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June 2006

Equipment Spotlight

Paper Shredders

—View a list of manufacturers at the bottom of the page

Propelled by surging growth in sales of document destruction systems and steady demand for industrial recycling machines, paper shredder manufacturers are seeing some of their best years ever. “This year we’ll grow another 20 percent and we grew 18 percent last year,” says Sean Richter, senior technical salesman for Shred-Tech of Cambridge, Ontario. “That’s by far our biggest market.”

Industrial recycling applications range from printers who need to shred overruns and misprints to manufacturers and distributors shredding corrugated boxes and paper rolls. Document destruction includes the exceptionally fast-growing field of mobile destruction systems mounted on trucks as well as larger portable and stationary in-plant machines.

Peterson PacificConfidential document shredders must conform to the North American standard of producing pieces no larger than 5/8 inch. Baler shredders often produce much larger sizes. For instance, magazine stock that is too slippery to bale with the sheets intact can be easily baled if shredded into somewhat smaller strips.

Paper shredders fall into two major categories: hammer mills and shredders that cut or pierce and tear the material to be recycled. Stock is typically introduced to the shredder by conveyor or gravity feed. Exit screens regulate the size of particles when necessary. Most machines are electric-powered, with horsepower ranging from 75 to 250 h.p.

At Granutech-Saturn Systems in Grand Prairie, Texas, its Roto-Grind shredders are the most popular for paper applications. A half-dozen Roto-Grind models go from the M-50, with a half-meter wide rotor, to the 3-meter-wide M-300. The Roto-Grind models can shred a wide variety of materials, but paper shredders mostly buy models from the 110 to the 130 and up.

“Our core machine is the 160,” says Scott White, Granutech director of sales for the West Coast and Mexico. “We build what’s called our high speed version 160 that will do in the 10,000 to 12,000 lbs. per hour range.” Granutech’s main markets are for high-volume, in-plant document destruction.

Granutech Roto-Grind machines typically employ hydraulic drive and the high-speed models operate at up to 125 rpm. The hydraulic drive is paired with a circuit that shifts the machine into lower speed, higher torque mode when it senses a high load. “Our focus is on high torque,” says White. “We’re typically considerably higher torque because our core machine is hydraulic.” A Roto-Grind 160 baseline price is $150,000 to $200,000, with the lower-priced machines using electric drives and the higher prices machines employing hydraulic drive.Vermeer

Vecoplan LLC of High Point, North Carolina, sells its P Series shredders for printer waste and document destruction applications. Printing customers typically require throughputs of from 1,500 lbs. to 30 tons per hour. For document destruction customers call for 500 pound-per-hour machines on up to 30,000 lbs. an hour, says Vecoplan’s Chris Hawn, national sales manager.

Vecoplan machines employ a platen or ram similar to what a baler would have on one side of the vertical feed hopper. On the other side is the rotor with shredding knives spinning at to 90 to 150 rpm. “We use that ram to introduce materials to the rotor based on amperage,” says Hawn. “The ream can back off or go forward. It’s a smart machine that knows how to load itself. When you fill this hopper up with two or three cubic yards, or five or 10 cubic yards in a big machine, it takes over. It’s true dump and run.”

Vecoplan machines range from $31,000 to $600,000. More than a dozen models include the RG24P, with a 24 inch by 14 inch hopper opening, volume of half a cubic yard and 20 h.p. motor. At the other end is the RG98P “Ultra” with a 98 inch by 120 inch opening into a hopper holding 12 to 15 cubic yards and a 225 to 250 h.p. motor. The company also manufactures mobile document destruction systems. Hawn says Vecoplan has gone from zero sales in paper shredding four years ago to $15 million a year today.

Shred-Tech paper shredding systems employ knives mounted on twin shafts rotating at 45 rpm. Slower rotating shafts reduce dust, Richter says. The company has more than 1,000 mobile document destruction systems deployed in North America. Shredded documents typically go directly to a baler and pulper for recycling. “It’s all being recycled,” Richter says.

MorbarkST-75 models with 100-horsepower motors capable of shredding up to 6 tons per hour are priced at approximately $120,000. ST-100 in 100 h.p. configurations offering throughput up to 10 tons per hour go for around $150,000.

Larger machines are typically for industrial applications, while the others are suited for document destruction, Richter says. “The ST-75 and smaller give you confidential shred size,” he explains. “The big machines are either for incinerator feed machines or for a pulper, where the shred size can be two inches by six inches long.”

Corru-Shred Inc. of Pompano Beach, Florida, sells a special-purpose shredding system designed for recycling corrugated cardboard boxes into packing fill. CEO Norman Levine says the machines come in two price ranges, a medium- or heavy-duty C-16-2 Corru-Shredder for $23,200 and a light-duty Corru-Shredder C-16D-2 for $19,200.

Corru-Shred’s larger machine is stationary and comes with a front-loading conveyor and a 2 h.p. electric motor, while the smaller machine is portable has a 1 h.p. motor. Both systems also include a CSL-2 or C-SLD-2 Corru-Slitter which takes corrugated boxes, removes staples and cuts them into blanks of preset size. The blanks are fed into the Corru-Shredder and scissor-cut to turn them into 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by 4 inch pieces of corrugated fill.

The corrugated fill can be used to replace packing materials such as plastic foam peanuts, says Levine. “They save money by not having to throw out the corrugated paper any more, and they save money by not having to buy packing,” he says. Corru-Shred will also buy excess Corru-Fill from its customers and resell it to other firms who need packing material. “The machine then becomes not only a cost saver but a profit center,” he says. Corru-Shred’s biggest customer is UPS, Levine says.

Propelled by growing concern about information control, paper shredding is expected to continue to be a growth business. The only issues on the horizon are anti-idling environmental laws being considered in some states that might affect mobile document destruction trucks.

Company Name
Contact Person
Allegheny Paper Shredders Corp. Evelyn Jefferson 800-245-2497
American Pulverizer Company James Holder 314-781-6100
Artech Reduction Technologies Gary Klowak 866-440-6599
Blower Application Company Rick Johnson 800-959-0880
Compac Specialties Mike Schutt 616-786-9100
Corru-Shred Inc. Norman Levine 954-788-7711
Franklin Miller Inc. Sondra Somer 973-535-9200
Granutech-Saturn Systems Mike Hinsey 877-582-7800
Hammel New York, LLC Gert Semler 219-218-5369
Industrial Paper Shredders Dee Dee Thomas 888-637-4733
Intimus Schleicher & Co of America Dave Parkhill 800-775-7570
Montgomery Industries Intl. Jeff Brockman 904-355-5671
Shred Pax Inc. Tom Kaczmerek 630-595-6102
Shred-Tech Sean Richter 519-621-3560
Simplicity Engineering Tim Gilbert 989-288-3121
Tryco/UNTHA International Kent West 217-864-4541
Vecoplan LLC Chris Hawn 336-861-6070

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