle processing plant will produce about 75 million pounds of recycled PET materials when it begins operation in June 2016.
Amut will design, build and assemble a new PET washing line, using its patented dry de-labeling system to remove the shrink sleeve wraps from the post-consumer bottles.
BHS will design, manufacture and install a front-end PET purification system with nine optical sorters by National Recovery Technologies, which is part of BHS’ family of businesses. The system also will feature the latest in screens and air-sorting technology.
The system will process 22,000 pounds of baled materials per hour by removing the non-PET content and preparing the PET for the conversion from bottles to flake, according to BHS.
The flake is used to make Unifi’s Repreve line of polyester yarns and fibers, which go into product brands like Haggar, Ford and Quicksilver.
“This state-of-the-art facility will raise the bar for Unifi, allowing us to internalize the majority of our flake requirements as we continue to expand our Repreve filament and polymer chip business,” Mark McNeill, Unifi’s Vice President of Technology and Business Development, said in a statement.