Recycling Made Solutions

In-house test center of German Erdwich Zerkleinerungssysteme GmbH enables experts to test configuration and material variants on 13 different shredding machines and plants.

For more than 30 years, Erdwich deals with crushing, granulation and recycling tasks. Until today, over 6,500 machines and plants were delivered to customers in 87 countries. Situated in the Bavarian Kaufering, the family business is one of the most experienced companies in the industry. Mainly the machines are used for volume reduction, product destruction, for material separation and recycling of raw materials. However, each job is unique in terms of conditions and requirements, whether, for example, that the machine needs minimum space or must provide accurate reproducible results. “Every new application is a challenge,” stresses project manager Andreas Ostermeier. “That’s why we have specialized in designing hundred per cent according to the customers’ specifications. Therefore, continuous innovations belong to some extent to the standard program.”

Single-shaft shredder M800/1 with intelligent ejection of extra­neous material which is currently being tested by different mate­rials and with different control programs

Single-shaft shredder M800/1 with intelligent ejection of extra­neous material which is currently being tested by different mate­rials and with different control programs

To realize such a large range of individual solutions, Erdwich uses an extensive range of machines and is working with a team of experienced engineers, designers and mechanics. This made it possible, among other things, to develop a plant for a chemical company which does not only separate glass cuvettes of plastic covers and styrofoam packaging but also resists the acids contained therein and removes them safely. Another construction is coarse crushers that unlock the electronic waste from the washing machine to the PCB gently and can break down the individual fractions. Also, more than 40 million refrigerators were already recycled by Erdwich technology. These systems were designed as closed plants, to ensure that no CFCs can escape. Instead, greenhouse gases are either converted into liquid form and filled into special disposal containers or thermally destroyed on-site. Generally there is hardly any application in which the machinery of the manufacturer is not being used, regardless of whether metal swarf, tires, bulky waste, banknotes, pharmaceutical and chemical products, paper, reject or hazardous waste.

Under real operating conditions

Based on all these developments are extensive tests with different materials and machines. In 2010, Erdwich built its own proving area that allows testing customers’ material under real operating conditions and constantly adapt and optimize the existing plant types. “We can test all forms of knives, counter-cutting systems, programs and others in the test center,” says Ostermeier. “And read out all parameters of the machine and the shredding operation and pass them to the customer on request.”

A total of 13 machines are currently available for the technicians, including various single-shaft, two-and three-shaft shredders in various designs and two cardboard-shredders, a coarse shredder and hammer mill. The configuration options – which can also be used in the customization of applications – are ranging from rotor-stator cutting systems with different hole-sieve geometries to define the size per piece to cutting units with ejection possibilities for extraneous material up to different drive variants. Equally wide is the range of services: Depending on the size and type of the shredding plants, the throughput is between five kilogramme and 30 tonnes per hour.

The Erdwich test center

The Erdwich test center

Fine-tuning of new M800/1

Currently, the manufacturer is working mainly on fine-tuning the new single-shaft shredder M800/1 in the test center which is equipped with an automatic ejection of extraneous material. “For the models currently available, the extraneous material must be removed by hand after recognition,” explains Ostermeier. “The new technology however detects such foreign matters and discharges them automatically. This saves time and protects the operating personnel.” The intelligent machine is driven at the test stand with different materials and control programs in order to determine the ideal configuration for use.

Besides the individual adjustment depending on the application, the flexibility of the products and the experience of the Erdwich engineers have another advantage: The company was thus able to adapt to the new European standards very quickly and build refrigerator recycling plants according to Cenelec standard.

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For the recycling of cooling devices, a closed system was designed to release no CFC (Photos: Erdwich Zerkleinerungssysteme GmbH)