“The results exceeded our expectations”
After using a Lindemann scrap shear type LU 1250/15 PA 90/25 intensively for 21 years at its headquarters in ’s-Gravendeel, the Dutch firm HKS Scrap Metals found that the machine’s hydraulic system was not functioning up to par, as is inevitable with any system subject to wear and tear. As a result, production had dropped significantly – from 35 t/h to 22 t/h. The year was 2010, and the company already had been considering scrapping the machine and buying a new one. “But the mechanism still functioned flawlessly,” recalls Marco Disco, Technical Director of HKS. “It would have been a shame to scrap the machine,” Disco, 43, says in a conversation on the site.
In addition, an approvals process would have been necessary before purchasing a new scrap shear – a time-consuming legal procedure that would have added to the cost of a new machine. What to do? Two Metso employees then got involved in the deliberations: Michael Jungen, Manager Technical Services for Lindemann Products, Recycling Services, and Louis van Alphen, Manager of Recycling Holland, based in Dordrecht, not far from ’s-Gravendeel. “Those two really came through for us,” says Disco. Now, the word is “upgrade”.
Reduced cycle times, easier maintenance
|“The shear will keep going for another 20 years” Marco Disco, Technical Director of HKS, Netherlands|
It's a beautiful sunny day in this small town of 9,000 residents in southern Holland, about 40 kilometres from the North Sea. Gulls screech overhead. The HKS site, which is also the firm’s headquarters, is under the directorship of the former scrap shear operator Kees Heuvelmann, and is located in an idyllic setting along the Dordtsche Kil River. Disco strides across the sprawling grounds past the press and shredder (a 1,250 HP Zerdirator from Metso) and heads for the far end of the property, where the scrap shear is located. There, Disco – who has worked for HKS since 2002 and is responsible for the machinery at the firm’s six HKS locations in Holland – presents the result of the upgrade: The 6 x 90 kW motor was replaced by a 5 x 90 kW motor and the Siemens S5 controller was replaced by a Siemens S7 model.
New piping to shear head guarantees that the flow rate – 1.6 times higher than before – can be fully utilised. The pump drives are now arranged vertically instead of horizontally and the pump control block is located centrally on the tank, saving space and simplifying maintenance. In the control cabin, a multi-panel TFT monitor with a touchscreen has replaced the old operating terminal with its light panel. The result: Cycle times have been reduced by about 15 percent in the automatic mode – “and at the same time we’re saving energy,” says Marco Disco.
“On paper it looked like an attractive solution,” says the technical director. “As to whether this would do the trick, only time would tell.” Lo and behold: Since the five-week-long renovation was completed in June 2010, production capacity has reached about 42 t/h. “For a relatively low investment HKS now has a scrap shear that represent the state of the art,” says Michael Jungen. It’s also a successful project in terms of sustainability and environmental protection, as the old shear did not have to be scrapped. “It will keep going for another 20 years,” says Marco Disco. Is he satisfied with the work Metso has carried out? “Very. The results exceeded our expectations!” The first time he catapulted an “old timer” into modernity with Metso was in 2006, when he upgraded a Zerdirator at the HKS site in Amsterdam from 2,000 to 4,000 HP. “Even then, the collaboration was perfect – the process, the price, simply everything. And it was the same this time.”
Disco is standing in the control cabin. He looks at the monitor, which is off, at the shear, which is not in use, and at the empty platform. The river flows past the plant on the right. To the left, just beyond the company’s property, stands a row of poplars. It’s Friday, which means it’s time to service the machine. Aside from the screaming gulls everything is quiet and peaceful. It may even be the perfect time to contemplate the character of this machine. Since its upgrade it is – more than ever before – a combination of classic and modern, as we like to say. On the one hand there’s the three dimensional pre-compression and the shear frame with stamper and blade slide, a well-established technology. On the other hand, for example, there is the new electronic control device that allows Metso to inspect the machine using remote diagnosis, which saves HKS both time and money. Some might wonder what is so fascinating about a modern recycling firm in the middle of this beautiful environment. In a place like this, it all makes sense.