Equipment, News, Shredders

WEIMA Shredder makes light work of waste

Saving money, efficiencies and being a fan of a circular economy were several reasons why Laminex decided to invest in a WEIMA WLK 2000 shredder.

Laminex is a company that specialises in finishes for cabinetry, panelling, benchtops and furniture. This type of working environment brings with it waste in the form of wood – both treated, untreated and laminated. 

Stuart Manford is the company’s manufacturing manager, componentry. He is a busy person, which is why having a system in place to shred and recycle offcuts and the various other unwanted wooden components was important. Enter the WEIMA WLK 2000, which is distributed in Australia by recycling and resource recovery specialist CEMAC technologies.

When Laminex decided it needed a new piece of equipment, Manford said the WEIMA wasn’t first on its list – until his team saw it in action.

“I took my maintenance team down to Melbourne on a day trip to have a look at this ‘Australian’- made shredder,” said Manford. “It was then that I remembered Jonathan Tan from CEMAC technologies who I had spoken to in the past. I rang him, told him we were in Melbourne, and could we come and have a look at his shredders. 

“The team then had a tour of his place. We looked at the WEIMA shredder and the maintenance team looked at me and said there’s no comparison between this and the other one. It was a little more expensive, but the quality was the selling point.”

Other key selling points were its ease of use and how the machine itself works. Manford said that the shredder is driven via a powerful motor via pulley and gearbox. The belt drives the shredding shaft, which is equipped with various rows of pre-machined notches, in which the teeth are screwed onto welded knife holders. The teeth shred the wood against a bed blade. To complete the set-up, Laminex has two bins that take all the offcuts, which are dumped into the chute of the machine. 

“The shredder then essentially just chops it all up,” said Manford. “The rotating teeth come and chew away at it. And there’s the ram pusher within the shredder, which retracts and comes back again. This doesn’t allow anything to jam or settle above the shredding teeth. Because it’s forced, it creates new spaces for things to fall in and then it pushes them against the teeth, repeating the process so more material falls, until it’s done. It’s a very clever design and very simple.”

Once the material is shredded, it drops out of the bottom of the machine and then up a conveyor. 

The machine can chew through up to six tonnes an hour, which is more than Laminex needs currently. The company decided on the bigger model of shredder because of the number of plants Laminex has, which includes the componentry space in Ballarat, as well as a pressing plant that decorates particle board and MDF. 

The shredder has also been instrumental in the amount of waste the company can handle compared to how the waste was disposed of previously.

“We used to be able to get six pallets worth of wood waste into one of those bins attached to the shredder,” said Manford. “I think we now get 30 pallets worth into the bins and that was all dried timber so none of it was treated. Once shredded we put the mulch on the garden.”

There are several other reasons why Laminex is happy with how the shredder has helped its business. Manford explains.

“The first step for us was to reduce costs and that’s by utilising the full space of our bins,” he said. “That was step one. Step two was having a discussion with a brick manufacturing company that was looking for biomass to burn for its kiln process.”

Now that Laminex has had the shredder onsite for three months, it’s going to get back in touch with the brickmaking company to see if it still wants the biomass. If it does, it will have another outcome Laminex is keen to cross of its ‘to-do’ list – avoiding landfill altogether. As for the back-up service, Manford cannot speak highly enough of the staff at CEMAC technologies.

CEMAC has been amazing. As a sales rep Jonathan has been all over it,” he said. “His phone calls are just enough to remind you that he’s there and to help, but not enough to annoy you. They recently brought one of their technicians, who was out here from Germany, to come and have a look at the install. They spent half an hour to an hour with our maintenance fitter and onsite electrician so we could ask them questions they’ve had since the install. They’ve been quite generous.”

As for ease of use, Manford said that there was minimal setup from Laminex’s end of the arrangement. 

“We ran pneumatic air to the location, and we ran power cables to it,” he said. “We had breakers, and everything installed on our walls ready to go for when the machine was delivered. And then it was essentially plug and play.” 

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