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Blog: More shredder output with a drive assistant

Operating a metal shredder is a tricky task. The person behind the control desk constantly monitors and manages several different variables, such as the feed material, conveyors, and input, as well as the performance of the shredder, temperatures, wear, and product quality. The operator must think ahead, react to changes, and make decisions on how to adjust every important part of the process in order to ensure the best possible outcome – and all of this nonstop every second the production is running.

At Metso, we tend to talk a lot with our customers. During these regular visits to shredder plants and discussions with partners, we have noticed that some sort of autopilot could add value for shredder operators. This observation has been backed up by production data, namely variations in production efficiency.

Metso Shredder Drive Assistant is like an alert and trustworthy colleague

So, we sat down with our customers and considered what could be done. These consultations led to the development of a solution that helps the shredder operator and enables the plant to produce constantly at an optimal capacity. Now it also has a name: we call it Metso Shredder Drive Assistant (SDA).

In practice, Metso SDA is a technological optimization tool that monitors and controls operating parameters so that shredder operators can focus on what they do best: taking care of the big picture.

Up to this point, the new software has been tested with Lindemann shredders at some of our customer sites, and the results have been encouraging.

Rapid return on investment

With the Metso SDA in place, current peaks have been reduced in the shredder motors, and shredder performance is more constant. The material density is higher, the quality better, and most importantly, the output is higher. Due to the optimized load, the wear costs per tonne are also decreasing.  

In the best test cases, the average output has increased by up to 18 percent. Moreover, customers who have used Metso SDA have been pleased that the return on investment was quicker than what they expected beforehand. 

Despite the development of this digital assistant, it is worth noting that the shredder operator is still vital in the control cabin of the shredder plant. However, with SDA up and running, the operator’s responsibilities change slightly, towards monitoring the chute, acting in case of an unexpected safety issue, and interacting if SDA cannot optimally handle a difficult material feed.

The key to efficiency is close cooperation.

Based on tests and trials we have run with our customers; the best possible results are achieved when the operator's profound knowledge is utilized together with SDA’s ability to observe tirelessly and react without hesitation.


Blogger

Ioannis Giouvanitskas

Vice President, Metal Recycling

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