Whether shredding paper
for document destruction or for volume reduction, choosing
the right shredder to handle your material is important.
John Bartel, president of Ameri-Shred Corporation explained
that confidential shredding is big business right now. He
indicated that several laws have passed that require the
destruction of personal information to protect individuals
from identity theft.
A recycler needs to consider their end
market. Lou Grossi, design engineer at Gruendler Crusher,
explained that different markets accept different size shred.
"To manufacture new paper for the repulp market, the
shredded material needs to be taken down to minus one-half
inch. For simple volume reduction, to keep it out of the
landfill, a six-inch shred will do, Mr. Grossi said. "You
really need to know your end market before purchasing a
The amount and type of materials you shred also will factor
into the shredder required.
Ken Lewis, export sales manager for Shred-Tech said, "You
need to know the throughput— the tons per hour you
will be processing. The density of the material needs to
be taken into account. Bales have a higher density, as well
as different types of paper. You want to make sure you are
getting the correct horsepower to handle that."
Mr. Grossi added, "Some material is just easier to
handle. Magazines are a little easier because of their size,
while corrugated can be tough to shred because some of it
is very large. Some corrugated may need to be sheared to
get it down to a manageable size for feeding into the machine,
especially items such as appliance boxes."
Mike Hinsey, director of operations, Granutech-Saturn,
said, "The manufacturer should be able to guide you.
They should be able to tell you that if you want to do two
tons per hour, you need this machine, or if you need to
do five tons per hour, you need this machine."
Mr. Bartel added, "You should also take into account
the amount of growth you expect in the next three to five
years so you have a shredder that can handle that growth."
Depending on your end market, a recycler may decide to keep
white office paper separate from other fibers. Currently
white office paper to mill brings in the best price over
mixed paper. Separating other paper, such as dyed paper
or newspaper is important for this market.
Mr. Bartel said, "Mixed paper or contaminated white
office paper will bring in considerably less money than
white office paper."
Mr. Lewis added, "Once the mill sees a piece of pink
paper or carbon paper in a bale of white, than that bundle
is worth what that piece of carbon paper is worth."
"Metals such as staples or paper clips are not a problem
for paper mills. Large pieces of metal can be taken out
with magnets or metal detectors that stop the conveyors,"
said Mr. Grossi. "It's impossible to get out all the
contaminates and the mills realize this."
Mr. Hinsey said that it is better to remove very large contaminates
to make sure they do not damage the shredder, especially
if a recycler is using a single shaft shredder. "Double
shaft and four-shaft shredders are a little more tolerable
of contaminates than the single shaft."
Maintenance consists of basic cleaning
and lubricating of the shredder knives; lubricating the
motor, and greasing the bearings. Depending on throughput,
lubricating gears and bearings can be done once a day, once
a week or monthly. They should be examined daily.
Cutter heads should be inspected daily. Mr. Bartel said
that if a business is using the shredder eight hours a day,
the cutter heads may need to be lubricated two or three
times a day.
Mr. Lewis said, "Maintenance is just common sense.
If it is performed, it will keep a catastrophe from happening."
Replacement parts and service available from the manufacturer
need to be considered before committing to purchase.
Mr. Hinsey said, "Check to make sure the company has
a full inventory of parts that are available. If you were
to lose something such as a gear box, that could take 8
to 10 weeks to be manufactured. That would be a long time
for a shredder business to be down."
Knife replacement is necessary eventually. It varies depending
on the amount of use. Some shredders have knives that can
be rotated to extend use. Other knives just need to be replaced
Mr. Lewis said, "Normal life wear is around 18 to 24
months, though I've seen machines that haven't needed replacements
in 3 to 4 years. Sometimes on large machines the knives
Mr. Hinsey added, "It will be obvious
when it is time to rotate and replace the knives. The shred
will come out larger and will not be as good of a shred."
Service from a manufacturer is very important. Companies
offer set-up of the shredders and training, both for operation
of the shredder and for maintenance of the shredder. Many
will come out to your plant and help design the entire system
from conveyors and balers, to where the material should
be stacked after it goes through the process.
The standard warranty on an industrial paper shredder is
one year or 2,000 hours.