Press Releases

Latest press releases from business unit recycling & environment

January 3, 2022 | British recycling specialists Recycling Lives relies on plant technology from BHS-Sonthofen

January 3, 2022 | British recycling specialists Recycling Lives relies on plant technology from BHS-Sonthofen

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January 3, 2022 | British recycling specialists Recycling Lives relies on plant technology from BHS-Sonthofen

British recycling specialists Recycling Lives commissioned a recycling plant that was planned and implemented by BHS-Sonthofen. The plant is designed to handle a variety of materials such as automotive shredder residue (ASR), electric and electronic scrap (WEEE) as well as so-called “meatballs” (electric motors and motor armatures). The process developed together with the company is based on a profitability analysis and ensures marketable end products.

In the process of expanding capacities, the British recycling company Recycling Lives decided it required a plant that could process different materials simultaneously at its 15-acre Recycling Park in Preston. These included ASR, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), metal composites and meatballs. After BHS had drawn up an initial concept for a plant, extensive tests were carried out at the Sonthofen test center with about two to three metric tons of each material required by the customer.

BHS calculated profitability after tests in the test center

Customers of BHS-Sonthofen need a validated basis for decision-making before they invest in a new plant. Data on throughput and material quality, among other parameters, is collected during the tests and analyses in the test center. This information is then used to create a mass balance a profitability analysis– a key advantage for customers. The recycling company used the calculation to estimate the profitability of the plant investment.”

Accordingly, the experts from BHS designed the plant based on the test data. The feed material is supplied to the Rotorshredder of type RS 3218 via a feeder. The tools of the Rotorshredder exert a very intense stress on the feed material through impact, shock and shearing forces. The result is selective size shredding: Particle sizes are selectively reduced and composite materials are separated. All fine fractions of particle sizes smaller than 25 mm are processed on other existing plants. The fraction >25 mm is conveyed to a zigzag sifter, which frees the feed material from light material (fluff, films, fibers, dust, etc.).

The cleaned material is then transported via an overhead magnet to a cyclone separator, which was included in the order to BHS. In the overall control concept BHS took these assemblies into account and also supplied the steel structures for these parts of the plant. The process, which was developed by BHS together with the British customer, produces market-ready end products.

Recycling Lives’ Chief Engineer Gary Halpin explained: “Since the machine was installed three years ago downstream from our main shredder at the Recycling Park in Preston, it has proved efficient in further reducing the particulate size for more efficient extraction of metals and other materials from the waste stream. It is a valuable element within our waste processing operation, helping to extract maximum value and also increase the amount of material that can be recycled as we progress towards a circular economy solution.”

September 15, 2021 | BHS-Sonthofen adds complete process solutions for recycling technology to its test center

September 15, 2021 | BHS-Sonthofen adds complete process solutions for recycling technology to its test center


September 15, 2021 | BHS-Sonthofen adds complete process solutions for recycling technology to its test center

Machinery and plant engineering expert BHS-Sonthofen has expanded its test center at the Sonthofen site and has undergone modernization work in the areas of recycling and environmental technology. BHS conducts tests with shredding, sorting, and conveyor technology for the recycling industry and environmental technology in a space that spans nearly 1,000 square meters. This allows BHS to offer its customers the option of testing all process steps.

When it comes to recycling and the environment, no two input materials are ever the same. That is why it is imperative that recycling companies conduct extensive tests with the respective input material before deciding on a specific plant layout. At its company headquarters in Sonthofen, Germany, BHS offers customers and interested parties in the area of recycling the opportunity to conduct comprehensive tests using their own input materials. Magnets, screening, and various separating tables provide the right technology for sorting shredded products.

“As a leading process consultant and mechanical process technology provider, it is our responsibility to develop all-in-one solutions together with our customers that are perfectly adapted to their needs,” explains Steffen Hinderer, Director Process Development at BHS-Sonthofen. “Our test center, which opened in summer 2019, has already raised the bar in the areas of mixing, shredding, recycling, and filtering. Thanks to the expansion of the recycling and environment test division, our customers are able to test all their processes in this area even more comprehensibly in our facilities.”

