CEA to commence distribution of Komptech

Leading agriculture and construction equipment distributor CEA has commenced operations as the Australian and New Zealand distributor of Komptech waste recycling and Ditch Witch underground construction equipment.

Earlier this year, CEA agreed to purchase well-known distributor ELB Equipment. The transaction was completed 2 July.

As part of the acquisition, CEA will also become the distributor of Diamond Z, Screenpod, TrackStack, Hammerhead, Ring-O-Matic and Subsite.

“We are really pleased to add these strong brands to our product portfolio,” CEA CEO Hylton Taylor said.

He explained that as a growing business, CEA is continually looking at how it can better meet the needs of the evolving market.

“Adding strong, well established brands to our portfolio strengthens our ability to support our diverse range of existing customers and provides the opportunity to interact with a whole new client base,” Taylor said.

As part of the acquisition, 55 employees from ELB Equipment will transition to CEA, ensuring key product knowledge and strong customer relationships are retained within the business.

ELB Equipment Managing Director Christopher Malan said ELB was excited to be joining CEA.

“CEA is well known for its professionalism, extensive focus on core product lines, and supporting its staff to carry out their integral roles within the business,” he said.

“The ELB team is really looking forward to coming together with CEA to collaborate and build on the Ditch Witch and Komptech brands here in Australia and New Zealand.”

ELB Equipment’s head office and administrative staff will commence relocating to CEA’s head office in Horningsea Park, Sydney this month.

It is anticipated that all ELB Australian facilities will be consolidated with their CEA counterparts within 18 months.

Taylor said it is a priority of the business to ensure minimal disruption and downtime as the transition takes place.

“There will be a period of transition over the coming months as we move the ELB team in to the CEA premises, but I am confident we can complete this quickly and with minimal disruption,” he said.

“Since first announcing the acquisition, we have received extremely positive feedback from the market, and we are looking forward to the future opportunities this will present to the CEA business.”

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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.

Organics in Awaba: Remondis and ELB Equipment

Waste Management Review speaks with Awaba Green Waste Processing Facility stakeholders about incentivising compost and the impact of high-tech equipment.

Landfill capacity concerns are a common issue for local councils, particularly so for those with steadily growing populations, such as Lake Macquarie City in the NSW Hunter Region.

In 2010, the city’s Awaba Waste Management Facility Landfill was edging towards capacity, landfilling roughly 94,000 tonnes of waste per year.

According to the NSW EPA’s Waste and Resource Recovery Needs Report 2017-21, the state has a known capacity of 31.8 million tonnes of putrescible landfill space per annum. This represents a space gap of 742,000 tonnes, based on the report’s generation figures.

With this mind, Lake Macquarie City Council decided significant infrastructure upgrades were required to prevent future landfill capacity issues and grow resource recovery in the region.

According to a council spokesperson, they found a solution in composting.

Waste Management Review explores the Awaba Green Waste Processing Facility with Lake Macquarie Council, Remondis and ELB Equipment.

In 2010, Lake Macquarie waste audits showed the contents of domestic kerbside garbage bins were roughly 50 per cent compostable organic material, namely food and garden waste.

“These findings presented an opportunity to not only tackle the rising lack of landfill space but also provide a more sustainable waste management solution for the city,” the spokesperson says.

“Timing had never been better to undertake a major resource recovery project that would extend the life of the landfill and save council substantial money in the long term.”

Following the waste audits, council undertook extensive community engagement to develop a new waste strategy. As part of the strategy, council proposed introducing a three-bin kerbside collection system in two phases.

In 2013, Lake Macquarie commenced phase one, introducing fortnightly garden organics collections.

“Introducing a third organics bin helped reduce waste to landfill by 10,700 tonnes at the end of the first year,” the spokesperson says.

Council also partnered with recycling and waste management service provider Remondis to build and operate a 44,000-tonne-per-year composting facility with help from ELB Equipment.

Over 100 contracting firms were engaged to build the facility, which also houses an education centre, where schools and community groups can experience the composting process.

The Awaba Green Waste Processing Facility opened in late July 2018.

Decomposition

According to Gunther Neumann, Remondis Lake Macquarie Organics Resource Recovery Facility Branch Manager, addressing the issue of food waste is the primary function of the Awaba facility.

“Processing green organic waste for mulch or compost is relatively straightforward. However food waste, which presents 40 per cent of Lake Macquarie’s organic material, is more of a challenge,” he says.

As food waste presents several potential risks and health concerns if not handled correctly, Remondis ensures the material is thoroughly pasteurised in a controlled environment before it is composted.

“To address this, we installed five fully automated tunnels at the site which ensure the safety and quality of the output, while also keeping noxious odours to a minimum,” Gunther says.

The facility is a unique hybrid model of in-vessel and mobile aeration flood systems, with a fully automated tunnel composting system capable of pasteurising food waste in two weeks.

Integrating these approaches means the organic material is first subjected to anaerobic digestion before the bioreactor process is switched to composting through forced aeration and material agitation.

