In size reduction, shredders, granulators and other equipment are a large investment. Ensuring proper maintenance is a key part of an operator’s job.
Technology is making it easier for operators to ensure machines run at peak efficiency, allowing recyclers and processors to consider investing in additional machinery.
At other facilities, the focus is to work more efficiently with existing technology. To effectively institute this plan, maintenance takes on a premium focus.
Regular maintenance, especially the rotor, and keeping sharp and properly gapped cutters is important. Running with dull and/or improperly set cutters not only reduces output and product quality; it also puts added stress on the shredder.
The good news is innovation is making maintenance easier.
Today, manufacturers are developing granulators and shredders with components that can be refurbished more quickly. Others are making the inner components easier to access. Knife setups are easier to adjust and clean. Easier access means less downtime and helps companies perform regular preventive maintenance without losing valuable time.
There are basic maintenance practices to be followed.
For granulators, maintenance staff should sharpen and rotate both the rotor and stationary knives on a regular basis. Stiff foreign objects should be kept away from the granulator during operation.
The granulator screen should be rotated regularly to ensure even wear. Operators should watch the screen during operation to ensure it doesn’t become clogged. This can lead to a backup in the cutting chamber, causing the rotor to jam. This can result in premature wear of the drive belts.
All parts, motors and bearings should be oiled on a regular basis.
When maintaining a shredder, operators must routinely and thoroughly clean and maintain the shredding chamber. Rotating knives and replacing counter knives on a regular basis also is important to ensuring cutters are sharp and performing efficiently.
Operators also should check belts regularly for wear and replace if necessary to prevent any avoidable downtime.