After 40 years in the industry, many organisations would find it difficult to maintain an innovative edge. Yet renowned for pioneering developments within the shredding technology marketplace, UNTHA has managed to continuously design and manufacture new and exciting machinery throughout the decades.
The key driving force behind the invention of all UNTHA shredders is, ‘what do clients want’? This was certainly the case when UNTHA introduced the TR series for RDF shredding in 2009. Yet the beauty behind this most recent innovation – the VR series shredder – is that UNTHA has not only listened to industry requirements. The team has also created a piece of engineering that some clients would have never even considered, simply because they didn’t think it was possible.
UNTHA UK managing director Chris Oldfield explains: “Designed purposefully to satisfy the need for high-quality precision shredding, the VR is able to achieve incredibly accurately-sized particle reduction thanks to a number of configurable screens. Suitable for low-volume RDF, clean and dirty wood, plastics, film, mixed rigid plastics and even carpets, the VR can handle large volumes of waste that can be reduced to a particle size of 15-80mm depending upon application requirements.
“Consistency of particle sizing is incredibly important if the shredded waste is to be used in alternative fuel production, as biomass burners or gasification plants need small yet equally sized particles to get the best charge.”
With five models available from a VR60 through to a VR160, the shredder is capable of achieving throughput of two to eight tonnes per hour depending upon the application and required particle size.
Such impressive throughput is possible due to the VR’s unparalleled new drive mechanism. This has not been used in a shredder before but is more commonly seen in heavy-duty applications such as mining and road-planing machines.
UNTHA’s head of engineering management Christian Lanner explains: “The gearbox sits neatly inside the shredder’s rotor – what is now the largest in the UK’s marketplace – and drives through the full 700mm diameter as opposed to only a small diameter stub shaft. Because the rotor diameter is so great, the rotor speed can be reduced without compromising the cutter tip speed. Even with reduced RPM there is an unparalleled rate of throughput. Clients could expect to shred up to 7 tonnes of plastic bottles per hour, or 5 tonnes of wooden pallets per hour for example.”
Operational simplicity is achieved by using touch screens, plus all clients’ shredding data can now be digitally logged and sent to UNTHA’s Austrian headquarters for interrogation. Ongoing assessment of running conditions not only prevents things going wrong but it also helps to ensure continuous efficiencies for the client long after the initial installation.
Other features include better foreign object detection, a maintenance-free ram device and interchangeable and indexable cutters. All of this combines to ensure outstanding reliability and consistently high results even under the most difficult conditions.
Considering its positioning in the marketplace, Chris believes that the VR really does represent the next generation of shredding technology, commenting: “It illustrates the evermore intelligent nature of waste management solutions. Clients continually want more and more from their machinery. The VR has therefore been developed to closely fit the requirements of modern waste applications – to achieve greater efficiencies and encourage smarter working.”
Whilst not essential, the VR looks the part too. It’s somewhat ironic that a machine which deals with materials that other people and organisations discard as rubbish, is so technically and aesthetically so sophisticated.