The Austrian company Starlinger & Co. GmbH is chiefly known as world market leader in the field of machinery and process technology for woven plastic bags; the division recycling technology has firmly established itself on the market over the past 30 years. Until recently, the division was operating from the head office in Vienna as well as from the Starlinger factory in Weissenbach. The construction of a separate additional building started one and a half years ago; in summer, everyone from sales to engineering moved into the new recycling headquarters in Weissenbach. The physical proximity of the departments will facilitate internal communication and speed up processes.
The festive opening ceremony drew a large crowd; including guests of honor, about 200 visitors had followed the invitation. A highlight was waiting in the reception area of the building: "Wheel of time" (plastic on canvas), a modern work of art created for Starlinger by Gudrun Kampl.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Andreas Pechhacker (Head of recycling technology) pointed out parallels between machine setup and building design; to take an example, lighting, fire protection, temperature control, and the alarm system are integrated into a PLC control unit. Moreover, the building is heated with 100 % renewable energy.
Michael Otter (CEO Advantage Austria) praised Starlinger as an innovative family business, "hidden champion", and global player. Managing Partner Angelika Huemer emphasized that recycling technology is an integral part of the company: "We are committed to the future of recycling at Starlinger. Recycling is here to stay." Clearly, the new building is an investment in the future of the growing business unit.
150 participants from 34 countries attended the customer event "dynamic days"; odor reduction on polyolefins and polyester recycling took center stage. Day 1 focused on odor reduction with an overview of the technology as well as a specialist presentation of odor profiling with quantitative and qualitative methods. PP regrind was processed on the recycling line recoSTAR dynamic; a sold machine with smell extraction unit was shown in operation in one of the assembly halls. Day 2 was dedicated to polyester recycling. For fiber production (bottle-to-fiber recycling), Starlinger recently developed a unique filter, the Rapid Sleeve Changer (RSC). This filter not only allows for extremely fine filtration (a necessity in fiber production), but also for a rapid change of the filter elements without having to stop production. During the live demonstration of polyester fiber recycling, customers could get a first-hand impression. The event concluded with a visit of Starlinger's PET Competence Center, where rPET flakes were used as input material for the production of tapes for woven fabric.