SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Installing a shredding system for the waste industry is a huge undertaking—one that requires plenty of planning and foresight to get right. Maintenance of your waste shredder is crucial to keeping an operation with so many components efficient.
Plan for Downtime
It is imperative for shredders to be maintained regularly, especially within the waste industry, where a variety of materials is introduced into the shredder and processed at once. The best thing you can do for your operation to prevent large chunks of downtime is to routinely and thoroughly clean and maintain the shredding chamber. Rotating knives and replacing counter knives regularly is important to keeping the cutters sharp and performing optimally. One severely damaged knife can shut down a whole system if not dealt with proactively. Checking belts for wear and replacing them if necessary can also prevent any unwelcome surprises while the shredder is in operation.
Safety is Key
When preparing to access the cutting chamber on your shredding machine, lock-out/tag-out procedures should always be followed. Every shredder comes with access doors to the shredding chamber, making it easier to change screens, rotate or change knives and clean the rotor. With safety in mind, a safety switch prevents the machine from being turned on while the door is open. It is designed to protect personnel while they perform crucial preventative maintenance tasks, like knife rotation/replacement and basic clearing of any debris.
Metal Detection as Prevention
One of the best ways to prevent the introduction of foreign objects into your shredder is to install a metal detector along the shredder’s infeed conveyor. This can be an operation’s last chance to remove any metal pieces that may have gotten through the pre-sorting process. This is a small piece of technology that can make a huge difference in plant productivity due to decreased incidental down time. Prevention is the best cure.1 A lot of unnecessary downtime is required to remove harmful foreign objects and/or repair any damage those objects have caused within your machine; installing a metal detector that can prevent the introduction of those harmful materials in the first place is a much smarter approach.
Keep Operations Running
It has been said that hindsight is 20/20, and that is never more accurate than right in the middle of an unexpected maintenance emergency. Regularly performing preventative maintenance on your machine will lessen the chances for an unexpected issue. Moreover, anticipating problems before they happen allows you to implement measures into your waste-to-energy line that will keep your operation running smoothly and your shredder running.