J-Tec builds greenfield compounding installation in USA

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Last modified: 8 May 2023

J-Tec was assigned by Asahi Kasei Plastics to build a $30 million installation for advanced thermoplastic compounds. The plant is built on Asahi’s newest site in Limestone County, Athens, Alabama.

For the design and construction of the process lines and civil works, J-Tec Material Handling (process engineering) and Katoen Natie Supply Chain Engineering (civil and infrastructural works) joined forces, making it a unique concept. Being two companies within one group brought along a benefit for Asahi Kasei: one partner providing a complete turnkey solution.

The Athens facility will produce compounded PP and PA pellets, that will be used by producers of automotive, furniture, electronics, pool and spa, and so on. J-Tec designed and erected the railcar unloading system, raw material storage and conveying, recipe dosing system and the complete compounding lines until the packaging of the finished products.

A lot of attention was given to automation and control systems in order to ensure operator safety, a high quality product, and the ability to easily and efficiently operate the entire process.

The pellets will arrive in railcars and will be conveyed to raw material silos by pneumatic unloading systems. The entire process installation is divided into three different process levels. On the upper level the raw materials are collected and stored into buffer hoppers. On the second level the raw materials are dosed by feeders, feeding the extruders located on the ground floor. Additives can also be brought into the process through Super Sack, small bag discharging stations and special premix preparation installations. After the product is extruded it will be granulated, cooled, classified and delivered into dedicated packaging lines. During the engineering process, additional attention was given to vapor treatment and dust extraction, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for Asahi’s future operators.

With this project, Asahi Kasei Plastics, J-Tec Material Handling and Katoen Natie contribute to the development of the community of Athens, Alabama. The newest compounding plant will create up to 100 new jobs over the next 3 years.

In order to provide you an insight on what J-Tec can realize, they developed an animated video that shows the construction of their Greenfield / EPC services as an all-in-one package. You can watch this video by clicking on the added ’other item’ below this article.

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J-Tec Material Handling

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