Established in 1995, Neue Herbold specializes in designing and manufacturing of recycling machines. 

Interview with Leonhard Heinrichsmeier, Sales Manager at Neue Herbold.

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

Leonhard Heinrichsmeier: The focus is on recycling of plastics, distinguishing between direct and post-consumer recycling. Direct recycling is reprocessing of uncontaminated, new products from the start of production or rejected items at the manufacturer. Post-consumer recycling means reprocessing of moderately contaminated plastics obtained from collection and sorting systems.

High-quality plastic direct recycling has been used for years, proving to be a highly profitable process with rapid return on investment. Our expertise is producing large granulators for reprocessing extruded profiles, pipes, and films. Neue Herbold granulators are optimized for rotor diameters ranging from 450 to 1200 mm and widths from 600 to 2000 mm. Customized feeding systems enable safe, economical shredding of pipes and profiles up to 6 meters long.

Our granulators serve industries like:

  • Extrusion of profiles and pipes
  • Extrusion of film and tiles
  • Blow molding systems
  • Injection molding (large parts)
  • Rotomolding

Additionally, we manufacture Hammer mills and screw crushers, utilized for direct recycling of materials like glass wool trimming edges and crushing cellular concrete blocks.

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

L.H: During 2024, we plan further invests into our production facilities to enhance manufacturing, particularly for larger machines with rotor diameters up to 1200 mm. By increasing in-house production, we ensure the quality of our machines and systems, reducing reliance on external resources. We are unequivocally committed to our location and the “Made in Germany” label. 

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

L.H: For indirect or post-consumer recycling, upstream separation of contamination is essential (e.g., adhesive residue, dirt, sand, glass). High-quality recycling requires uncontaminated plastics. Presorting minimizes process steps and associated costs (CAPEX and OPEX). 

Neue Herbold provides shredding, separating, washing and drying systems, including wet granulators, pre-washing drums, friction washers, and mechanical dryers. Sorting systems based on density differences (sink-float containers) or flow (zig-zag air sifters) are also available. 

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

L.H: Consolidation is particularly evident in the post-consumer market. To ensure economic viability and marketable products, processing must focus on high-quality input materials. While technically feasible, producing top-quality recycled pellets often comes with considerable expense, making it occasionally uneconomical. We believe that optimizing material sources and limiting cleaning stages to maintain low energy consumption is more critical than ever for recyclers.

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

L.H: Legal requirements are likely to mandate re-granulate use, particularly in the packaging sector. On long term raw material prices will increase and, subsequently, re-granulate prices. This will turn additional cleaning steps more economical. Currently, contamination levels and grade purity dictate plastic reprocessing costs, so optimizations could pave the way for more targeted processing. In the future, AI may direct product flows more efficiently and economically. To date, mechanical and thermal processes are standard, whereas chemical processing remains economically unestablished.

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

L.H: Reduction of OPEX is very critical for running a recycling system. Because the entire recycle plant requires energy, the consumption of energy is in relation to the cleaness of the feed/output.  

Neue Herbold offers tailored concepts for cost-effective recycling, ranging from individual machines to complete systems. Our numerous long-term customers stand as statement to our enduring success. Apart from traditional engineering and planning services, our in-house test center plays a pivotal role, providing performance data on machine and system quality and output.

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

L.H: We anticipate further post-consumer market consolidation in 2024. Subsidies have created capacities that struggle with low prices and capacity utilization, relying on improved demand and overall economic conditions for progress. The Ukraine conflict further restricts the market politically. A swift end to the war would have the most significant positive impact, although, as of Q I/2024, we do not foresee signs of resolution. Similarly, the direct recycling market’s growth hinges on production volumes. The profile and tube granulator sector relies to the construction industry, while the packaging industry (films) is more dependent on the overall economy. We expect a faster recovery in the latter.