Tasmanian Topturn: CEA

As Dulverton Waste Management embarks on a three-stage facility upgrade, Project Manager Matthew Layton details stage one: the purchase of a Komptech Topturn.

In February this year, Kentish Council in north-west Tasmania approved a Development Permit Application from Dulverton Waste Management.

The permit allows the company to upgrade its existing compost facility and provide best practice leachate and odour control.

Development plans include the construction of an industrial compost cover and associated mechanical equipment to better manage aeration and moisture of existing compost windrow operations.

According to Matthew Layton, Dulverton Waste Management Project Manager, the improvements will control the effect of rain on organic input material, which includes council green waste and industry input stock from across Tasmania.

“We get 1000 millimetres of rain a year down here, which is very different to a lot of facilities on the mainland,” he says.

Dulverton, which in addition to its organics facility operates an award-winning landfill, collectively processes upwards of 100,000 tonnes of material annually – with 40 per cent processed through an open windrow composting system.

“We’re a regional facility, so unlike many mainland composters, we need to accept everything in our region,” Layton says.

“That includes product residues from food manufacturing and green and municipal waste.”

He explains that the industrial compost cover is just one development in a three-stage facility upgrade plan.

Stage one, he adds, was the purchase of a specialised windrow turner with irrigation, which began operating on Dulverton’s existing open-air compost piles in January.

The Komptech Topturn X63 compost turner, purchased through Australian distributor CEA, has a throughput of up to 4500 cubic meters per hour.

The combination of a large drum with thrower blades and powerful drive ensures the turner leaves a well-mixed windrow in its wake.

Before acquiring the Topturn, Layton says Dulverton used a traditional excavator to turn its compost piles.

With a view of consolidating cost and making its processes as efficient as possible, Dulverton went to market to look for a suitable turner to replace its excavators.

“In the lead up to our facility expansion, we wanted to ensure our operations were more cost effective and efficient,” he says.

“There are a number of turners on the market that could achieve that, but we went with the Topturn primarily because of the service support in regional Tasmania.

“There was also the added benefit of a commonality of parts, especially with the engine.”

The Topturn’s engine meets all relevant emissions standards, with a new cooling system keeping the system running under heavy loads and high outside temperatures.

Komptech’s X63 features a large-dimensioned turning drum for high throughput and complete mixing, with easy maintenance access via ladders and platforms integrated into the body.

Furthermore, CEA offer the turner either wheeled or tracked, with engine power converted efficiently into forward movement.

Since operating the Topturn, Layton says Dulverton has seen a dramatic increase in turning efficiency.

“We’ve seen changes in our processes for the operators working with the machine, but also the biology of the compost,” he explains.

“Not only is the Topturn process faster, but it also creates a better composting environment by introducing air right throughout each compost windrow.

“We are achieving exceptional material shrinkage rates.”

The Topturn purchase, Layton says, was Dulverton’s first commercial dealing with CEA.

“They’ve been really good from a client support perspective, particularly in terms of information sharing and guiding us along the track to where we needed to be,” he adds.

“They also offer significant after sales assistance, which really supports the way we’re trying to modernise our facility.”

A key feature of Dulverton’s Komptech Topturn is the ability to add a lateral displacement device at a later stage, Layton says. He adds that in the future, this will give operators the ability to turn and move more compost at once.

When coupled with the turner, CEA’s lateral displacement device minimises transport distance and improves viability and monitoring. By collapsing two windrows, the decomposition shrinkage is smoothed out, making full use of the space.

“We expect this equipment will continue to deliver environmental benefits by providing full aeration and moisture-balance of the compost to assist the natural decomposition process,” Layton says.

“The windrow turner will continue to be used throughout our upgrade program.”

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Two drums with teeth: ELB Equipment

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.

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Equipment distributor CEA acquires ELB Equipment

Agriculture and construction equipment distributor CEA is set to become the Australian distributor of Komptech shredders after acquiring ELB Equipment.

