CHICAGO (Aug. 1, 4:05 p.m. EDT) — You'll have to excuse Douglas King for smiling when he talks about the new EZ Service, RZ-62, Split-A-Part Universal Machine single-shaft shredder from Republic Machine Inc., geared to companies that recycle post-consumer polyethylene and polypropylene.
But when you have been selling between 10 and 20 single-shaft shredders annually for 10 years and now expect to sell 30 machines just in the second half of 2006, instincts tell King that Republic has a hot product.
“We were the me-too guy up until now,” said King, who joined the Louisville, Ky., company three years ago as president and chief executive officer. “This machine has the potential to double, triple, maybe even quadruple” the size of the company.
“We are hoping to sell another 30 machines” this year based on the interest at NPE 2006, he said. “It pays for itself in machine uptime.”
Republic sold five machines — including one to Scrap Masters Inc. of Chelsea, Mich., before NPE, where it unveiled the machine to companies that were not already its customers. NPE was held June 19-23 in Chicago.
Priced 10 percent higher than its previous single-shaft shredder, the machine's split-away design reduces the time needed to clean out contaminants, perform maintenance and adjust the cutting gap from 2-4 hours to 20 minutes or less, said King. It also dramatically reduces product changeover time, he said. Replacement, rotation and adjustment of counter knives, for example, takes less than 20 minutes.
The key? When two bolts are unloosened with an air-impact wrench, the shredder's power frame assembly will split horizontally apart from the material feed assembly frame in 70 seconds. That allows maintenance and production operators waist-high, stand-up access to the cutters and the adjustable counter knives, as well as the feed frame where plastics can get jammed.
“You can do everything standing, instead of sitting on your knees or sitting Indian-style and working below your body.”
King said Republic developed the machine after listening to maintenance workers explain what is wrong with traditional shredder designs.
“We set a goal last July to develop a shredder that allowed a service technician to be able to work on any service part in the machine” and complete the task in 20 minutes. He said it took 120 days to go from concept to first machine.
“Downtime can result in a significant business loss, so our primary goal in designing the Split-A-Part machine was to reduce downtime — not just by a little, but by leaps and bounds,” said George Sotsky, founder and chief technical officer of Republic.
The new shredder also uses the company's patent-pending, trapezoidal-shaped steel Zoidal Cutter — introduced in January — which assures no wrapping of plastic films, for example, no self-feeding and no heat buildup, preventing meltdowns, King said.
King said the firm's RM-TripleCut auxiliary cutting screen allows the machine to “perform like a shredder and grinder in one package” and produce granulator quality in a single step. Per hour it can recycle 10,000 pounds of linear low density polyethylene, 14,000 pounds of LDPE, and 10,000-12,000 pounds of post-consumer carpet and edge trim.
The machine comes in four model sizes — 42-inch, 52-inch, 62-inch and 72-inch — which refers to the width of the rotor. Republic said it is most suited to shredding construction sheet, trash bags, food industry stretch wrap, liners, films, sheeting, tubing, shrink packaging, plastic lumber, cable coverings, toys, milk containers, soda and water bottles, automotive trim, buckets and pipe. It also can shred rubber, wood and medical waste.