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Feature: Timely response

When waste management and metal recycling specialists MDJ Light Brothers decided to expand its ferrous and non-ferrous processing operation with a return to baling and shearing, the company had to look for the right equipment to make it a reality.

Incorporated in 1971, and now operating from sites in Lewes, Heathfield and Daventry, Light Brothers is a family business employing 65 people.

Alongside processing 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes of ferrous and 5,000 tonnes of non-ferrous waste per year, the company also treats and recycles waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), de-manufactures fridges and freezers, processes cathode ray tubes (CRT) and operates general waste transfer facilities.

Ferrous and non-ferrous operations are concentrated at the Lewes and Heathfield sites, where, in the early 1970s, Light Brothers had one of the first shears in the UK. Current market conditions, including an increase in oversized metal scrap, mean that the time is right for the company to return to baling and shearing.

Light Brothers considered many suppliers and machines before finally choosing two Colmar PT6260-800 shear balers, one for the Lewes site and one for Heathfield. The company was already aware of the Colmar machines, had seen them working well even after extended periods of use and is pleased with the service and product it has received. "Colmar offered us good availability and value for money," explains Joseph Light, director of Light Brothers. "The engineering quality is good, their factory is impressive, but most of all, our UK sales contact is honest and straightforward; we have built a good working relationship."

The PT6260-800, or SB6200-800 as it has been recently re-designated, is Colmar's biggest shear baler, weighing in at 59 tonnes with a 6.2m container offering a 10-11 tonne per hour capacity.

Combining a formidable baling capability - maximum 170 tonne pushing piston and 260 tonne wall jack force - with a 900mm cutting blade and 700 tonne shearing force at 280 bar, the machines will be used at Light Brothers primarily for baling vehicles and shearing oversized metal waste.

Light Brothers originally ordered one baler and one shear baler from Colmar in October 2004, changing that in December to two shear balers. Colmar accommodated the change and the first machine was delivered to Lewes on time in December last year.

Installed on a specifically designed and constructed concrete base, with a pit for collecting the sheared material, that machine at has been up and running without major problem since commissioning in January 2005.

At Heathfield, the machine arrived recently and was installed on the pre-prepared base in just one morning. The 100 tonnes crane needed to manoeuvre the machine into position made two lifts and was gone by lunchtime.

The compacted, baled materials, especially vehicles, take up far less space than unprocessed waste, so Light Brothers can handle more volume with the same storage space as before and are using less onward transport.

The SB6200-800 has a remote control facility enabling crane or loader drivers to operate the machine fully in both baling and shearing modes, so Light Brothers have been able to increase capacity without increasing staffing levels. The remote control also enables operators to position themselves at the best place for the particular operation or phase in the operation, improving safety, monitoring and control of the process.

The operators at Lewes like working with the machine and are finding it very easy to use. It is quick to fire-up,

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