Behind the scenes: The making of e-drive part 1

In the 165 years our company has existed, we had had many innovations. Of course, this also goes for the 34 years that we have been developing industrial waste shredders.

However, our e-drive is undeniably one of the major game-changers.

What is e-drive, you might ask?

It’s an electric alternative to our hydraulic shredders that was launched at the IFAT Munich expo in May 2022 and soon became the talk of the town.

To get to the launch milestone, a lot of work went into developing the new product.

There is no one better to shed some light on that process than the people who developed it, so we’ve asked four of our colleagues for some insights.

The first is Mechanical Engineer, Morten Wichmann, from our R&D department:

e-drive: The birth of greener waste shredders

When initially setting the course for e-drive, it was our ambition to create a drive module that offered the same torque, capacity, and durability as our hydraulic machines, but with lower operational energy consumption.

This would be in line with the efforts we take to reduce our environmental impact in all other areas of our company, in addition to accommodating the increasing demand for greener solutions.

We decided that the first shredder to have e-drive was the M&J P250 – our new, modular shredder that is based on our bestseller, the M&J 4000 S PreShred. This way, we could focus our efforts on the drive module, instead of having to build a new machine from scratch.

The M&J P250 already stood out due to the modular design, that means that it is easier to replace wear and tear parts and that the shredder is adaptable in case your shredding needs change. Adding the e-drive to the mix just emphasized how unique this shredder is.

Our dream for the e-drive was to achieve a 20-30% consumption reduction. The result turned out to be a massive reduction of approx. 50 %, which is probably more than we had anticipated ourselves.

This is based on the energy used to run the shredder while shredding, as well as the consumption from idling, which is high for hydraulic machines.

Idling: an overlooked part of the energy calculation

When talking about the energy consumption of shredders, many will think of the energy used while shredding only. For many customers, however, idling of the powerpack is a substantial part of their total consumption.

They want to run at full capacity to get the best end-product, so they do not stop the powerpack in between loads. A powerpack in idle will still be using about a third of the energy during the downtime. In comparison, the new e-drive stops using energy, when the shafts are stopped.

The result?

Our tests show that the energy consumption of our e-drive shredder is 44% lower than that of a hydraulic shredder, idling excluded. If you include the idle time, which for some might be 30% of the time, the actual savings is significantly higher.

What makes the e-drive so special?

We chose to design the shredder around a planetary gear, as this works really well when having to make quick transitions – as is the case when the shredder is chewing its way through hard materials and the axles reverse direction – or full stops.

Transitions and stops causes the torque to peak. Torque is essential when shredding waste, especially “hard” materials like industrial waste, but unless something is done to soften such peaks, they could potentially impact the shredder.

To prevent this, we added a friction clutch to remove the highest peaks and designed a way to transfer the energy from the remaining peaks from one motor to the other. This gives us maximum energy utilization, while also protecting the cutting table and extending its life.

That is always important to us; to make sure our customers get a durable shredder, that delivers the best performance day in and day out, whether we talk about capacity, energy consumption or wear and spare parts.

The combination of the e-drive and the modular build of the M&J P250 makes for a unique shredder, that goes beyond what has been done before and ensures unbeatable uptime and improved operating costs. That’s why we call it a new generation shredder.

If you want to know more about our e-drive, please check out the M&J P250e.

In the next part of our behind-the-scenes interviews, we will look into the testing of e-drive with our Application Manager, Dorthe Larsen.