Metals have been reused and recycled for centuries – some, possibly for ages. In South East Asia, production and consumption are growing. But the region lacks advanced recycling framework and technology. Although companies are starting to handle recycling, this industry is still very small and processing plants are quickly overwhelmed.
Integration of shredding machines into manufacturing plants in South East Asia is a must in order to produce economically and resource efficiently as possible. For that reason, the recycling of scrap parts and casting residues is becoming increasingly important.
Germany-based recycling system expert Erdwich Zerkleinerungs-Systeme GmbH is looking to South East Asia including India as key areas of growth for its business in the coming years, reveals CEO Mr. Harald Erdwich, in an interview with Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio of International Metalworking News for Asia.
Mr. Harald Erdwich,CEO
The company first started as a manufacturer of conveyor belts in 1972 by Mr. Johann Erdwich (senior). In the 1980’s, the core business began changing from conveyor belt manufacturing to crusher systems. CNC driven lathes also started during that period and Erdwich designed and developed single-shaft shredders for metal swarfs treatment which was highly innovative. First units have been sold directly to OPEL in Germany and immediately started business opportunities in the automotive branch with a well-known reputation till today.
Afterwards, a complete product enlargement consisting out of new two-shaft shredders, three-shaft shredders and complete turn-key solutions as well as plants for e-waste treatment and refrigerator recycling have been developed. The main focus was moving to the key issues: recycling, destruction and reprocessing of precious raw materials.
Over the next years, the company Erdwich continuously developed successfully new machines till today and enhanced the already existing product range with new innovative crushers, including improved features for new business fields.
In 2010, the technical centre started with a high variety of crusher availabilities for test customer test samples. In 2017, the complete company moved from Kaufering to the now well-known headquarter in Igling, out of capacity reasons.
Increasing focus on South East Asia
Harald Erdwich stressed that the strategy in South East Asia is now more focused than the years before. Especially future markets like, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, are the main focus with different strategy aspects by Erdwich.
“Such countries are starting with the recycling issues especially, the governments are changing some rules for the future regarding waste treatment and recycling quotas. Very important customer applications in this case are landfill dismantling, e-waste treatment, refrigerator recycling and cast reprocessing,” he said.
Erdwich has been in the markets of Korea, Japan and Taiwan for decades. Harald detailed, “Just to name two examples, we have already built two refrigerator recycling plants in China and likewise one e-scrap recycling plant.”
Over the last four years, Erdwich has been installing and supporting in cooperation with the ALBA Group the biggest e-facility located in Hong Kong, which was the biggest project realised in the company’s history. “At this very complex plant, the complete e-waste stream from the city of Hong Kong consisting out of dryers, washing machines, refrigerators and further electronic devices are processed here,” he mentioned.
50th anniversary in 2022
According to Harald, the company will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022. “Till this time a lot has changed. Erdwich have been constantly growing during the last years and has now a factory size of 40 employees and is a middle-sized company, located in Igling,” he shared.
Harald explained that the main focus here is the area of solutions for metal swarfs treatment, automotive industry, die cast reprocessing, cardboard crushing and many more, especially pharmaceutical issues in the near future.
Erdwich is constantly developing new machines in the last couple of years, in cooperation with the internal R&D department for changed applications and varying market needs. “The big and robust hydraulically driven RM1800/2 was launched for aluminium scrap treatment, landfill dismantling in the Asian market, municipal household waste streams, and a lot more applications,” he remarked.
Furthermore, a new and smaller hammer mill of the type HA600/1 was presented at IFAT exhibition in 2018 with now optimised dimensions for smaller and limited production spaces. The hammer mill is mostly used for swarfs treatment, small electronic device crushing and many more applications.
Harald added, “Also for the metal swarfs branch, Erdwich presented at the AMB exhibition in Stuttgart 2018 the M400/2-400 machine on basis of a single-shaft shredder for wooly and very voluminous metal swarfs treatments, especially for customers in the automotive industry.”
“Moreover, the very compact and heavy M800/1 single-shaft shredder was designed and brought into the market for metal swarfs treatment and higher throughput-rates together with the electro-mechanical driven RM1350/2 especially for cast reprocessing,” he further added.
Harald revealed that the company is looking and organising trainings for constant development of their employees, including further education measures to have a group of experts for each application area in the internal company process.
The time is ripe to design all products and services for the circular economy, and ramp up efforts in recycling. Recycling products that we’re no longer using is always good practice. It can help protect the environment from hazards. With the right shredding system waiting at our fingertips, the future is looking bright and profitable.
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