Waste Management In Action

ELB Equipment’s Komptech equipment supports MSW composting

ELB Equipment has been supplying Komptech equipment to support municipal solid waste composting and improve productivity. 

When households line their green bins with single-use plastic bags, it’s the materials recovery facility or recycler that is forced to grapple with the consequences.

When the shredders tackle the machines, the operator is left to deal with a potential contamination issue. Worse yet, if a grinder is processing the material, a multitude of what can only be described as confetti flows out into the air. 

Depending on the seasonal weather or council arrangements, grass clippings and any potential contaminant fines could be more prevalent. 

Pulling out plastic contamination from organics is easier when there’s high throughput and cost-effective machinery to handle it. While higher valued materials such as top dressing, compost and garden mixes are less likely to have contaminants than oversized mulch, the cost of not recovering residuals effectively can be damaging to the bottom line. Likewise, materials such as biosolids and composted green waste can be more difficult to process due to their higher moisture content. 

For these reasons, technology supplier ELB Equipment has continued to tackle the issue of fine particle contamination with a variety of different systems. As the Australian supplier for Komptech, ELB brings products into the market on a needs basis. Keeping an eye out on the highly regulated European market, ELB is able to respond to overseas trends as Australia tightens contamination regulations and its composting sector matures.

From the Multistar L3 with a diesel generator of 45 Kv/a for reduced fuel consumption for organics processing, to the Multistar One for 25 kilowatts of mains performance for wood and biomass processing, ELB offers its customers the specialist advice to help them select the most optimal piece of equipment.

Komptech’s Multistar L3 improves on the previous line of Multistar star screens with a high throughput across a range of applications, in addition to a patented cleaning system to separate wet materials. ELB has distributed the technology since 2010, typically for organic sites processing municipal solid waste compost. The machine processes source separated green waste anywhere from pine bark to forest residues. 

According to Craig Cosgrove, Komptech Sales Manager, the machine leverages a diesel engine through a generator to significantly reduce fuel costs when compared to standard diesel/hydraulic power systems. Komptech’s green efficiency uses the latest scrubbing exhaust technologies to offer reduced fuel consumption and higher performance, lowering carbon dioxide emissions and resource use. 

The diesel engine also reduces noise and can run off mains power while mobile. 

“It can almost be classed as a multi-use machine. Apart from screening and classifying into three grades, it splits out ferrous steel with magnets and wind sifts at the same time,” Craig explains.

“What you end up with is a clean intermediate fraction such as a mulch and then a clean oversize material, which can then be reground or further processed.” 

He says the machine also offers further operational savings through the use of variable speed star decks to change the product size instantaneously. With other traditional screening equipment, a drum or mesh would typically need to be changed out to alter the particle size grading. 

“When operators want to change the particle size and go on to the next product, they’ve really got to change the drum or the mesh.

“What these machines do is they have a drive system that controls the speed of the stars in a range of revolutions per minute. You can speed up and slow down the star decks, which in turn alters the particle grading.”

Craig says that the quicker the stars speed up, the finer the material produced and by moving slower, the coarser it becomes. 

The Multistar L3 can also be preset to screen customers’ various specific products, thereby preventing any lost productivity caused from drum or mesh swapping. Various star configurations are available. 

“As an example, for an operator there could be an order for material that would otherwise have been ignored due to the need to swap the drums or screens due to the downtime required,” Craig says. 

With the machines potentially working from eight to 10 hours a day, Craig says that one hour lost in productivity adds up over the year.

The machine also comprises cleaning tips within the stars to keep them clean and reduce maintenance. 

“The star screens work well in a higher percentage of moisture in material compared to traditional drum screens,” he says.

“All machines will have their limitations. With the drum screens, say after heavy rain periods, you’d reach the point where the machine’s production slows down where you would turn it off and call it a day. The L3 keeps thumping through for longer, the moisture doesn’t affect them as much and they have a very effective cleaning mechanism.”

He adds that operators can keep producing materials with a higher percentage of moisture content for longer periods. 

To help operators keep tabs on their machines and how they are being used, Komptech has also launched a cellular application called “Connect!”. The Connect! Hardware module reports events and diagnosis codes, in addition to data on operating hours, fuel consumption and idle time by mobile radio to a central data sever. 

With distribution networks throughout Australia and New Zealand, ELB is able to support its customers with strong after-sales support.

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