Plastics & Recycling

One of the key problems faced by the Plastics industry is reducing and managing energy costs. And with the Plastics industry’s use now estimated at 4% of global power usage, and with electricity costs continuing to rise, this problem will only get more challenging.


The first step to reducing energy costs is the need to understand where, when, why and how much energy you are using. This information provides the benchmark and signposts for improvement. The main electrical energy users are motors and drives, heaters, cooling systems and lighting systems. A simple site energy distribution map will show where energy is being used. The chart below shows an aggregated view of a Plastics Company’s typical energy usage.

Global Contribution
Companies Worldwide

Approximately two-thirds of the energy costs in plastics processing are the result of electric motor usage.

Yet motors are often overlooked when considering energy usage. The motors in the main processing equipment such as compounders, granulators, moulders and extruders are obvious, but the majority of motors are ‘hidden’ in other equipment such as compressors, pumps and fans. When the energy cost of running a motor for 1000 hours can exceed the purchase cost and when the ‘whole life’ costs are often over 100 times the purchase cost then failing to take action with all the motors in a factory is expensive.

How Integra works in the plastics industry

Introducing Integra, intelligent fixed speed motor control

What makes motor usage the culprit in terms of energy consumption? Until recent years, most typical motors have had no way of intelligently adjusting power consumption against that which is actually needed to complete a task. Integra is our answer to this problem: a fixed speed motor control which can save up to 40% on motor running costs.

By converting the motor into its own load sensor, Integra ensures that the motor only uses the exact amount of energy required to complete a task. With the same efficiency as the typical motor, it simply means that excess energy is not drawn and therefore, cannot be wasted. Integra ensures the motor automatically runs at its optimum efficiency, but it does so without compromising the full load capability – it can still draw full power when required in a 50th of a second. Additionally, it provides a soft start and smoother acceleration for motors, reducing the risk of penalties from your utility companies, and wear and tear to prevent the need for premature maintenance.

For the Plastics and Recycling industries, granulators in particular are one of the largest consumers of energy when it comes to electric motor usage. Integra is tried and tested in helping to reduce the amount of excess energy wasted for this type of machinery, and can cut costs exponentially.

For an industry responsible for 4% of all global power consumption, and already under more scrutiny than most due to the environmental reputation of the product, energy efficiency is the key way for companies within the Plastics industry to make a change. The Plastics Industry represents possibly the largest market opportunity for Integra based solutions with many key processes using single speed motor applications.

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Case Studies

Interested in reading more about how Integra has revolutionised motor usage in the Plastics industry? Browse the following case studies.