Wendt Corporation, Buffalo, New York, has announced the sale of a Wendt/MTB EZR Pre-Shredder to Rochester Iron and Metal. With multiple installations worldwide, the sale of the EZR Pre-Shredder to Rochester represents the first install in the United States.
Located in Rochester, Indiana, Rochester Iron & Metal is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that has been serving the scrap industry since the early 1900s. Jason Grube and his stepfather, Mooch Lewis, partnered to form Rochester Iron and Metal in 2002. After installing one of the first Wendt M6090 shredding plants in 2012, the company has experienced exponential growth, expanding from 17 employees to more than 100. Rochester’s growth became apparent in 2013, a year after the shredder was installed. “Initially our estimates for the shredder were 4,000 tons a month,” says Jason Grube, president of Rochester Iron and Metal. “By the end of 2012, we were at capacity with 10-11,000 tons a month.”
The company also operates one feeder yard in Kokomo, Indiana, and a newly purchased yard in Logansport, Indiana. Along with the shredder, the company attributes its growth to dedicated customer service, the cleanliness of its facilities and strong relationships it has built and maintained. Grube says, “One thing we didn’t account for with the purchase of the shredder was the visibility that we gained. The amount of prime scrap that we acquire that doesn’t go through the shredder has been impressive.”
Growth and operating heavy equipment also bring challenges. In late 2018, Rochester Iron and Metal experienced a massive unshreddable in its mill. Initially the company was told it would not operate for four to six months, so Rochester made significant changes to the business. “We were very fortunate that we were back up and running within four days,” Grube says. “However, we never want to be in that situation again. We have spent a lot of money over the last few years buying spare parts in case that single event was ever to occur again. By purchasing the preshredder, we’ve invested in insurance that those events are going to be less likely now than ever before.” With the ever-decreasing availability of business-interruption insurance for auto shredder operators, the preshredder offers Rochester an alternative form of insurance with a much wider range of benefits.
A preshredder uses low-speed, high-torque technology to homogenize hammermill feedstock. This allows a shredder to easily achieve full-box shredding, increasing tons per hour while decreasing the wear on castings. In addition, preshredders give operators the ability to catch and remove unshreddables prior to the material going to the primary shredder, greatly reducing the chance of catastrophic failure at the mill. By operating at a slow-speed, preshredders can puncture explosive containers without creating an ignition source, unlike in a hammermill. This, in turn, helps to reduce the number of explosions in the hammermill.
“Wendt’s long-standing exclusive partnership with MTB has brought new and innovative equipment and recovery concepts to fulfill our customer’s needs. The development of the EZR Pre-Shredder is no exception,” says Ethan Willard, WENDT shredder business development manager. “The preshredder allows our customers a simple and unintrusive way to expand their businesses by maximizing the utilization of existing assets. I believe preshredders will revolutionize existing shredder operations with their ability to increase production and decrease operating costs and downtime.”
Rochester’s EZR Pre-Shredder is capable of processing up to 70 tons per hour and features the same advanced modular features that Went has become known for throughout the industry. “It just made business sense. With the increased throughput from the preshredder, we are basically going to become an 80-inch mill without the installation costs. I’d rather invest than sit back and just be scared all the time that what happened in 2018 will happen again,” Dan Zeiger, controller for Rochester Iron and Metal adds. “From a financial perspective, the payback estimations are in months, not years. It’s hard to say no to an addition to our processing stream that will ultimately be very profitable.”
The new Wendt/MTB EZR Pre-Shredder offers unrivaled flexibility by building off Wendt’s trademarked modular designs to greatly reduce installation and total project costs. In addition, the EZR is the first preshredder on the market that allows for the adjustment of the output density and throughput of the machine after installation to tailor an operation to meet customers' specific demands. Available in sizes from 5 to 150 tons an hour, the EZR product line covers a wide range of applications.
The purchase of the Wendt/MTB EZR Pre-Shredder represents the third capital equipment transaction that Rochester Iron and Metal has done with Wendt. “From the beginning, Wendt has helped walk us through how we can enhance our current processing stream,” Zeiger says. “The strong relationship between our companies begins with the people. Jason [Grube] and Tom [Wendt] have a lot in common—their ages, their drive and they both have this like-minded engineered thought process.”
Rochester’s EZR Pre-Shredder will be installed and operational in the fourth quarter of 2021.