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Steady revenue from recyclate

Eastbourne-based Smith & Ouzman has been providing bespoke security printing services since 1845.

An independently owned family business which employs 86 staff, it helps to produce an array of sensitive documentation including financial paperwork, ballot papers, examination certificates and local currency.

As a specialist, the business is no stranger to the stringent data protection laws that govern the sector – the robust destruction of confidential documents is as important as the compliant printing, storage and handling of such materials.

Dedicated to fulfilling industry obligations set out by the European DIN security standard, Smith & Ouzman has been shredding confidential waste on-site for some time. For absolute peace of mind, all waste paper handled by the company is shredded, whether it contains sensitive information or not.     

But in 2013 it was evident that change was needed. For years, the company’s existing shredder had continued to buckle under the pressures of the firm’s busy operation. Of course every effort was taken to maximise the lifespan of capital equipment, yet the technology had simply become too unreliable and outdated.

When the machine finally failed beyond repair, it seemed time to reassess the business’s shredding requirements before investing in more robust, sophisticated technology capable of being an asset for years to come.

A robust, larger capacity shredder was required, capable of managing high throughput shredding. It also needed to guarantee precise particle sizing to ensure effective data destruction to DIN level 3 requirements and produce a consistent product for recycling.

Machine reliability and ease of maintenance would also help to prevent future breakdowns and operational disruption.

Unsure where to begin its search for a new shredder, Smith & Ouzman turned to engineering specialist Impact Air Systems, which was devising a new waste extraction solution for its Eastbourne site. It recommended industrial shredder manufacturer Untha UK, whom they had previously worked alongside.

Untha RS40

Smith & Ouzman was confident that the shredder being recommended – a four-shaft Untha RS40 – could fulfil the defined specification. Of particular interest was the shredder’s hard-wearing cutters, which have a service life of more than 3,000 hours, and self-cleaning contra shears, which reduce the level of maintenance.

The high torque, slow speed operation of the RS40 also promised to carefully shred the waste without destroying the material fibres, which is especially important when processing paper for recycling.

Now, a fully automatic and compact packaged system designed by Impact Air feeds the RS40 using a bin tipper and feed conveyor. This regulates the amount of material entering the shredder automatically, ensuring reliable, non-stop operation without any human involvement.

A pneumatic air conveying system then transfers the shredded material to a compactor, where it is collected for recycling.

The shredder is exceeding expectations at Smith & Ouzman, and is certainly ‘man enough’ for the tough job. Having increased the company’s shredding capacity – filling a 26.7sq m compactor bin at least once a week – waste handling areas have been transformed.

With no backlog of waste, it is much tidier and the process is 80% more time-efficient, which frees up operators to undertake other jobs.

The company is also recycling more, aligning with its ISO14001 environmental commitment and providing a steady revenue stream from the sale of recyclate. This, coupled with the lower whole life running costs of the shredder, will deliver financial benefits the company was not previously experiencing.

For highly accredited organisations, it is important that management systems and processes are fool-proof. This extends to waste handling practices too.

Phil Ouzman is managing director at Smith & Ouzman

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