CEA CEO Hylton Taylor said as a leading distributor of world-renowned capital equipment brands, ELB is a natural fit for the CEA business.

“We see this as a great opportunity to further expand our product portfolio and build on our already strong suite of brands we represent in the marketplace today. Operating for almost 40 years, our business understands the market requirements, and how best to meet the evolving demands of our customer base,” Mr Taylor said.

“CEA will seek to capitalise on the extensive knowledge from within the ELB Equipment business, ensuring the high level of service customers have come to expect from ELB remains throughout the transition period.”

CEA will also become the distributor of Diamond Z, Screenpod and TrackStack, adding high speed grinders, stacking conveyers and modular wind sifters to its portfolio of products.

“The waste recycling business is a growth industry and Komptech occupies a unique position in that sector,” Mr Taylor said.

ELB Equipment Managing Director Christopher Malan said the company is excited about the opportunity to further expand and evolve its footprint across Australia and New Zealand.

“This is a great opportunity for our highly skilled staff who are passionate about the business to grow and evolve and join a business with a very strong and positive culture driven by its highly professional leadership team,” he said.

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De-packing for anaerobic domination: ELB and Peats Soil

As the food waste issue escalates, Peats Soil is transforming South Australia’s organic waste into high-grade renewable energy, with help from ELB Equipment.

Australia’s annual food waste bill hit $10 billion in 2019, up from $8.9 billion the previous year. Despite ‘fault’ often being directed at primary production and manufacturing, consumers were the biggest food waste offenders, generating 34 per cent of the nation’s food waste in 2019.

While the key to fighting food waste, and waste generally, is reduction, advancements in the waste-to-energy sector are highlighting renewable energy opportunities.

South Australia’s Waste Strategy 2015-2020, for example, highlights anaerobic digestion as a cost-effective solution in areas without the feedstock levels required to sustain large-scale waste-to-energy operations.

To that end, recyclers across the state are working to transform organic waste into energy and fertiliser, fostering a sustainable biofuel future.

Peats Soil is one of those operators, which in addition to processing much of metropolitan Adelaide’s garden organics via council kerbside, collects food organics from hotels, supermarkets, schools, offices and manufacturers.

Peats Soil opened its fourth compost and renewable energy site in May 2019.  Peter Wadewitz, Peats Group Managing Director, says Peats Soil is committed to realising the environmental impacts of soil improvement, biofuel and regeneration.

“Redirecting organic recyclable materials from homes and businesses away from landfill means methane gas is transformed into captured biogas for renewable energy production, without affecting the production of valuable soil improvement products,” he says.

To assist its operations, Peats Group maintains a long-term equipment supply relationship with ELB Equipment. The 10-plus-year relationship, Peter says, began after ELB took over Komptech’s Australian operations in 2009.

“We’d been working with Komptech for years, and always relied on them to supply high-quality equipment. When ELB took over, that reliability and quality continued, so we stuck with them. It’s a good relationship with quality backup and support,” he says.

Additionally, Peter adds that he continues to work with ELB due to the innovative choices they bring to market.

Introduced to the Australian market by ELB in 2018, the Dominator Depackaging Machine is one such innovation.

According to Simon Humphris, ELB Product Manager, the Dominator Depackaging Machine is designed to separate food and liquid from outer packaging, allowing the reuse of waste that would otherwise be destined for landfill.

The Dominator was developed in 1992 after a bag of animal feed accidently fell into a pellet press conditioner. The empty bag was reclaimed, but the product had been removed. The incident gave Rowan, a family-run biomass engineering company, an idea.

“Countless trials and adjustments later, the machine is capable of depackaging food waste, plastic bottles, tetra pak, tin cans, plasterboard, sachets and pharmaceutical and bakery waste,” Simon explains.

Separated packaging can be sent for recycling, he says, further reducing waste and potentially generating additional revenue streams.

“Expired or reject food with faulty packaging can be processed and used for anaerobic digestion, with the output also added to animal feed and used as a wet additive in compost facilities,” Simon says.

