The financial year 2019/20, which ended on 31 March, marks a special milestone in Erema's corporate history. For the first time the group of companies generated a consolidated total turnover of more than EUR 200 million and, with its recycling technologies and professional services, impressively underlined its position as a technology leader and driving force in the implementation of a circular economy for plastics. Then along came the Corona pandemic and the impact it made on our private lives and the economy. Within a very short period of time, Erema implemented numerous measures to protect the health of employees, to continue business operations and to continue to meet the needs of customers as best they could. As Manfred Hackl, CEO Erema Group GmbH says, "We are proud of our achievements in the past financial year and how we have handled the special challenges presented by the corona pandemic so far."
The Erema Group balance sheet for the financial year 2019/20 shows a very positive picture: the group of companies introduced technical innovations to the market, and much more. Erema's Circonomic Centre attracted a large audience at K 2019 - the plastics industry's most important trade fair. It was also a year that saw the company win international awards, expand the company's headquarters as well as the premises at their subsidiary 3S, and achieve a significant growth in orders and turnover. A total turnover of more than EUR 200 million represents an increase of more than 10 percent compared to the financial year 2018/19. The number of employees also increased again. More than 600 people now work for the group of companies consisting of Erema Group GmbH and its subsidiaries Erema, Pure Loop, Umac, 3S, Keycycle and Plasmac. CEO Hackl names as success factors the innovative and diverse recycling technologies of the subsidiary companies as well as their comprehensive consulting, service, engineering and planning services. "These enable us to serve a range of recycling markets and to implement tailor-made recycling solutions for our customers," he explains.
That is how Erema Group was once again able to set new standards in the past financial year. In the in-house and industrial sector, Erema GmbH launched the new Intarema ZeroWastePro system as a compact solution that is precisely tailored to the requirements of recycling production waste. Pure Loop, a subsidiary in the shredder-extruder technology segment, added the ISEC evo series to its product range, which enables output rates of more than 1,500 kg/h to be achieved for the first time. The range of products for in-house applications is rounded off by the Plasmac range of solutions especially for straightforward applications at low throughput rates such as in the blown film sector.
Trendsetter in food contact compliance
In the post consumer sector, Erema was able to expand the range of applications for recycled material produced from contaminated plastic waste. As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the food contact compliance of PCR-HDPE produced using the Intarema TVEplus RegrindPro extrusion system combined with the ReFresher module. Even before that, this recycling technology was one of the reasons a well-known brand manufacturer was able to launch shower gel bottles made of 100 percent PCR-HDPE as a world first.
Erema systems are also considered the benchmark in PET recycling. First and foremost thanks to proven Vacurema technology. The largest model ever built produces four tons of recycled pellets per hour. Vacunite, the newly developed bottle-to-bottle process in which all thermal process steps take place in a nitrogen and/or vacuum atmosphere, also delivers impressive performance and is currently being commissioned by the first customers.
"The demand for our machines shows that recycling is becoming increasingly important in the value chain. With our technologies and services we ensure stable recycling processes and high-quality recycled pellets even with challenging input materials. That is how we are creating a very important prerequisite for the plastics circular economy," says Manfred Hackl.
Smart technologies prove their worth in the crisis
The digital assistance systems provided through the BluPort customer platform that are used to increase machine performance and better serve customers, have proven their worth in several ways in times of corona-related travel restrictions. "If necessary, we can support our customers by remotely accessing recycling machines and offering remote support on mobile phones, laptops and augmented smart glasses during commissioning and also during service jobs. Spare parts can be ordered around the clock from our Spare Parts Online shop, where there are also detailed instruction videos that enable machine operators to carry out maintenance work on their own," explains Michael Heitzinger, Managing Director, Erema GmbH.
The past financial year was an intensive and successful year with many highlights for the Erema Group, followed by the unforeseeable outbreak of a pandemic. "Corona is likely to remain with us for some time, but that will not diminish the significance of our mission: Another Life for Plastic. Because we care," says CEO Manfred Hackl. On the contrary. The group of companies is looking to the future with confidence over the long term, even though recent developments have led to a very tense situation for plastics recyclers. The unanimous opinion is that sustainability and consequently plastics recycling will continue to be important issues for society and industry, possibly even gaining in significance as a result of the lessons learned from this crisis. At the moment, the economic impact of the Corona crisis on the recycling industry requires that decision-makers at national and international level ensure that recycling know-how and the requisite recycling systems acquired over the years are maintained and further developed to meet EU recycling targets.