Turnkey systems for improved overall process efficiency

In addition to optimizing the conveyor technology, investments for the expanded area of recycling also include sorting machines that perfectly complement the process expertise of BHS-Sonthofen. Dryers and mixers can also be installed upon request. “Our customers can now test their entire recycling processes, all the way from the input material to finished products on-site at our facilities. Our “one-stop shop” approach allows you to test your complete systems in a time and cost-efficient manner,” explains Steffen Hinderer.

In the expanded test center, customers will also be able to gain an impression of suitable plant control systems for the area of recycling and environment. This involves control systems for complete plants from BHS Control Systems, which are specifically tailored to the requirements of the customer. The user benefits from the base software’s open interface architecture: the Win CC Open Architecture. The scalable system allows the wide range of components to be integrated smoothly and therefore the plant control systems can be expanded as required and without large investments.

Put to the test: recycling of lithium-ion batteries

BHS can now also test the shredding of electrolyte-loaded and deep-discharged lithium-ion batteries at its Sonthofen location. “The recycling of lithium-ion batteries comes with great challenges in terms of safety,” says Hinderer. “That’s why many providers do not possess the necessary infrastructure.” At BHS Sonthofen’s, the shredding of battery packs, modules and cells with an individual weight of up to 220 kg can be tested in a closed nitrogen atmosphere inside the machines.

July 20, 2021 | Intelligent pre-shredding with the RAPAX

July 20, 2021 | Intelligent pre-shredding with the RAPAX


July 20, 2021 | Intelligent pre-shredding with the RAPAX

BHS-Sonthofen’s new RAPAX combines design and functionality in one powerful pre-shredder. Versatile, sturdy and easy to maintain, this machine is perfectly suited for processing various metal fractions, commercial waste, industrial waste and construction waste. The flexible, smart control system also ensures efficient pre-shredding in every running direction.

BHS has been developing and building shredders for over one hundred years. RAPAX was developed in close collaboration with an industrial designer. The aim was to outfit this innovative technology, which represents a new level in pre-shredding, with an intelligent design. The focus was on functional design elements that make the RAPAX sturdier and easier to maintain, such as the intersecting struts on the funnel, which ensure greater stability. The surface, wall thickness and shape of the funnel are also sturdy and feature precise edges to avoid signs of wear and material build-up. The two planetary gears with belt drive are positioned side by side, as opposed to diagonally opposite, so as to save space.

Equipped for different applications

Efficient shredding is the first important step to a functioning material cycle. BHS offers the RAPAX pre-shredder in a number of different designs and sizes to ensure that it can optimally process a wide range of input materials, ranging from light scrap metal, electrical and electronic waste, industrial and commercial waste, to worn-out drywall and asphalt tiles. It is available as part of either the 15xx or 20xx series in three different sizes, with shaft lengths ranging between 1.2 and 3.2 meters. These allow the RAPAX to effectively shred extremely bulky input material such as construction waste or white goods. Two different tool geometries are available, depending on the design – either the highly serrated BAT shape version for a higher throughput in the case of light waste, or the sturdy JANUS shape for heavy input material. The tearing table is located below the two shafts, which can be used along with the number of tools to determine the particle size. The electrical drive is also available in different power outputs – up to 400 KW can be installed on request. A hydraulic pusher device is optionally available. It ensures continuous material infeed when processing low-density, light or bulky fractions.

In contrast to many other shredders, the center distance of the two shafts on the RAPAX has been deliberately selected to ensure that the tools do not interlock. This ensures an optimal infeed torque with minimal energy consumption at the same time.

Fewer machine downtimes and easy maintenance

“The pre-shredding process sometimes involves a tremendous amount of force. So with that in mind, we placed a great deal of importance on the RAPAX being sturdy and easy to maintain,” says Ingo Schneemann, the responsible mechanical designer in crushing technology at BHS. Rubber buffers have been installed on the drive unit for this purpose, which absorb the impact and protect the gearbox from damage. The design of the tool and the reversing control system prevent material from wrapping around the shafts or adhering to them, which in turn avoids machine downtimes. The machine is also designed to ensure that wear parts such as the shafts and tearing table can be easily removed and replaced. BHS-Sonthofen offers a wide range of services to customers on-site, from installation and commissioning to technical service and maintenance agreements.

