Industrial Shredding Machines: Must-Know Tips to Get Your Job Done
February 20, 2024
Industrial Shredding Machines: Must-Know Tips to Get Your Job Done
By Jane Cooper
In 2017, it was found that the U.S. produced 267.8 million tons of waste. This includes both residential and commercial items being thrown away.
Out of this total, approximately 35 percent of the waste was recycled or composted, leaving only 139 million tons to find its way to a landfill.
Waste in general can have a negative impact on the environment, but industrial waste specifically is incredibly hazardous.
That’s why many businesses and industries are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact by recycling what they can. Shredding machines can help with the process.
Read on for some tips on how to find the machine that will get your shredding jobs done right.
Know What Shredding Machines You Need
The first thing in getting your shredding jobs done right is to know what type of industrial shredder you need.
There are many different ways to shred material. Here are a few:
Grinders – The most thorough way to shred materials is to put it through a shredder. Whatever you put into this shredder comes out the other end as dust.
Strip-cut – These shredders cut the material into even, rectangular sheets.
Cross-cut – This type of shredder will cut the material twice. It generally starts with a strip cut and then finishes with a horizontal cut. Depending on the type of blades the shredder has, the resulting particles will be square- or diamond-shaped.
Particle-cut – This shredder cuts in pretty much the same way as a cross-cut shredder, but the shape of the resulting particles will be even more specific.
Other ways to shred include micro- and crypto-cuts.
An industrial shredder has the ability to cut just about any material you put into it. However, when it comes to finding the right one, you need to consider what your specific needs are.
For example, if you are a financial institution trying to get rid of sensitive account information, then getting an industrial paper shredder that does particle cuts or grinds will keep this information from falling into the wrong hands.
If you don’t need to make sensitive information difficult to read, then choosing the right shredder will depend on different factors.
What Are You Shredding?
When it comes to finding the right shredder machine for your business, you need to consider the type of material you will be shredding.
If your business primarily takes care of metal, then buying a metal shredder will work the best.
Should you have a lot of plastic that you are trying to recycle or reduce before throwing out, then a plastic shredder is going to be your best option.
In addition to thinking of your current shredding needs, you might also consider where your business will be going in the future.
You might mainly shred paper right now, but if there’s the possibility of shredding plastic or metal in the future, buying an industrial shredder that can handle all these materials is in your best interest.
How Does the Material Need to be Cut?
The four types of cuts that shredders can make were listed above. Knowing which one is best for your business will depend on what you are doing with the shredded material.
If you are preparing metal or plastic for recycling, then using a strip shredder may be all that you need.
Should you be planning on composting your materials, then making them as small as possible is beneficial. That’s when a grinder can come in handy.
What Contaminants Will be in the Shredded Material?
No matter how careful you are, the material that you shred will get contaminated in some way.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it will have an impact on the type of shredder you get for your business.
You might think you are only going to use your shredder for wood materials, especially waste that comes from construction sites. However, it’s possible that nails or screws might still be in the wood.
Unless you plan on removing every single one of these before placing the wood into the shredder, you might consider getting a machine that can handle small bits of metal.
How Much Material Do You Need to Shred?
If you have a lot of material that needs to be shredded on a daily basis, then you need to make sure that your shredder can handle the job.
This might include getting a larger machine that is more durable and has heavy-duty blades.
Should you find that you only need to shred once in a while, then you don’t want to spend more than necessary.
Shredders come in a wide range of sizes and capabilities, so it’s possible to find one that will fit all of your business needs.
Benefits of Using a Shredder
One of the biggest advantages to adding a shredder to your business is that it can help reduce the amount of waste that finds its way into landfills.
If you are looking for a way to recycle or repurpose some of your waste, then you need a shredder.
Shredders allow you to break down large items into smaller items. This makes the pieces easier to recycle and repurpose.
Some of the most commonly shredded items include food waste, tires, plastics, wood, paper, pallets, steel drums, and electronic components.
The shredded material can then be turned into a variety of different items, including compost, mulch, and plastic bags.
In some cases, recycled tires and wood are also added to public playgrounds to make the area softer and more inviting to kids.
