Where do good ideas come from?

“Try Italy,” suggests our well-travelled Transport and Plant Correspondent, Malcolm Bates. A regular visitor to trade shows all over the world, he always tries to make it to Rimini every November for ‘Ecomondo’. Here is his report on the 2014 event.

The pace of change in the scrap metals, waste and recycling sectors is proceeding at such a rate, it’s easy to miss the signs of any new developing trend. After all, when you’re busy, quiet, reflective moments are hard to find. And yet, to remain competitive, or help improve efficiency in order to deliver a better quality of service, spotting those trends early on is exactly what might give your operation a competitive edge.

This compact wheeled materials handler from Messersi originates from the forestry sector, but is ideal for working in busy restricted recycling facilities where tail-swing could be a safety issue.New business opportunities

So what new trends were spotted at the 2014 event? Firstly, two that are not exactly new, but are still progressing. Firstly, side-loading container handling systems for both below ground – and ground level -storage and retrieval. And secondly, refinements in the design of satellite collection vehicles. Italy has more manufacturers of compact satellite vehicles than any other country and while the largest Italian manufacturer – Farid – is already a major exporter, several of the smaller manufacturers still don’t export their products to other EU markets. There could be a significant business opportunity here.

The Olivero ‘CF14’ features a kerbside-mounted driver’s cab alongside a front-facing loading hopper with twin binlifters. Gross vehicle weight is 14tonnes. The power unit is at the rear.ends.Safety first

Talking of ‘ground level’, the safety of machine operators working in waste and recycling facilities is an issue that continues to attract the interest of health and safety legislators. Hydraulically-raised cabs are now very much the industry standard, so what might the next technical innovation be? Although first seen some years back in the US, two Italian manufacturers have recently featured hydraulically-raised cab materials handlers with a ground level entry cab design – two years ago, Italian materials handling specialist Tabarelli introduced a prototype at Ecomondo. This year it was the turn of competitor Euromec. Doctor Sabrina Penocchio, marketing manager at Euromec, informs me that the cab on the E2612, can be lowered to ground level in whatever position the turret of the machine is in – a benefit on sites where there is little spare space.

Not rocket science? Maybe not, but as the control panel of this Montabano ‘SuperWee 1000’ recycling system illustrates, recycling technology is getting close.


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