New energy-efficient wood shredders for Altola AG

The major Swiss waste management firm Altola AG, which provides economical and ecological waste disposal solutions, has opted for UNTHA shredding technology’s XR3000C wood shredder. The technological excellence of the system and a tailored test option in the pre-sales phase were decisive factors in choosing UNTHA.


Founded in 1969, Altola AG is part of the Swiss Vigier Group, which in turn belongs to France’s Vicat Group. Altola sees itself as one of the most important suppliers in the collection, recycling, recovery and disposal of waste. Each year at its Zuchwill site, Altola reclaims around 32,000 tonnes of class 1 and 2 waste wood, reconverting it into fuel. After many years of using a crushing unit, the company needed to switch to an innovative and energy-efficient cutting design. And UNTHA shredding technology’s XR3000C met Altola’s high demands.

The Modern XR3000C Shredder Impressed During Demonstration and Testing

Altola’s requirements, inherited from its main client Vigier Ciment, were clearly defined. The new shredding solution had to deliver a uniform grain spectrum from various A1 to A3 scrap woods. And for this, precise cutting system was required. Wear and energy consumption were also key factors for Altola. After Altola tested various products from the shredder market, the UNTHA XR3000C finally emerged as the best solution for the company. The decision to acquire the UNTHA product was made in January 2018. Thaddäus Steinmann, Head of Solid Alternative Fuels at Altola: “The machine is absolutely state-of-the-art and is way out in front of the other products we tested”.

Features and Highlights of the UNTHA XR3000C

The unit designed for Altola was equipped with the UNTHA ECO Torque Drive system – with a synchronous and water-cooled drive power of 2 x 132 kW. This ensures 50% lower energy consumption than with electro-hydraulic drive variants. The cutting system of the XR3000C is equipped with special wood knives which ensure an aggressive material feed and a high throughput capacity for scrap wood. The perforated screen configured for 90 mm grain size is specially equipped with chip breakers to reduce oversize grains. The drive of the shredding solution purchased by Altola is also resistant to impurities and is low-cost to maintain. Maintenance is further simplified by a safe rotor speed, which enables quick and easy blade changes. Foreign substances in the cutting chamber can be easily and quickly removed via the contaminant discharge system. Overall, the UNTHA XR3000C impresses with robustness, low wear, easy maintenance and low energy consumption.

Technology Container and Other Features

A technology container was used to protect the overall electrical system and the control system; the water cooling unit and the hydraulic unit are also integrated into the container. It is essential that the container provides dust protection, which is why a special seal is also used. A fire protection system was also integrated for Altola. The system uses a two-sensor technology to detect any flames and monitor the temperature.

UNTHA’s Input and Quality Standards Were Key to the Purchase Decision

The decision-making process – from the pre-selection of various suppliers to the conclusion of the sale – took many months. In August 2017, UNTHA was able to present a reference machine in Munich to the decision-makers at Altola. UNTHA Sales Manager Daniel Wresnik said: “We then came up with the idea of installing a demonstration machine on site so that Altola could run through all the possible configurations on its own premises”. Having this option was key to Altola’s decision. “We were able to test the XR3000C for a month and the machine met all our requirements,” says Thaddeus Steinmann of Altola.

UNTHA also needed to rely on its expertise and precision when installing and commissioning the machine. Between the dismantling the previous machine and installation of the XR3000C, a precisely specified downtime had to be adhered to, so as to ensure Altola’s customer would not face delivery failure. “This required perfect project management – from logistics to assembly to the service department,” says Daniel Wresnik. UNTHA will continue to guarantee a rapid response service, via its Swiss service partner as well as remote maintenance.

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