An intelligent control system for maximum performance

The shafts can be controlled with total flexibility, meaning they can move synchronously, asynchronously and in reverse. The RAPAX is designed to shred material in every running direction. The control system makes it possible to select the appropriate program consisting of different movement sequences for every input material. “The input materials used by our customers can vary greatly, especially in the area of metal recycling. Whether it’s small electrical equipment or white goods, for example – our various programs ensure optimal shredding,” says Schneemann. The control system could do even more in the future. Plans for the future include using artificial intelligence to make it able to react even more flexibly to the input material. BHS is still collecting the appropriate data for this, but every RAPAX is already equipped to utilize it in principle.

April 9, 2021 | Waste management company based in southern Germany uses Rotorshredder from BHS-Sonthofen

April 9, 2021 | Waste management company based in southern Germany uses Rotorshredder from BHS-Sonthofen


April 9, 2021 | Waste management company based in southern Germany uses Rotorshredder from BHS-Sonthofen

Choosing the right shredding solution is important when recycling aluminum and aluminum scrap. That’s why a waste management company located in southern Germany opted for the proven Rotorshredder (RS) from BHS-Sonthofen. This machine not only shreds the feed material, but also optimally breaks up composites, which results in fractions with a high degree of purity.

Aluminum scrap accumulates in many different forms, ranging from aluminum profile rails and Zorba fractions to shredder heavy fractions. A major challenge for recycling plants is contamination with other materials, in particular. For example, wood, plastic, and even other metals adhere to the sought-after aluminum. Which is why the materials need to be separated when processing these mixtures. For this reason, a waste management company based in southern Germany turned to BHS-Sonthofen at the end of 2019 in search of a new recycling solution for the 30,000 metric tons of non-ferrous metals that the company recycles annually.

The ideal choice: the Rotorshredder from BHS-Sonthofen

The processing expert had already had good experiences with technology from BHS-Sonthofen in the past. The company once again opted for BHS-Sonthofen, primarily due to the longevity and precise fit of the recycling solutions. Christian Kühn, Sales Director for Recycling & Environmental Technology at BHS-Sonthofen, explains: “The proven Rotorshredder of type RS 2018 was fitted with additional reinforcements for the processing of aluminum in accordance with the special requirements.” After receiving a hardened housing, a double-walled base, and a new suspension system, it was commissioned in December 2019. The waste management company is satisfied with the start-up phase as well as the first months of operation.

The No. 1 experts in recycling

The recycling of raw materials plays an increasingly important role. For example, a recycling plant’s profitability hinges on high purity levels in particular. BHS-Sonthofen considers each application individually and chooses a shredding solution appropriate to the situation. “Impurities are a major problem when it comes to aluminum scrap,” explains Christian Kühn. “It’s not just about shredding the feed material, but it’s also about breaking down the materials in particular.” The Rotorshredder uses selective shredding to do so; aluminum is ductile, impurities such as plastic are hard and brittle. Impact forces deform the aluminum, causing the impurities to break down. In the process, the composites are efficiently separated from the feed material. After classification takes place, the high-purity aluminum is ready for sale. “It is to our advantage to have our own test center where we can carry out tests on the entire recycling process with the respective feed material, including the subsequent profitability calculation,” explains Kühn. “We can provide the customer with the exact machine or plant that is suitable for their requirements.”

August 26, 2020 | Indian company uses BHS Biogrinder to process rice straw

August 26, 2020 | Indian company uses BHS Biogrinder to process rice straw


August 26, 2020 | Indian company uses BHS Biogrinder to process rice straw

At its biogas plant near Chandigarh in the state of Punjab, the Indian company Source Facility uses a BHS Biogrinder to process paddy straw, coconut shells and other organic waste materials. The Biogrinder works for multiple feed materials and allows for an efficient biogas production process.