Additionally, Awaba features an Australia-first automatic, cashless weighbridge system, giving users access to the facility with the swipe of a card. This incentivise facility use by streamlining the drop-off process, according to the spokesperson.

Hybrid model

To efficiently process the composted material, Remondis engaged long-standing equipment supplier ELB through National Sales Manager Craig Cosgrove.

“Remondis chose to work with ELB due to the company’s after-sales and service credentials,” Gunther says.

He adds that Komptech, which ELB represents in Australia, has a reputation for manufacturing star screens that provide throughput in wet, sticky organics applications.

“With an annual workload of 44,000 tonnes, it’s important for the plant to have high uptimes and consistent throughput,” Gunther says.

ELB was initially asked to supply a Komptech Multistar L3 star screen to separate organics and remove fine particle contaminants following the initial aeration process.

The Multistar L3 star screen provides high throughput across a range of food and organics applications, combined with a patented cleaning system to enhance wet material separation.

According to Craig, the Komptech Multistar separated composted material into three size fractions.

“The large oversize fraction is either returned to the process to provide structure and allow for further breakdowns, or used for daily landfill cover,” he says.

The midsize fraction is used by council on gardens and flowerbeds and sold to the general public as mulch. The fine faction is similarly used as a high-quality nutrient-rich compost for urban amenities, to help facilitate soil health and drought tolerance.

“Council and Remondis sell the compost to landscapers and avocado farmers in the area, and Hunter Valley vineyards,” Craig says.

The performance of the Komptech Multistar L3 caused Gunther to contact ELB again when the facility needed a shredder to process waste after initial decontamination but before pasteurisation.

Craig says Remondis initially tested a few equipment solutions, including a high-speed grinder.

“The high-speed grinder turned any residual plastic contaminants into confetti, making it impossible to separate out,” Craig says.

“High-speed grinders are also known to have a low resistance to contraries, and as a result, high downtime.”

After consulting with Craig, Remondis trialled a Crambo Direct dual-shaft shredder.

The shredder has two slow-running drums, with shredding tools that minimise fine particle noise and dust emissions while resisting contraries.

“The Crambo keeps our output high and consistent,” Gunther says.

“We know we can rely on ELB and Komptech to provide excellent equipment.”

Gunther adds that working with ELB on the Awaba project highlighted the importance of engaging with companies that understand the composting process and provide high-quality equipment.

“We could have the most high-tech automated composting system in Australia, but without reliable and efficient equipment to perform the secondary separation job, it wouldn’t amount to much,” he says.

Craig says ELB is proud to have their equipment employed at the Lake Macquarie facility.

“ELB is an industry partner, first and foremost, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Remondis at the Awaba facility once again,” he says.

“After all, it is one of the most advanced of its kind in Australia.”

The future

According to Craig, the Awaba facility provides an example for other councils hoping to follow in Lake Macquarie’s composting footsteps.

“With more impetus coming from government to recycle, the Awaba facility welcomes a steady stream of visitors from other local councils to assist and educate them on set up cost, approvals and processes,” he says.

“Thanks to the technology employed at the Awaba facility, Lake Macquarie can reduce its landfill rate by as much as 30 per cent.”

While still in its early stages, Lake Macquarie’s spokesperson says Awaba’s impact has been significant.

“Council collected and processed 38,000 tonnes of food and organics material in the facilities first 12 months, with an annual average contamination rate of just over one per cent,” the spokesperson says.

“This is a 17,000-tonne, 80 per cent increase in diversion of organics over the previous year.”

In the same period, council reduced the amount of landfilled waste from its domestic waste collection service by 22,380 tonnes, highlighting the community’s engagement with the facility and wider FOGO collection system.

“Success will be measured over time by tonnages of organic waste received and processed, participation in the kerbside green waste service, low rates of contamination, balanced operating costs and numbers of community and school tours to the on-site education centre,” the spokesperson says.

“While strong rates of participation and low rates of contamination are pleasing, they are not yet perfect, and council will continue to work closely with Remondis and the community of Lake Macquarie to support ongoing improvements in services, and the overall efficiency of the facility.”

Gunther adds that in just over a year of operations, the facility has shifted diversion rates from 41 per cent to 64 per cent. If rates continue to climb, he says the facility will save council an estimated $4 million in waste management costs over 10 years.

“Remondis applauds forward-thinking local government organisations, such as Lake Macquarie City Council, for their dedication to building the vital recycling infrastructure that will create job opportunities, strengthen the Australian economy and reduce our environmental footprint,” he says.

“It’s important to Australia and the waste and recycling industry that more councils adopt source-separated food waste recycling.”

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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.

AORA 2019 National Conference wrap-up

The Australian Organics Recycling Association brought together recycling suppliers, researchers and packaging associations all under the one roof to identify cost-effective and sustainable solutions to organics. 

Read moreAORA 2019 National Conference wrap-up

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