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Waste Handling Systems : Paper’s Special Delivery

November 2011 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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Purchasing a waste paper handling system is, for some printers, a bit of a letdown. After all, a good paper-and-dust handling setup does not directly impact the quality of product, yet an ineffective system can have negative consequences for your final pieces and bottom lines.

Still, paper recycling lacks the sexiness of a new press. Ever get jealous about the size of your competitor's baler? Didn't think so. Sure, it is a necessary evil, but if your shop prides itself on quality and attention to detail, then you can't short-arm your paper handling system requirements.

We've turned to the experts—the manufacturers of shredders and balers, along with the firms that install waste paper handling systems—to solicit their advice on the ins and outs of obtaining the most effective and efficient systems.

Key Points to Ponder

Deciding on a vendor to provide your shop with a new waste paper handling system can be something of a challenging task, and some printers may view cyclones, shredders and balers as rather vanilla gear, indistinguishable from one vendor's offering to another. Jeff Dietterich, president of Advanced Equipment Sales, cites five selling points that can help a printer differentiate between A, B and C.

1) Is the system compliant with current safety and environmental regulations? The ever-changing regulatory landscape plays a huge role here.

“The key is the interpretation of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards by the local authority having jurisdiction,” Dietterich says. “That could mean OSHA, the local fire marshal or the building inspector needs to interpret the NFPA requirements for the kind of trim and dust collecting system that is very common to printers.”

For example, there are 11 NFPA standards that could be applied to dust collecting systems, he adds, and within each standard there's a certain latitude for safety equipment, fire protection equipment and explosion protection gear. Advanced Equipment recently performed two large dust collection systems at plants in different Virginia counties. In each county, the fire marshal used a different NFPA standard and, within that standard, had different interpretations of the fire safety equipment needed on the dust collector.

John Prouty, president of Paper and Dust Pros, believes the system manufacturer should play a critical role in educating the customer on the ins and outs of the NFPA standards. “I have been in this business for almost 30 years, and have only seen one fire in a dust collector due to the fact that someone sent a small piece of metal through the system. But, in the unlikely event that there is an explosion or fire, protecting your equipment and personnel are the most important things.



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