SHREDDING TECHNOLOGY: PART 1-HAMMERMILL
When it comes to purchasing a mobile document destruction truck, the underlying shredding technology is the most critical factor that should influence your decision. In this three part series we will discuss how the technology will affect many aspects of your business including: the purchase price, the cost of ownership and the level of service you can provide your clients. Before laying down the money for a mobile shredder make certain that you pick a technology that best fits your business model.
The oldest technology in the industry is the hammermill. Its technology uses swinging metal bars called “hammers” that are attached to a high-speed rotor. The rotor spins at roughly 2,200 RPM, whipping the hammers that in turn impact the paper. As paper is fed into the hammermill, it is first beaten into a smaller but still sizeable chunk. That chunk is eventually grated through a screen at the bottom of the machine thereby reducing the particle size.
Hammermill is an effective technology with a rough throughput of 5,000 lbs. per hour. This technology is less expensive to produce and those costs are reflected in lower purchase prices for hammermill equipment. It can be an effective first unit, but owners of one rarely purchase a second unit for their fleet.
There are a few major drawbacks of hammermill technology that new startups should be aware of before investing in one. Hammermills are very noisy, very dusty and very intrusive. Many businesses don’t want them onsite disrupting their workplace. Although they are cheaper on the front end, hammermills require considerably more maintenance on the backend. Any savings from the cheaper purchase price can quickly be eaten up with repair costs and vehicle downtime.
The biggest factor that you should consider before purchasing a hammermill is the greater likelihood of fire. With its rapidly spinning hammers, metal from file hangers and three-ring binder spines that are introduced into the system have a greater chance of sparking. Combine that with the dustier environment inherent in the system, you have a truck that is potentially more dangerous to operate.
If you would like to join the conversation please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your opinion on the topic of hammermill technology.
To better understand your options for effective document destruction, get informed by checking out our posts on other shredding technology including pierce & tear and rotary systems. Please feel free to email or call us at 1-800-299-8437 if you have any questions about the right technology for your onsite shredding application.