ARN has been very successfully recycling shredder waste from end-of-life vehicles in a brand new factory in Tiel since 2011. The process in a new factory never runs smoothly immediately and ARN was no exception: the Z elevators installed wore out much faster than anticipated and this resulted in huge maintenance costs. This problem has now been rectified since the belt conveyors were replaced by Van Beek screw conveyors.
A complex system in the factory including huge wind chippers, cyclone filters, rotary valves and screens ensures that 95 percent of the shredder waste from an end-of-life vehicle can be recycled. The Z elevators played an important part in this. A lot of fibres from the cyclone filters were falling onto the conveyor belts that transported them to the bunker for the next process.
"Tests were carried out on these Z elevators beforehand with test material and that went well, but in practice it was found that more and more frequent maintenance was needed ", says Emil Bregita, head of technical service at ARN Recycling. The conveyor belt had to replaced regularly and that is a job that takes a few days. "The maintenance costs amounted to thousands a year! This was therefore quickly included in an improvement process."
Cheapest and best solution
Elsewhere in the factory Van Beek screw conveyors were already in use and ARN was very pleased with them, this was why Van Beek was one of the parties that ARN approached for a solution. "Van Beek’s solution came out as the cheapest and best ", says Bregita.
Experience in the recycling sector
"Our screw conveyors are already used an enormous amount in the recycling sector, for PET bottles and car tyres", says sales engineer Peter Verhoeven from Van Beek. "It very soon became clear to us that our screw conveyors would get the job done better and more cheaply."
Vertical transport no problem
Not many people are aware that vertical transport with a screw conveyor works extremely well. "So they don’t immediately think of us for vertical transport", says Verhoeven. ARN was also sceptical at first. "I too didn’t know that a screw conveyor can go straight upwards", admits Bregita. "I could see all sorts of obstacles in the way, but Van Beek convinced me."
ARN left nothing to chance. The set up was built outside the factory line in another hall and tested one by one. "We took this decision because we had to know for sure that it would work. The installation would take a week’s work and if it then did not work you would have lost another week in taking it down again", explains Bregita.
When the setup worked, the first Z elevator was dismantled in 2014 and replaced by a screw conveyor. ARN was so pleased with it that in 2015 the other two Z elevators were replaced by screw conveyors.
These latter two screw conveyors were not fed from a cyclone filter, but a rotary valve. "This was found to cause problems, but Van Beek resolved them very quickly. Cooperation with them was very good. The price was the first reason that we chose them, but their service has proved to be a very good second ", says Bregita.
The ultimate result is that the factory now has much less downtime and a higher output. A screw conveyor has a higher cost price, but pays for itself very quickly. "We expect the screw conveyors to last for five years. From time to time a minor repair is necessary, for example to replace a bearing. But overall we are now saving some four thousand and this will be even more if by chance they last longer", Bregita expects.