ELB Equipment’s Komptech Crambo shredders are working over-time at Van Schaik’s Bio Gro’s Melbourne organics facility to keep up with a steady influx of material.
Landscaping and permaculture suppliers have reported unprecedented demand for their products in recent months, with an increasing number of Australians looking to become self-sufficient in light of COVID-19.
According to a recent article published in The Canberra Times, the surge prompted Australia’s largest online gardening club, Victoria’s Diggers Club, to advise that it was no longer accepting new product orders.
While the new wave of home gardeners is challenging supply and demand for some, it’s welcome news to waste management and horticulture specialists Bio Gro.
Operating out of South Australia and Victoria, Van Schaik’s Bio Gro (Bio Gro) produces nutrient rich products tailored for a wide range of horticultural and agricultural applications.
According to Sage Hahn, Operations Manager of Bio Gro’s Victorian Operations and Melbourne facility, the application of Bio Gro products to soil results in a range of environmental benefits.
These include, she says, improved soil health, water savings, improved crop productivity and an enhanced ability to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon within soils.
In addition to functioning as a distribution centre for premium potting mixes, Bio Gro’s Melbourne facility operates as an organics resource recovery centre.
“We manage green and timber waste for two councils out of the Eastern Organics Tender, with that material processed at our site and sent off for further composting,” Sage says.
“We deal with roughly 40-50,000 tonnes of organics per annum and produce between 35 and 40,000 cubic metres of premium product that goes out to production growers, landscapers and nurseries.”
To process its organic waste material, Bio Gro operate a Komptech Crambo dual-shaft shredder, purchased through Australia’s exclusive Komptech distributor ELB Equipment.
When material comes in, Sage says Bio Gro decontaminate it manually, before using the Crambo to break down material sizing and generate a more uniform stream.
“Particular sizing is extremely important as it allows us to get more material onto trucks, with the organic material tipped out at the other end ready for composting,” she says.
“Komptech equipment is the best we’ve seen for green waste. It’s extremely robust and the machinery is clever in the way it works through contamination. Machinery maintenance is also very easy, and the fuel efficiency is fantastic.”
Komptech Crambo dual-shaft shredders are designed for shredding all types of wood and green waste. The machines feature two slow-running drums with shredding tools to minimise fine particle and noise and dust emissions, while resisting contraries.
Simon Humphris, ELB Product Manager, says the Crambo enables easy adjustment of the output particle size, with operators able to exchange the screen basket to suit the specification.
“The Crambo is powered by a modern Caterpillar engine, with a complete muffling of the engine compartment keeping noise emissions to a minimum,” he says.
“Through load dependent rotation speed regulation, the hydraulic drum drive ensures that full advantage is taken of the engine output.”
When shredding waste wood, Simon says the shredder’s wear-resistant surface hardened teeth provides a high level of resistance to contraries.
“Counter rotating shafts, together with the special shape of the teeth, produce a perfect feed, even for fractions with high board content,” he says.
Similarly, Simon explains that the shredder facilitates a high throughput for bulky vegetation via a generously dimensioned feed area, folding hopper and counter rotating teeth.
“The teeth size the material and press it in a cutting and splitting action against the cutting edge and screen baskets located underneath,” he says.
“Slow turning results in a lumpy shred initially, however, the material does not exit the shredding area until the particle size matches the hole size of the screen basket. This enables the quantity of shredded material in the desired particle size to be maximised.”
The shredding drum, with rotation speeds up to 44 rotations per minute, has specially developed bearings to keep the drum in place even under extreme loads.
Strong planetary gears boost drive train life, Simon adds, providing dependable service through thousands of operating hours.
Bio Gro’s shredder has been performing above expectation, Sage says, maintaining consistent efficiency in the face of high capacity operations. She adds that the ELB team’s technical expertise and training is second to none.
“ELB come out to our facility and do on-site training with operators. There are not many businesses that do that level of training. And we find it to be absolutely integral to the performance we get out of the machine, because our operators actually understand how it works,” Sage explains.
Furthermore, Sage says ELB’s spare parts service works to maximise uptimes.
“With overseas equipment you can get caught out with spare parts, but because Komptech is so entrenched in the organics sector, ELB has a lot of spare parts in Australia, which means there’s much less downtime,” she says.