India generates a large amount of agricultural waste, including crop residues. As burning organic waste is considered to be a major cause of air pollution, the government of India has been offering incentives to mitigate the pollution problem and convert paddy straw into biogas. At the same time, biomass such as rice straw that is widely available in India is a promising source of renewable energy. “Especially in northern part of India, rice straw will be an important raw material for biogas production”, says Neelesh Desai, Managing Director of BHS-Sonthofen India.

Source Facility, an Indian operator of biodigesters, purchased a Biogrinder to process rice straw, empty coconut shells and fruit/vegetable waste. Before choosing a machine from BHS, they tested shredding solutions from local providers. The results were unsatisfying, as these machines were not capable of handling multiple materials. “It was very important to Source Facility to have the freedom to allow a broad spectrum of feed materials”, Desai comments. In addition, the machine offers both excellent size reduction and defibration, which is critical for the biogas production process.

The biogas is produced by micro-organisms during fermentation. The more defibrated the material, the more surface the bacteria have to colonize. Inside the machine is a rapidly turning, star-shaped rotor with a vertical shaft and massive crushing tools. Homogenizing the material, the machine prepares it optimally for the next process step. Source Facility tested various materials for 2 weeks on trial. After the results were satisfactory, they placed an order. The Biogrinder was put into operation in late 2019 and the customer is very satisfied with the increase in Biogas production.

“We are getting a lot of inquiries in India about biomass processing, as the government pushes toward more sustainable use of organic waste”, says Desai. “So far, there are only few biogas plants in India, but many companies are planning to set up new plants across India. With the Biogrinder, BHS-Sonthofen is offering an easy-to-maintain, particularly durable machine for efficient substrate processing.”

July 15, 2020 | BHS-Sonthofen launches a new version of the Biogrinder on the market

July 15, 2020 | BHS-Sonthofen launches a new version of the Biogrinder on the market


July 15, 2020 | BHS-Sonthofen launches a new version of the Biogrinder on the market

BHS-Sonthofen has launched a new, completely redesigned version of the successful Biogrinder on the market. The Biogrinder is used in biomass processing, where it ensures that biogas is generated efficiently and production is accelerated. The machine is now fitted with a disk rotor and stainlesssteel components, making it stand out thanks to its improved durability and flexibility.

Biogas is produced by microorganisms during fermentation. BHS-Sonthofen’s customers use the BHS Biogrinder of type RGB in their biomass processing plants to process biological materials for the fermentation process as efficiently as possible. “The more shredded the material is, the greater the number of contact surfaces the microorganisms have to attack, meaning biogas is generated even more efficiently,” explains Reinhold Jäger, Area Sales Manager in BHS-Sonthofen’s Recycling and Environment division. Energy-rich plants are subject intensive mechanical pre-processing in the Biogrinder. As a result, the gas generation process is accelerated and the fermentation process is stabilized.

The new, redesigned Biogrinder, which is available now, offers the user advantages in terms of improved durability first and foremost. “We are essentially talking about two innovations here,” says Jäger. “The first is that the rotor has a modular design. This means that the previous two-stage rotor has been replaced with a disk rotor. Each individual level can be replaced flexibly, depending on wear, while the base unit remains intact for a very long period of time.”

The second innovation – the extensive use of stainless steel – also boosts the durability of the machine. “The processed plant material is obviously in a state of decay,” says Jäger. “This decay causes acids to form that corrode the ferrous metals. The corrosion then amplifies the abrasive wear process. All of the machine’s components that come into direct contact with the material are now made of stainless steel.” This applies to the inner linings in particular, such as the rotor, side walls or inlet and outlet. The stainless steel prevents corrosion, extending the wear time considerably.

This makes the continuously operating Biogrinder even more robust. The proven machine still boasts all of its previous customer advantages. The Biogrinder (type RBG) is easy to operate and maintain. Even feed materials that are considered difficult or impossible to recycle can be processed with the Biogrinder. Plus, the Biogrinder consumes less electricity in comparison to other biomass crushers.

