Founded in 1996, Granula Polymer is a family-owned company in second generation, based in Groß-Umstadt (Germany) and is certified to ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. Since the beginning, it has specialized in electrically conductive thermoplastics. 

Today’s core areas are the production and sale of customized masterbatches and universally applicable cleaning granulates. Granula Polymer is also innovative through research and has successfully completed research projects with renowned universities, colleges and research partners and holds several patents, for example to produce effective cleaning granulates.

In 2023, Granula Polymer GmbH was honoured as an “Employer of the Future”.

Interview with Dr. Eva Langhammer, CEO of Granula Polymer GmbH.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Eva Langhammer: The four most important areas are the production and distribution of customized masterbatches and universally applicable, ready-mix cleaning granulates, sold under the trade mark GranaClean, consulting for the plastics processing industry with regard to formulation development and research and development of innovative plastics and the improvement of existing products. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

E.L: At the end of 2023, we developed a very innovative, ready-mix cleaning granulate, GranaClean BIO, which consists of 100% biodegradable ingredients. Furthermore, all ingredients are food-safe in accordance with EU Directive (EU) No. 10/2011, do not have an abrasive effect on the machine surface and do not contain any hazardous substances for people or the environment. The combination of a chemical and mechanical effective additives results in an effective cleaning and care of the machine. The use of cleaning granulate saves valuable raw materials in the form of plastic, as well as time and energy.

E.E: What are the ranges of products/services?

E.L: In addition to the universally applicable cleaning granulate GranaClean UNI with a wide application range from 160 °C to 320 °C for standard and technical thermoplastics, the cleaners GranaClean Clear for machines that process transparent and crystal-clear thermoplastics, GranaClean TPE/TPU for thermoplastic elastomers and GranaClean BIO made from 100% biodegradable ingredients are available. In addition, Granula Polymer offers the service of developing customized cleaners that are perfectly matched to the plastics processed by the customer and adapted to the machines. The customer-specific service can be used, for example, to offer cleaning granulates that can be processed into parts and removed fully automatically by the robot. Support during cleaning tests at the customer’s premises is also offered free of charge.

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

E.L: GranaClean cleaning granulates are suitable for all plastics processing machines that have a rotating screw, such as injection moulding machines and extruders. The market for GranaClean cleaning granulates therefore covers the entire plastics processing industry and includes compounding, masterbatch production, injection molding, blow molding, sheet extrusion, or filament extrusion processes. GranaClean cleaning granulates have been commercially available since 2021 and represent a very high-quality, effective product thanks to the patented, chemical and mechanically active ingredients. GranaClean also contains a blowing agent to effectively reach and remove soiling from the dead zones of the machine. Most of the cleaning granules available on the market only have a mechanical effect. The combination of chemical and mechanical additives and a blowing agent represents a very high quality. Due to the patent protection, particularly effective additives are also used and are unique among the cleaning granulates available.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

E.L: Current market trends are moving in the direction of processing more and more bio-based plastics, biodegradable plastics and recyclates. This is precisely where GranaClean cleaning granulates are moving with the times: after cleaning with GranaClean UNI, the resulting waste can be recycled and reused depending on the application. So, customers who focus on the use of recyclates can reuse the rejects after regular cleaning. Customers who only process biodegradable products can clean with GranaClean BIO and do not have to collect the waste separately. 

When developing the cleaning granulates, the focus was always on sustainability: 

CO2 can be successfully saved over the entire life cycle of GranaClean® and this benefits the customer by allowing them to reduce their footprint: 

  • The energy balance in production is low.
  • Production is carried out in accordance with certified environmental management.
  • Electricity for production comes from renewable energies.
  • Samples and small quantities are shipped climate neutrally.
  • GranaClean® is efficient: the use of 1 kg of GranaClean® replaces an average of 7 kg of polypropylene –> saving raw materials. 
  • No reaction time required during cleaning –> energy saving.
  • Packed in recyclable mono PE bags.
  • Non-abrasive to part surfaces –> Wear is prevented.

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

E.L: GranaClean BIO is a world first for us, as there are hardly any cleaning granulates based on biodegradable ingredients available on the market to date. It is developed specifically for plastics processors who process biodegradable plastics. It makes little sense for this customer base to use non-biodegradable materials on the machine for cleaning, because they had to separate the cleaning waste. Unfortunately, this has been the case to date, as analogous products are hardly available elsewhere.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the beginning of 2024?

E.L: Due to the current decline in production in the plastics processing industry, almost every company is required to improve its productivity and its CO2 footprint. This is where the use of effective cleaning granulates such as GranaClean can help, as plastic waste is significantly reduced, and rejects caused by contaminated parts are minimized. In addition, GranaClean requires no reaction time, so the processor can carry out the fastest possible color and material change and achieve the best possible productivity.

For these reasons, 2024 got off to a very good start in terms of GranaClean sales and we expect further increases in sales for the year. In addition to direct sales, GranaClean cleaning granulates can be purchased via the trading companies Albis Distribution GmbH & Co KG and Keyser and Mackay.