Blades of glory

Written by: Steed Webzell | Published:
Blue Group Doppstadt DW-3060 type F

Shredding, be it for paper, biowaste, industrial waste or e-waste applications, demands a considered thought process when it comes to technology selection, as Steed Webzell discovers

A new poll of waste and recycling professionals reveals differing priorities when it comes to investing in new shredding technology. Last month, an Untha UK webinar carried out in partnership with CIWM and Avanti Environmental Group surveyed the views of delegates, with the results making for interesting reading.

When asked which fiscal consideration ultimately drives decision-making at the shredder procurement stage, 30% of participants said capital expenditure, with the remaining 70% opting for whole life running costs. These longer-reaching figures take into account factors such as power consumption per tonne, energy efficiency, uptime statistics, the ease and frequency of maintenance, plus the cost and availability of spare parts.

Sensible tactic

Prioritising this more holistic approach to financial planning is therefore a wise approach, advises Untha UK’s chairman, Chris Oldfield.

“Of course businesses need to consider capital expenditure – they have to be able to afford the initial investment, but that’s not the whole story. It’s absolutely crucial to consider the whole life running costs of a new shredder too. If whole life running costs are excessive, what looked like a low-cost machine at

the start will soon become a very expensive shredder. In the modern economic climate, when value is so important, organisations don’t want to put their return on investment at risk.”

A second question asked whether purchase price, machine quality, back-up support or noise level is ultimately the most important factor when selecting a new shredder.

Machine quality came out top with 50% of the votes, closely followed by back-up services, with 45%. Interestingly, price seemed irrelevant, with only 5% of participants selecting that option. But the lack of focus on noise – which scored zero – concerns Oldfield.

“Ultimately, we asked delegates about the ‘most important’ factor, so we cannot assume people are dismissing noise altogether,” he says. “However, I am worried that people neglect to factor this in to their shredder specification. Noise can have a debilitating effect on operator hearing, therefore waste and recycling companies should be striving to design plants that operate below the first action point of 80db. This means hearing protection isn’t required, which safeguards the wellbeing of operators, saves money on ear defenders and is likely to prove crucial to planning permission approvals. Plants may also be able to extend their operating hours if they don’t disturb neighbouring communities. Noise is becoming more and more important.”

The webinar poll also revealed an encouraging level of economic confidence among delegates, with 74% stating that they think the waste and recycling industry will emerge stronger from Brexit.

Commenting on this finding, Oldfield says: “While there is still a lack of clarity throughout the whole of the UK, not just our profession, I think it’s fantastic to see and hear about the level of resilience and positivity coming from people throughout the sector.”

Determining factors

Out in the field, Nottingham-headquartered Shredall, one of the UK’s largest independently owned document security companies, based its decision to invest in a new Vecoplan VAZ 1300 shredding machine on efficiency and output.

“The Vecoplan is far more efficient than our previous shredder, which we’d had for 10 years,” says Lloyd Williams, founder of Shredall. “It is capable of cross cutting 6,000 kg of paper per hour, enabling us to double our current output and take on more business.”

In addition to the standard drive via asynchronous motor, the HiTorc drive is also available on the Vecoplan VAZ 1300, which permits variable speed adjustment and reduces power consumption by up to 60%. Machines provided with the HiTorc drive have a capacity of 62kW, while output can vary between 400 and 2,500kg/h, depending on the version and screen mesh size.

“The machine we have purchased is part of a medium-duty series of single-shaft shredders that starts with the VAZ 1300,” says Williams. “It has many capabilities for shredding wood waste, paper, data storage media, solid plastics, plastic film, industrial waste, packaging and much more. When shredding bulk and very light materials, it can be fitted with an optional bridge-breaker to help increase throughput.”

The shredder is also fitted with a firefly system that is active whenever the shredder is in operation. This identifies both light and heat source, and sends six jets of high-powered water into the area to extinguish any possible fires.

“We’re pleased to say that everything’s been running smoothly since its installation,” says Williams. “We are very happy with its functions and see it as an integral part of our company’s growth in the future.”

Industrial shredders

There certainly appears to be plenty of new development in terms of industrial shredders judging by the ongoing stream of products entering the market. Take the new DW 3060 F Type from Doppstadt, for example, which is available in the UK from Blue Group. The machine incorporates an innovative shredding system which replaces the known comb extensions. Here, the individual limiter elements keep the material in position for shredding to help achieve a consistent size of product. Furthermore, these elements are gimbal mounted to avoid foreign bodies that could cause damage to the machine.

An additional innovation is the Doppstadt QuickChange system, which means the roller can be changed quickly, without the time-consuming set-up of gearbox and support. The same goes for the counter-blade, which can be changed without the need for tools – operators simply remove the toothed strip safely outside the machine. With a diameter of 600mm, the roller avoids feeding problems when using smaller tooth sizes.

The shredders of the Doppstadt DW series process waste wood, logs, roots, green waste, biowaste, garbage, bulky and industrial waste, mixed construction waste and more. The machine features a MTU 6R1300 diesel engine and 320kW motor power, while the belt speed of the rear discharge conveyor is up to 3m/s.

Among the recent takers of such a shredder is Worcester-based Blackpole Recycling, which has purchased a Doppstadt DW 2060K slow-speed shredder from Blue Group in its aim to achieve ‘zero to landfill’.

The Doppstadt DW 2060K was bought to pre-shred the material, making it much easier to process, which ultimately increases the percentage of recycled materials. This single-shaft shredder has numerous beneficial features, including optimal tooth arrangement on the 2m-wide roller which rotates at 32rpm. Furthermore, the machine has 14 roller teeth and 15 comb teeth, ensuring comprehensive shredding of the waste. It has a reversible fan wheel, generous hopper shape and size for easy loading, electrically controlled reversing roller and a large return conveyor. The shredder is also equipped with a hydraulically foldable rear conveyor which contributes to fast set-up time once on site.

Commenting on the purchase, Jonathon Dew, managing director at Blackpole, says: “We initially had the machine on demo to compare it with competitor shredders. However, we soon realised that the Doppstadt was the best in its class.”

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