June 3, 2020 | Less wear for economically efficient processing of ASR

June 3, 2020 | Less wear for economically efficient processing of ASR


June 3, 2020 | Less wear for economically efficient processing of ASR

A BHS-Sonthofen rotor impact mill (type RPMX) has been in operation at Jansen Shredder Recycling BV in Moerdijk, the Netherlands, for the fine processing of automotive shredder residues (ASR) for almost a year. Thanks to years of experience in the processing of metal-bearing waste materials, the experts from Sonthofen found the optimal machine for processing abrasive materials. Wear costs at Jansen have significantly decreased since. 

Residual materials from shredders from automobile recycling is made up of a wide variety of different materials. In addition to plastic, rubber, and textile fibers, ASR contains valuable non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, brass, and copper, as well as mineral components and glass. The latter makes efficient processing difficult, which Jansen Shredder Recycling learned the hard way. 

Where it all started: a sophisticated process with a weakness

A sophisticated process should have ensured that Jansen obtains the highest possible yield of recyclable materials – especially metals. First, the heavy particles were separated at the Jansen site by means of a cross-flow separator. The remaining fraction was pre-crushed in the existing granulator. A non-ferrous fraction could then be extracted from the material using eddy current separation. The non-inductive fraction, however, always contained valuable non-ferrous metals in addition to plastics and minerals. These non-ferrous metals were copper cables and other metal composites. Up until this point, Jansen used fine-grinding mills directly after eddy current separation to recover this fraction of the remaining metals. However, this is exactly where the weakness in the otherwise sophisticated procedure stemmed from: the wear costs of the fine-grinding mills used were unexpectedly high. These machines were designed for use with abrasive components. Glass and mineral components resulted in wear costs of €35 per ton of input material. The profits from the recovered metals could not make up for these losses. This meant a new solution was required.

Implementing expertise from rock crushing in the ASR recycling process

Jansen Shredder Recycling turned to BHS-Sonthofen. The Dutch company was already familiar with the rotor impact mill (type RPMX) from BHS. In order to ensure that the mill from BHS was capable of pulverizing abrasive materials and dissolving and pelletizing non-ferrous materials, Jansen traveled to Sonthofen with the original input material and performed the corresponding tests with the recycling experts onsite.

Originally, the rotor impact mill comes from the stone and earth sector: The models RPM und RPMF were used for the targeted shredding of abrasive materials, such as river gravel. The RPMX was especially optimized for the recycling industry. Due to its solid construction and chilled cast chrome wear parts, it is extremely resistant, and, therefore, ideal for processing ASR fractions, as is done at Jansen Shredder Recycling.

As it turned out, results were convincing. The mill reliably destroyed glass and minerals. “In many cases, the material only needs to be run through our RPMX once to achieve the desired shaping and be able to separate the material on air separation tables,” explains Nikolas Kaufeisen, Area Sales Manager in the Recycling & Environment division at BHS-Sonthofen. “If pelletizing requirements are not met after the first run through, the material can be run through the rotor impact mill a second time.” At Jansen Shredder Recycling, the decision was made not to recycle the material and to carry out the last pelletizing step in the existing fine-grinding mill. “Adding the rotor impact mill from BHS to the process as an intermediate step resulted in a significant increase in profits,” reports Hans Brekelmanns, Managing Director at Jansen Shredder Recycling. “We were able to lower wear costs by approximately 75 percent overall.”

The rotor impact mill was integrated in ASR processing at Jansen Shredder Recycling BV in March 2019. This has increased the efficiency of the entire process. They were also very happy with the consultation provided by the experts from BHS and more joint projects have already been planned.

January 14, 2020 | Generating fresh value from organic waste

January 14, 2020 | Generating fresh value from organic waste


January 14, 2020 | Generating fresh value from organic waste

The Association for Waste Management Kempten (Zweckverband für Abfallwirtschaft Kempten – ZAK) has been using a new biomass treatment plant since May 2019. Technology worth about €2.8 million in total now ensures that foreign matter is optimally removed from organic waste and green waste before it can be fermented. The plant-based elements must be effectively homogenized in order to achieve the best result for the latter. That’s why a BHSSonthofen Biogrinder is now used to process and shred this material. Its low power consumption with very good shredding results, even for challenging input material, are what make it stand out.

The Association for Waste Management Kempten (ZAK) is a consortium made up of waste management bodies in the city of Kempten and the districts of Lindau and Oberallgäu in southern Germany. The waste of 312,000 residents is collected, recycled and disposed of in ZAK’s waste management plants. These include a fermentation plant for green waste and organic waste, a composting plant for green waste and a waste-to-energy plant in Kempten. Some 25,000 tons of green waste and organic waste are processed in the fermentation plant each year. This is used to produce natural gas, with a biogas yield of three million standard cubic meters in total per year. In order to achieve this, the plant manufacturer Komptech GmbH from Frohnleiten, Austria, was commissioned to plan and construct a new biomass treatment plant.

BHS-Sonthofen: a strong partner for homogenizing organic waste

Komptech is a leading international technological provider of machines and systems for the mechanical and biological treatment of waste material. Its core competencies include composting, fermentation and biomass treatment. This company got BHS-Sonthofen on board as a strong partner to carry out ZAK’s planning order for the new biomass treatment plant. The project posed a variety of challenges, including removing high volumes of foreign matter like plastic from organic waste and maximizing gas yield. The issue of undesired components in organic waste could be resolved by using better separation technology. A screen, overhead magnets and a near-infrared sorter now separate organic waste from carelessly discarded plastic bags and metal parts.

BHS-Sonthofen came into play for more efficient biogas production. “The biogas is produced by microorganisms during fermentation. The more shredded the material, the more settlement areas the bacteria have,” explains Andreas Breuer, division head for Technology, Waste Management and New Energies at ZAK. “In the course of plant planning with Komptech, we explicitly requested the BHS Biogrinder as a plant component, as we had already had good experiences with this machine in preliminary tests – it homogenized our input material perfectly.” The machine also had to have a low power consumption and be maintenance-friendly.

Finding the best solution for the customer

Each processing step for biomass is individual, as the input material determines the process as well as the choice of suitable machine, equipment and settings. “We had carried out preliminary tests with the middle fraction of ZAK’s organic waste beforehand. This proved that the Biogrinder optimally prepares the material for the next process step in the fermenter,” says Tobias Steinhauser, Area Sales Manager for the Recycling & Environmental Technology division at BHS. The machine is the final step of the new plant and pre-shedding and sorting are carried out downstream. The organic waste is separated into fine, medium and coarse fractions. While the coarse fraction is combusted, the fine and middle fractions are suitable for fermentation in the fermentation plant and thus also gas production. However, the middle fraction has to also be further homogenized in the Biogrinder.

The materials are fed into the center of the Biogrinder from the top. Inside the machine is a rapidly turning, star-shaped rotor with a vertical shaft and massive crushing tools. “The feed materials are centrifuged to fling them outwards and intensively processed through impact, shock and shearing forces,” explains Steinhauser. “The process is continuous – the homogenized material is then pushed downwards and outwards.” The Biogrinder of type RBG 08 with 90 kW was selected for this very specific range of tasks and the high material volume, as it can process up to six tons per hour in this application scenario.

Supplying electricity and heating for the region

After just a few weeks of use, Breuer from ZAK is already delighted with the new plant: “We have been able to increase our biogas yield by five percent. And this isn’t just a massive gain from an economic perspective – being able to recover as much value as possible from waste materials is also good for the environment.”

The biogas with approx. 55 percent methane content is converted into electrical and thermal energy in three cogeneration units and supplies electricity to about 2,000 households and heat to approx. 200 households. “Thanks to our physical proximity to BHS-Sonthofen, maintenance technicians and spare parts arrive on site very quickly whenever we need them,” adds Breuer, noting a further advantage. “This also saves long transport and journey times, which is also beneficial to the environment.”