When recycling firm Close the Loop was planning a new production line to process waste toner bottles, it approached Applied Machinery to provide the right equipment for the job.
Close the Loop (CtL) is Australia’s largest recycling and resource recovery company for imaging consumables, such as print cartridges and waste toner.
Through the highly-successful “Cartridges 4 Planet Ark” program and other initiatives, it collects cartridges from over 20,000 collection boxes across Australia.
Established in 2001 by entrepreneur and innovator, Steve Morriss, CtL was founded on a ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ promise. From its site in Somerton, north of Melbourne, it returns end-of-life products to the original manufacturer for re-use if they have a program for this.
Otherwise, it uses a range of patented processes to recover all the materials from the all-in-one print cartridges, toner bottles and inkjet cartridges.
Its recycling processes involve size reduction (shredding, grinding or granulating) and materials separation (using magnets, eddy current, induction, and specific gravity).
When CtL was planning to create a new production line to process toner bottles, it needed some advice on the equipment best suited to handle the materials it would process. The company approached David Macdonald at Dandenong-based Applied Machinery.
“We had a long-term relationship with Dave going back to when we bought a used extruder from him for our very first eWood trials about 15 years ago,” says CtL founder and Executive Director Steve Morriss.
“We knew Applied Machinery offered a comprehensive range of plastic recycling equipment, so we contacted Dave to discuss the options.”
CtL needed shredding and granulating equipment, but this needed to meet specific requirements and the team wanted to have input into the solution. The features CtL required from the machinery included: dust control and extraction from the shredder, explosion-proof electrics, and metal separation.
David recommended Genox equipment as being best suited to meet these requirements.
“Dave introduced us to the owner of Genox, Mr Yao,” explains Steve. “They came to a meeting at our offices to scope what we required. As they began to understand our unique needs, they suggested modifications to standard equipment to provide us with a suitable solution with reasonable lead-times and pricing.”
The CtL project team visited the Genox factory several times to determine the best solution for size reduction and processing of a wide range of printer cartridges. It eventually invested in a Genox GSX4080 shredder matched to a GSX4280 granulator.
“Close the Loop decided to proceed with the Genox equipment installation at its premises after extensive design and testing to minimise the dust issue,” says David. “We also addressed the risk of explosion due to the airborne carbon black present during the toner cartridge shredding process.”
Much of the equipment CtL bought was manufactured especially to comply with its requirements.
Applied Machinery offers delivery, installation and training, and back-up service for the full range of Genox equipment. This time, the CtL team opted to install the equipment themselves, while Applied Machinery provided technical advice. Steve was delighted with the end result, which was soon up and running within the Somerton site.
“One of the advantages of buying Genox equipment is the local support provided by the team at Applied Machinery,” adds Steve. “If we’ve got problems, we have a local contact to turn to. And as they have supplied many similar machines, they can provide a good range of parts.”
David says the partnership between Applied Machinery and Genox is unique in that they offer extensive evaluation of the customer’s application and comprehensive testing prior to delivery.
“Other suppliers of such equipment tend to offer standard units with any modifications to be completed by the customer,” David adds. “Genox has the added benefit that Applied Machinery stocks its machines in Australia, allowing customers to inspect the equipment before purchase.”
Steve says that the good communication he experienced while working with Applied Machinery and Genox contributed to the equipment CtL received meeting all its expectations. This has led to a continued working relationship.
“They listen, consider, and then respond with specific solutions to meet our unique requirements,” says Steve. “This is not common when buying equipment from overseas.”
As it supplies equipment from international manufacturers, such as Genox, Applied Machinery ensures they are compliant with Australian safety and electrical standards. Its warehouse also has a full stock of spare parts, and it has an experienced team to provide local service and technical support when needed.
“Like most buyers of recycling equipment, we always look for the right balance between quality and price,” says Steve. “We feel Genox have nailed that balance well. And you can trust Applied Machinery to support the machinery it sells.”