Wood briquettes packed full of energy

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Courtesy of Ruf Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG

Konolt manages its energy output using RUF briquetting machinery

Timber processors Konold are improving their energy balance with the help of their RUF briquetting machine. Wood waste is being pressed into briquettes to create a uniform combustible material. The heat they produce is then used for process heating and to heat their premises, with the residual heat being used to generate electricity. Konold Härtsfelder Holzindustrie GmbH values this improved combustion material because it is so easy to manage during the energy release process.

Today more than ever, it makes good business sense to recover energy from production residues. Konold is a medium-sized door manufacturer based in Dischingen-Katzenstein in Swabia, southern Germany. In RUF briquetting machinery, the company has found an effective solution to the question of how to turn dusty waste materials created during the production process into briquettes which can then be fed back into the energy cycle. Konold doors are manufactured with great attention to detail and their makers have many years' experience when it comes to working with wood. Their expert staff select the veneers and manufacture the doors with great precision and skill. More unusual types of doors can also be produced on a one-off basis. Special sizes, unusual shapes and individual designs can be manufactured and delivered very quickly.

It is this flexibility and Konold's openness to new markets that has turned a wheelwright company founded in 1900 into a flourishing business with 141 employees. The company has always been a family-run business. Directors Albert and Konrad Konold and their sons Jürgen and Markus concentrate solely on doors and how to manufacture them in the best possible way. They mainly specialise in tailor-made products, because, according to Konold, the demand for mass-produced doors has died off. Now they have to focus on lowering costs and improving the efficiency of their production processes in order to maintain and grow their market share. So at Konold they are proud to supply their customers with top-quality, tailor-made products. Their main focus is on how the wood is processed.

Generating energy from sander dust and woodchips Konold Härtsfelder Holzindustrie GmbH produces around 10,000 doors and blanks each month, along with 7,000 door frames. Before buying their briquetting machine, 700 kgs per hour of sander dust, woodchips and other wood waste were loaded directly into a boiler without any kind of processing. This boiler operated 13 hours a day, depending on the amount of heat required. The steam it produced heated the 21,000 m² factory buildings, and a steam turbine generated 1 MW of electricity. The variable moisture content of the woodchips affected their energy content, resulting in fluctuations of up to 150 KW in the electricity they generated. On top of this, there was the difficulty of controlling the combustion because of the dust.

The Konolds realised that, if they wanted to resolve this problem and have achieve more controlled combustion, they would have to compress the wood dust using briquetting equipment. So Jürgen Konold began looking for a suitable local supplier. He says: 'We were determined to source machinery and the other items we needed from Germany'. The door experts found the right partner in RUF GmbH & Co. KG, based in Zaisertshofen. They were particularly impressed by the excellent and speedy customer service they received when placing their order with RUF.

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