[Article form ScrapBook Autumn 2010]
“Imdex sometimes works like our R & D department. We cooperate with them to optimize our tyre recycling technology and develop new plant solutions. It is a win-win situation as we get our ideas tested, and Imdex always has the latest technology. If we did not have this strong relationship we would not have the customer based solutions that we are able to offer today” says Bjørn Laursen, product manager for tyre recycling at Eldan Recycling.
It is not always easy to start up a tyre recycling factory. Sometimes it takes an international professional boxer, and years of legislative lobbying to get it started. At the end of the 1990’s Danish international professional boxer Gert Bo worked at a transport company in Jylland, Denmark. At this time there was only one tyre recycler in Denmark, and Mr. Gert Bo saw a large potential in this. Together with his father-in-law Mr. Mogens Tange and the owner of the transport company, Mr. Peter Søndergård, he started to look into this opportunity. The legislations at this time made it harder than they could ever have imagined. In 2002 Imdex A/S was, however, finally established and in September that year was authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency as a receiver of old tyres (Consolidation Act/Lovbekendtgørelse 111 af 20/2 2000).
In 2000-2001 Mr. Peter Søndergård (at that time Managing Director) of Imdex contacted Mr. Steen Laursen (at that time Managing Director) of Eldan Recycling to find suitable tyre recycling equipment. IMDEX were finally ready to start the new tyre recycling project, and needed equipment which satisfied their requirements. Apart from the usual requirements regarding input capacity, output size and quality, Imdex had two major concerns. Firstly the building in which the plant would be installed already existed – i.e. the plant had to be designed to fit into this building. Secondly, the facility was located in the middle of a city centre area (i.e. not an industry zone). A large supermarket and several apartment buildings were located just 20 m from the factory. Concerns, and demands, from nearby neighbours as well as the Farsø municipality in Denmark regarding noise and vibrations, as well as the small size of the existing buildings, would be a large problem in this case.
A close co-operation between Imdex and Eldan resulted in the successful solution with regard to the design of a tailored plant to suit the existing building. In 2002 Eldan Recycling delivered a complete E4000T tyre plant together with a complete central filter system. The plant included for example a Super Chopper, a Tumble Back Feeder, a Multi Purpose Rasper, a Silo V4, Fine Granulators and an Aspirator. Since the requirements were very strict with regard to the noise and vibration levels, the main machines were specially vibration reduced. A specially built noise reduction system was fitted around the machines. Instead of filters in relation to the machines, a central filter system was built in a sound proof “cabinet” (12 meter tall and 5 meter wide). Imdex also had to build noise reducing walls around the plant buildings and storage areas. Building the tyre plant took a lot of work, and close co-operation between Eldan and Imdex. The output material was 99.9% free of liberated steel wire and textile.
Imdex collect the tyres from registered collectors, who in turn collect them from car shops, tyre centres and retreading centres. The collected tyres are sorted, and then processed through the plant into granulate. Today Imdex process about 15.000 tons of tyres each year, which means about 4,0 tons per processing hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This could be compared with the total amount of old tyres in Denmark a year which is about 40.000 tons.
Imdex is not satisfied being a traditional tyre recycler - they want to be pioneers! In 2009, Mr. John H. Hansen joined IMDEX, for a project to optimize the technical production. In 2010 he took over as managing director. Mr. John H. Hansen aim is to improve the production and optimize product quality. “It is interesting to see that Imdex has such an innovative vision for the future. The ongoing co-operation between Eldan and Imdex will be very interesting” says managing director John Hansen.
Eldan recently used Imdex as a test plant, which mean that the entire plant was at our disposal for tests and interested customers. “This was both an advantage for the visiting customers, as well as for Imdex. The interested customers got an opportunity to see what they are actually investing in” says Henning Nørgaard, territory manager at Eldan Recycling.
“There is a great advantage in the fact that we can try our ideas in reality, scale 1:1. As a result we are able to continually improve our technologies and equipment, as well as to follow the markets increasing demand for performance and product qualities. This ensures that we are always a step ahead of our competition.” says Lars Eriksen, technical manager at Eldan Recycling.
”It is a great advantage to have Imdex as a collaboration partner. It is almost like having our own test facility in our back yard” says Henning Nørgaard.
“It is interesting to see that Imdex has such an innovative vision for the future. The ongoing co-operation between Eldan Recycling and Imdex will be very interesting” John Hansen, managing director, Imdex
Proven technology (equipment tried out and developed together with the end user) is a “keyword” for Eldan Recycling. Having a collaboration like the one Eldan has with Imdex is then very important. This collaboration with Imdex has given many invaluable advantages.
The Imdex plant is often used as a reference and demo plants for new customers. “Since we develop much of our equipment together with them we know for a fact that we have the latest equipment available to show. We also use it as a test plant for both new and current customers. This year we have for example conducted tests for steel cleaning equipment for the largest scrap dealers in Europe. We also develop the machine components (knives, screens etc) together with Imdex. The customer knows what the customer wants. We continuously keep track on the latest production data, and process wear costs” says Bjørn Laursen, product manager for tyre recycling at Eldan Recycling.