||Chippers and Grinders
In the biomass and waste-to-fuel industries, wood and green waste grinders and chippers are used in a variety of settings for reducing wood to a more desirable size. Grinders are typically high-speed hammermills. The machines hammer woody material into smaller pieces of various sizes, resulting in a shredded appearance. Grinders are very tolerant of non-woody contaminants such as nails, rocks and dirt, and are often used to process wood which may contain non-wood materials. Grinders are typically available in horizontal feed and vertical feed designs, stationary and portable.
Chippers differ from grinders in that they contain sharp knives that cut and produce a uniform, thin and somewhat rectangular product. Chippers are not tolerant of non-wood contaminants and can suffer substantial damage or wear whenever exposed to nails, rocks or dirt. Large chippers are primarily used for processing whole trees and are not often used for processing wood waste materials. Small chippers process branches and other smaller scale items.
CW Mill Equipment is one of the many companies that market products in the wood waste industry. Tim Wenger, president and sales manager stated, “Our HogZilla brand grinding equipment comes in a wide range of models and configurations from 500 hp to over 1,200 hp, with either diesel or electric power. Stationary, remote-controlled, track-mounted, semi-portable and portable units are available – including mounted grapple loader options for self-loading. Monster Industrial Grinders are configured as tub grinders and horizontal end-feed style grinders.
“Most grinders process organic materials such as wood for disposal or recycling uses such as mulch, compost, and fuel. The machines can also be used for processing applications for scrap tires, animal feed, ethanol production or pellet production. Grinders used for scrap tires serve well as a primary shredder and also for subsequent reduction. This metal separation and recovery process is an important part of tire recycling.”
Wenger said the company began in the early 1970s, with a specialization in material processing equipment. Products initially targeted the production agriculture industry, and the need for better grinders to support that industry resulted in the company making industrial grinders. Those grinders evolved into the larger, HogZilla brand products, used for wood grinding.
“The rugged nature of industrial grinding requires large, productive machines, and transportation can be a challenge. Most large grinders travel as over-sized loads that require special permits, so mobilizing, moving and setting up machinery such as this requires a job of justifiable size. Diversification is an emerging trend, and it may materialize in different ways, company to company, but the ability to cater to many customer types seems to be in everyone’s business plan these days. Most machine configurations have their specific strengths, but increasingly, business owners seem to broaden their product capabilities, which in turn, increase competition and profitability in the market.”
Staying abreast of diesel engine air quality restrictions is also a challenge, Wenger noted. “As grinder manufacturers are not engine builders, most of the burden is placed more on the engine manufacturers to lead the way with this issue. Unfortunately, with more restriction comes more complexity in the engines as well as increased costs, which may be unavoidable, aside from a switch to electric-powered units. However, electric-powered units have become very popular in recent years,” he said.
Sean Grieve is business development manager at DoppstadtUS, which markets worldwide and offers a broad range of products. “In the States, we focus on SM trommels, DW slow-speed shredders, three AK high-speed grinder models, DH whole-tree chippers and DUS sorting stations. Our two chipper models include DH 608 and DH 910. The drum in both chippers is constructed of a solid steel rotor with knives. The sizing screens precisely control the product material spec – we really maintain an unrivaled uniformity of product,” stated Grieve. He said their high-speed grinders are designed with an up-swing hammermill for greater product consistency and higher fuel efficiency. Also, grinder sizing screens can be changed in less than 10 minutes and screen tolerance can be adjusted to ensure accurate sizing throughout the wear life of the screen and mill.
“These products are marketed in many industries, but we focus primarily on C&D, MSW, compost, mulch, biofuel, topsoil, green/wood waste and mulch. Our commitment to research and development results in top-end engineering and innovation throughout all product lines. Doppstadt produces hundreds of products annually and our customers’ product volume can reach into the hundreds of tons daily, depending on application and equipment set up,” explained Grieve.
He added, “Naturally, waste processing and landfill management regulations impact our business. If something is required to be diverted, it needs to be processed otherwise. Our main challenges are pretty typical – fuel and operating costs, uptime and for some applications – such as biofuel production or compost – product quality and consistency can be crucial. Our products are engineered specifically to address these challenges and when comparing total investment over production life, we can competitively produce the best cost per volume of material processed.”
Norco Equipment follows a “more-for-less” strategy, delivering fuel efficient machines equipped with the features “that owners and contractors need while avoiding unneeded, high-problem, high-cost components. We serve the renewable energy, recycling/waste, and forestry markets,” said Nate Burton, Marketing Services manager. Established in 2009, the company offers PUMA and Dynamic brand equipment. Manufacturing facilities are located in Wisconsin and Michigan, with dealer locations worldwide.
“Our Dynamic 5240 is a mid-size horizontal grinder that processes up to 200 cubic yards per hour. It is smart, simple and offers more for less. This mid-size grinder is the choice for composting, regrind, bark, light C&D, green waste and shingles for several reasons. It is easier to support. A contractor must have balance in his systems, to function economically. A huge grinder may process 400 or 600 cu. yds. per hour, so a contractor must have large loading equipment to feed as fast as the grinder takes material, and transport capability to haul it away. Our product doesn’t require this and so is easier to move from job to job, and there is no expenditure for additional support equipment,” Burton said.
He noted that heavy grinders and loaders require over-weight and over-size permits, which must comply with restricted transport hours, and can move only on specified arteries. “Our 5240 weighs in at 38,500 lbs. and moves as a legal size load. Our product is also easier to contract, according to our customers who object to high, per-hour rates that huge equipment demands. We’re told that our grinder offers a modest operating cost – for instance, with fuel. Owner reports and trials show that the Dynamic 5240 uses 11 to 14 gallons per hour, processing 175 to 200 cu. yds. per hour – and with fast service! For example, both screens can be changed in 30 minutes with an impact wrench by one man, without crawling into tight spaces,” Burton stated.
He added that the 5240, “Is equipped with a 19KPTO Transfluid clutch that protects the drive system. Unlike other clutches, there is no plate-to-plate contact. The engine, clutch and mill are largely protected by the clutch.” A tracked version of the 5240 will be available by this summer.
DuraTech industrial grinders recycle and convert wood waste, bark, tree clippings, pallets, paper, and other waste into valuable compost, mulch, and fuel for cofiring boilers or feed stock for ethanol production. The company manufactures a full range of heavy duty tub and horizontal grinders, as well as a 12” tree chipper. All horizontal and tub grinders are equipped with CAT diesel engines. The horizontal grinders include the midsized 5064, available with the choice of 475, 540 or 630 hp.
The massive 9564 horizontal grinder is equipped with a 1,050 hp diesel engine for large grinding jobs. Tub grinders include the economical model 2009, with a 9.5’ tub and 325 hp; the model 3010 with a 10’ tub and choice of 475 or 540 hp; and the model 4012 with a 12’ tub and a 950 hp diesel engine. The 3010 and 4012 are available with optional grapple loaders. “We offer our grinders with a pintle hitch, fifth wheel trailer or on tracks. Also, we offer electric motors on some grinders and our 12” tree chipper is available with the option of a 122 hp CAT diesel engine or an 88 hp Kubota diesel engine,” said Heather Strahm, sales and marketing coordinator.