I’m Nick from Ukraine. In 1 or 2 years I want to start my own plastic recycling workshop. I’m earning money for this and plan all the things.
And right now I’m working on list of equipment and things that I will need to start. I’m planning to use schredder, extruder/injector, moulds and open mold process. And I made a list of things already, but then understood, that I can’t predict everything, so it’s better to talk with more experienced people. That’s why you can see my message:)
If you can share with ready list, docs, ideas or suggestions, I will really appreciate!
Need any help and would like to cooperate with others. Thanks!
It might help if you said what the purpose of the workshop is (produce a specific product?, education? pilot program for a larger municipal program? etc.). Does it need to make money or do you have a sponsor? If you are at the “there is too much plastic and I want to do something stage”, you may want to work out the detail objectives and business plan. After that, planning the hardware should be much easier.
Thank you, guys! I deeply appreciate for your advices, tips, recommendations and questions. Seems like I need to think about this more.
About my business plan… the main problem that it’s in Russian, but now I’m going to translate it to get some help from experienced people.)
Thank you so much!
As was mentioned, beyond the basic machines the equipment list depends on what your capabilities are and what you are going to outsource.
Are you going to build and maintain the machines yourself? Are you a mechanic/machinist/welder? Are you going to do all the sheetmetal fabrication? Are you going to do all the electrical/electronic assembly and diagnostics? All of these have some general purpose multi-use tools and some specific tools that you only use during the build. It may not make business sense to try to acquire all of them or to do all the steps in-house.
How are you going to acquire and process the materials? Do you need to provide collection bins? Are you expecting a broad mix of dirty consumer and industrial plastics? Do you need equipment to wash them beyond just tubs? Are there any requirements on what to do with the contaminated water? Do your products depend on carefully sorted plastic by type and by color, will you need lots of individual storage?
How are you going to create the molds? Do you do the CAD work and then outsource to CNC. Do your molds require welding?
Do your products require any additional processing after they come out of the mold? Trimming, assembly, heat welding? Will you be shipping most of your products? do you need shipping scales, packing equipment, moving carts, storage racks? Do you expect to have a storefront? Do you need display cases, racks? Lighting, counter, transaction equipment?
One thing to keep in mind as you work your capital requirements and cash flow estimates is that the PP V3 designs are not really high throughput designs. If you are making 10 euro items but you can only make 3 of them per hour, that is a tough business model.
It can be brutal and humbling to have your business plan reviewed and picked apart but if you are investing your own money, it may be a good idea to post at least the summary of your business plan and let people critique it. There is a broad range of business and technical expertise present here that can help you avoid some pitfalls.
Unfortunately I have not seen the PP effort generate a model business plan. There are some cost spreadsheets but not either a business plan or a successful case study.
that’s the stuff you always should have around : angle grinder (35 new), small MIG/Stick welder (200 new), bench grinder (70 new), vise (40 new), the biggest drill press you can get (new 200), metal saw (300 second hand) : for around 1000 as max. in total; second hand or partly new. with that you can make the machines yourself. if you can manage to get a old metal lathe (also around 1000 or less) then you are definitely on the safe side; most of the machines we build for the PP folks rely on a lathe. you will be pretty flexible and ready to mess around
Always start with the plastic.
Find a flow and make sure you can sort, clean and store it.
This will also give you an idea of how much ‘waste’ you are going to end up yourself, as plastic flows seldomly contain just the one plastic for the one product you want to produce.
Also ask yourself what it is you can do, what you want to do and what you actually excel at.
Recycling plastic has many disciplines, some even in conflict with each other.
Simply seperated as:
-Raw Materials (collecting)
-Machine Building and maintainance (metal)
-Product Design (computer/craft)
-Product Production (plastic)
-Product sales/distribution (commerce)
All of which are part of the recycling process and you must excell in ALL to be a successful recycler by yourself.
If there is one you don’t like or don’t excel at, find partners that does, or you will fail!
That’s in part what this community is about (finding partners, not the failing part ;-)), which also extends way beyond this platform.
If I had to venture a guess you are a product designer (like me).
So I would also add “finding partners for the other disciplines” to your start list.
Thanks for replying!
Yes, I’m going to produce specific products for sale. I’m working on business plan right now and need to make a hardware list. Some people already told me, that it depends on what products I’m gonna do. So, now I understood, that I will need extruder and injector (schredder too, of course) and will work with moulds and open mold process.
I added basic tools to the list, but need to detalize it and think about some specific tools. That’s why I need help from more experienced people.