The wood waste recycling industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the waste recycling industry, spurred by two factors. First, governmental requirements to reduce the amount of wood waste buried in landfills. Second, cost savings realized by using recycled material for roads, landscaping, construction, power generation, and more. Providing cost-effective methods to meet the demands of this industry has created a profitable business for several wood-waste recycling equipment providers.
Too many recycling operators reluctantly accept lost production and high maintenance costs. Often, costs are associated with conventional conveyor drives and accessories and typical portable crusher drives that require a powerful motor and a series of V-belts to drive the conveyor. Maintenance of a traditional drive system can result in profit-robbing, irreclaimable costs.
But with recent innovations in wood waste recycling equipment, certain companies now offer new technologies with lower maintenance demands at competitive prices.
“We virtually eliminated costs by switching from external belt drives to internally powered drum motors,” says Bill Compton, service manager for Eagle Crusher Company, Inc. in Galion, Ohio. However, not all drum motors are created equal.
Adds Mr. Compton, “Since switching to the drum motor design we changed suppliers three times and now finally we have the confidence that all maintenance costs are eliminated.”
He cites the benefits of drum motors supplied by Van der Graaf, Inc. of Brampton, Ontario. The drum motors have AGMA 12 gears made of high alloy steel with precision cut and honed teeth, providing high efficiency operation. Also, double lips seals that run on “hard-ground bushing” eliminate oil leakage and prolong oil seal life. In addition, the recycling operator has experienced fewer drive-related production interruptions.
Originally the Eagle Crusher plants used conventional exposed drive systems that include base plates, chains, chain guards, sprockets, pillow blocks and external motor/gear reducers. About a decade ago the company switched to an internally powered drum motor design that eliminated the external parts, but there were still problems with durability.
“We installed the first Van der Graaf motor about two and a half years ago and it’s still running strong,” says Mr. Compton.
Precision gears run more efficiently allowing oil change intervals to be extended to 50,000 hours versus 10,000 on conventional drum motors. Also, a heavy-duty shaft minimizes deflection, a common concern of bulk conveyor drives. Shaft deflection may cause motor parts to wear more rapidly.
At Eagle Crusher there has been a growing demand for more efficient and cost effective ways to process wood waste materials. The company has developed an extensive line of high-volume, heavy-duty recycling equipment, including portable crushers, designed to be durable and reliable.
The company has played an integral part in several major demolition projects, such as the large cleanup project after the recent earthquake in Embarcadero, California. In this project millions of tonnes of highly complex earthquake rubble materials — including wood, steel-reinforced concrete, brick, block, structural steel and a variety of other construction materials — were hauled from city centers to portable recycling systems miles away. The equipment provided continuous, uninterrupted service throughout the project.
Rick Zander is an application engineer for Van der Graaf Inc. in Brampton, Ontario.