When Peter acquired a Dominator 3000 from ELB in early 2019, anaerobic digestion was a critical decision driver.

“We use the machine to grind and screen anything that’s housed in food packaging, from yogurt containers to apple cider bottles,” he says.

“The output then goes into our anaerobic digestor to generate energy, with the remaining sludge added to compost.”

To start the process, waste is loaded into an intake hopper where it begins conditioning. The Dominator then uses a motor to drive a solid steel shaft lined with paddles. Using mechanical and centrifugal forces, material is depackaged and forced through a mesh screen, leaving two separated waste streams for further processing.

Next, the material is augured and pumped into a holding tank, before it’s transformed into renewable energy.

The Dominator is available in two different models, Simon says, with an arrangement of different sizes depending on throughput and space requirements.

Peter’s model, the Dominator 3000, is available with up to 78 paddles, while the Dominator 3500 is available with up to 96 for heavy duty operations.

“Both models have a potential throughput of up to 255 cubic metres an hour and are available in mild or stainless steel, with motors ranging from 15 to 75 kilowatts,” Simon adds.

Portability is an added benefit of the depackager, Peter says, with the ability to move the machine seamlessly between four sites a crucial component of Peats Soils’ anaerobic process.

“There are other machines that do the job, but like with any purchase, you get to a point where while they’re all efficient, one is just a little bit better,”  Peter says.

“The Dominator stands out as one of the best depackaging machines on the market.”

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An array of processing capacity: Komptech and ELB Equipment

Reduced maintenance, time and expenses remain high priorities for leading international technology supplier Komptech, which is providing a point of market differentiation through its Nemus drum screen.

Contrary to competitor products, the Nemus leverages an open engine compartment accessible from all sides – adding an extra layer of safety for on-site material management. The engine unit is also hydraulically extendable allowing for streamlined oil checks.

With maintenance made easy, the side wall can be folded separately or together with the drum for further changes and cleaning.

The Nemus Maxx Primus drum screens by Komptech were designed for a variety of applications, including compost, wood/biomass, soil/gravel and shredded bulk, household, residual and refuse-derived fuels.

Controllable hopper and drum rotation speeds support precise material alignment. Drum overfilling is prevented by a load-dependent hopper control to support compost processing.

Komptech drum screens effectively process high-bulk materials such as wood/biomass through a feed hopper tailored to the drum size.

When it comes to processing excavated material such as sand, gravel and lightweight building rubble, Komptech has a solution for heavy materials. Solid contraries are kept back by a hinged hopper pre-screen and a hopper belt controller that prevents skewing on the belt.

In processing shredded, household, residual waste and RDF, the machine creates ample space between screen drums and side walls for a smooth operation.

Komptech also has a cellular application called “Connect!” which 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.

The Komptech Metalfex

Increasingly stringent standards for recycled organic waste products such as compost and mulch have driven demand for innovative separation solutions. While many products exist for ferrous metals separation, non-ferrous separators have largely been confined to stationary applications like materials recovery facilities. Komptech has responded with a mobile solution that combines ferrous and non-ferrous metal separation: the Komptech Metalfex.

Designed for conveyor feed, the Metalfex has a typical overband ferrous separator. It removes non-ferrous metals using an eddy current separator with eccentric pole system, discharging the metals and the cleaned fraction via two folding conveyors to the left and right of the machine. Like many of Komptech’s hybrid power units, the Metalfex’s components are electrically powered, either from the on-board diesel generator or from the grid. It is available in compact hooklift, easily manoeuvrable two-axle trailer or mobile site chassis versions.

The Metalfex can be used with shredded waste wood and bulk waste, industrial and commercial waste, household waste, mixed construction waste and shredder output. With its tough, powerful design, it can take input grain sizes up to 300 millimetres in an extremely wide range of materials.

The first Metalfex arrives in Australia later in 2019. ELB Equipment, Komptech’s distributor in Australia & New Zealand, is currently booking demonstrations.

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