No matter what, the material isn’t being tossed into a landfill where it can cause damage to the soil and water sources.
5 Factors to Consider
Industrial manufacturers and consumers dispose of countless items faster than waste management professionals can process them.
An industrial shredder is not a small purchase, so you must be sure you're getting the right machine for your unique needs. Take a look at our five tips on choosing your next industrial shredder.
1. Input Material
The input material is the first thing you need to consider when choosing an industrial shredder for your business. Looking at shredders that don't process your input material is a waste of valuable time and resources.
If you're disposing of something wet or stringy, putting it through a shredder not optimized for that type of material could clog or break the machine. Even if you're disposing of something simpler, such as wood, be sure that the shredder you opt for is capable of breaking it down properly.
Just like with shopping for a pair of shoes or a new home, don't just settle on the first one you find. Do your research to find out the best industrial shredder for what you want to process now and might want to in the near future. At Franklin Miller, we even offer testing in our facility to guarantee the unit you choose is a good fit for shredding your specific material.
You shouldn’t have to buy an individual machine for each material you shred. See which units are compatible with several different types of waste. Also, consider the size of the input material when choosing a shredder for your business. Large pieces in small machines often cause clogs.
Even if they do make it to the output bin, the material may not be fully shredded. Additionally, small pieces processed by large blades won't result in uniform pieces, or might not shred at all. That all being said, our TASKMASTER® units can reduce a wide variety of bulk solids up to 80%.
2. Capacity & Size
Other questions you need to ask about the input material are the size of the material and how much you intend to shred at a time. It's important not to overload a shredder for best performance but also for safety, as an overloaded machine could malfunction.
While you technically can put a small amount of material in a large shredder, there is such a thing as too small of a load, so make sure you are considerate of that.
If you plan on shredding multiple load sizes, ensure the shredder is adjustable to handle that capacity. If that's not something you can find, you might consider trying to cut down the size of larger loads and get a medium-sized shredder that handles both.
If you feel you have unusual requirements, you should talk to the manufacturer to make sure the machine you buy suits your needs.
3. Reuse What You Can
Businesses often purchase industrial shredders to dispose of non-hazardous waste and materials that can be repurposed, but the wrong shredder can destroy those plans.
If you plan on reusing shredded waste material, figure out what specifications you need the output to meet to have value. Buying a shredder will help guarantee uniform output size.
If you hope to shred multiple materials with one machine and want to reuse one or more of them, make sure you can do so without contaminating the product.
4. Where to Store Your Industrial Shredder
Most prospective shredder buyers have a plan for storing their shredder. Unless you're getting a small industrial shredder, you need a good amount of space where the machine will sit, as these are not like the paper shredders you keep at home.
Dimensions aren't the only factor you need to consider. Your storage space's climate and other conditions should factor into your choice of a shredder.
If you have a climate-controlled, dry indoor space for storage, you're primed to store most shredders, though you should still check any model's storage specifications.
If you have nothing but outdoor space or have unusual indoor conditions like a freezer or wet production floor, be sure the shredder can safely handle that environment.
5. Maintenance Protocols
All equipment needs regular care, and shredders are no exception.Industrial shredder systems need periodic lubrication and oil changes to maintain optimal performance and output material. In addition, grinding blades can wear down over time if not maintained.
Some shredders are easier for owners to service themselves than others. Find out where the access panel is and if it's feasible for you to service the machine yourself, or if you need to bring in outside professionals.
Another aspect of maintenance to consider is determining what kind of service the vendor provides. Having the vendor's help, or a team of shredding experts at your disposal, keeps your machine in top condition.
Finding the Right Shredder
Once you know exactly what your business is going to be shredding and how you want the material cut, you can then start your search for a supplier of shredding machines.
You won’t have to look far… At Franklin Miller, we have been a leader in size reduction technology for three generations.
We have shredders that can handle any job and material. Our machines are built to exceed all of your expectations.
Whether you are looking to shred your materials so they can be recycled or repurposed or just to reduce the amount of waste you produce, we have the shredders you’re looking for.