Producing paper products generates a lot of waste. In the classic recycling cycle, the production waste or surplus is shredded and then returned to the production process. The Munich start-up company easy2cool has a different but equally sustainable use for paper waste. Using a WEIMA WLK 1500 Shredder, revolutionary and sustainable insulating elements are made from corrugated cardboard packaging.
Since the company was founded in a home garage in 2014, easy2cool has flourished. The managing directors and founders Marco Knobloch and Sebastian Leicht now employ more than 40 people at the company’s locations in Munich and Lichtenfels. Their mission: protecting temperature-sensitive goods any time, anywhere – without harming the environment. The Bavarian start-up specializes in individual passive cooling solutions. easy2cool’s product portfolio includes cold packs and coolers for the leisure sector as well as solutions for professional refrigeration transport.
Always cool on the go
easy2cool’s Festival Cooler offers the first ecological cooler made from 100% recyclable materials. With their specially developed “easyAkkus”, cola, beer and grilled meat can be cooled for up to four days without electricity, even outdoors. But easy2cool’s customers include more than just festival fans. Companies from the food shipping trade in particular, such as AVE, Don Carne and Fit Taste, now ship their goods in easy2cool shipping boxes.
The sustainable insulation packaging “paperfloc” was developed in a research project with the Chair of Paper Technology at the Technical University of Dresden. The aim of the collaboration was to find a sustainable alternative to expanded polystyrene (EPS) and to develop a new ecological thermal insulation material.
The basic raw material of the innovative insulation mats is obtained from recycled paper. Production waste generated in the paper and packaging industry can be cleverly used and processed to keep food fresh. The innovative insulation made from shredded paper saves significantly more resources during manufacture than polystyrene and 100 % of it can be easily returned to the existing recycling cycle. Compared to EPS (polystyrene), the production of cellulose fibers requires around 25 times less energy from non-renewable sources (source).
WEIMA WLK 1500: high-capacity paper and corrugated material shredder
Shredding is the first step in the production of cellulose fibers. A shredder from the Ilsfeld shredding specialist WEIMA was chosen for this important process step. The requirements for the machine were clear: fast, easy handling and precise, homogeneous shredding to the specified particle size. With a working width of 1500 mm and a rotor diameter of a 368 mm, the WEIMA WLK 1500 single-shaft shredder shreds the paper bales and cardboard without any difficulty.
The shredder, discharge conveyor belt, dispenser and screw conveyor were designed by WEIMA and supplied as a system solution. Managing Director Marco Knobloch summed up in a nutshell why he chose a solution from WEIMA:
“The machine technology and the overall package of the system were unique in their design and were not offered to us by any other competitor.”
Founder and Managing Director at easy2cool
The waste paper is delivered in bales and stored until processing. A forklift truck is used to feed the bales into the hopper of the WLK 1500. The wires wound around the bales are also shredded. An integrated magnetic drum separates and collects them on the downstream discharge conveyor. This protects the subsequent machines.
The paper shredder weighs around seven tons and is powered by an energy-efficient 90 kW electric drive. The electromechanical drive is extremely robust and easy to maintain. What is special about WEIMA: The gearboxes are specially designed and manufactured in Ilsfeld for shredding. This ensures maximum resistance to foreign material and optimal torque transmission.
Closed system against dust
The shredder has several special features to minimize dust formation and thus protect the health of employees and reduce the risk of fire and explosions. The shredder has a doghouse funnel attachment. This is closed on the sides and top, and the material loading point is covered with a strip door curtain. This means that the machine can be easily filled with a forklift truck without large quantities of dust escaping from the hopper. The transition from the shredder to the conveyor has been equipped with additional strip door curtains so that hardly any dust can escape. The conveyor is also designed in a closed version to minimize the spread of paper dust. A dust extraction system has been installed as well.
Optimum utilization thanks to stop-and-go automatic operation
The WLK 1500 is equipped with a stop-and-go control so that the downstream machines are always optimally utilized. The shredded paper is fed into the processing mill via a dispensing unit specially designed by WEIMA. This is where the innovative insulation material is created, which is then filled into the natural fiber packaging. After quality control, the “paperfloc“ insulation mats are ready for shipment or are installed on site in the festival coolers.
By the way: In order to keep the ecological footprint as small as possible, discarded insulation mats and shipping packaging are also returned to the production cycle.
We think that’s really cool! 🐧😎
Federal funding makes and impact
The advantages of the collaboration are clear to Marco Knoblauch: “WEIMA was convincing in all areas: the technical design of the machine and connected devices, cost-effectiveness and outstanding personal support.” easy2cool was also able to secure subsidies from the German government for the construction of the new production facility. The Bavarian start-up received attractive federal funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s promotional program for energy efficiency in the economy.
“WEIMA was very convincing, especially compared to other machine builders. I can wholeheartedly recommend their complete package, from consulting and planning the system with Fred Haller to the quality of the machine and service.“
Founder and Managing Director at easy2cool
Would you like to know more about the start-up? Check out this Galileo video about easy2cool: