As its 80-year jubilee approaches, H.J. Aalbers and Zn. of Aalten in the Netherlands is anything but old. With youthful élan, this specialist in earthworks, container transport and environmental services is making a substantial expansion. Soon everything will be at one site and the qualities of the Komptech recycling machines will be even more evident. “What started in 1939 with 150 m2 will cover 58,000 m2 in 2019,” notes Frank, who manages the thriving family business in the east of the Netherlands.

A look around at Aalbers’ locations immediately shows that recycling is the main focus of the business. About 15 years ago the company started moving in this direction as Frank and his father Jos, with their strong business acumen, detected new opportunities in biomass, granulate and compost. Frank Aalbers: “We were looking for a machine to break wood up, shred it and screen it. Ideal is of course a Komptech shredder and screen, but that was a step too far for us in the beginning. We tried other brands, but soon realized that a more professional and much more process-oriented approach was necessary in order to be truly successful.”

The step up to Komptech was taken in 2014 with the purchase of two used machines through Harald Wildenbeest, account manager for Benelux Komptech dealer PON Equipment. The choice fell on a completely overhauled Crambo 5000 shredder and L3 star screen. After three years the shredder was exchanged for a new one. “Based on our trust in Komptech, PON and our account manager Harald, we purchased a new Crambo 5200 Direct,” says Frank Aalbers. “The L3 was already equipped with a completely new core at the time and was running smoothly.” Frank and his staff are very pleased with the new Crambo. It is noticeably quieter than the older Crambo 5000 and needs only just over half as much fuel thanks to the direct drive. Productivity is higher and the quality of the final product is better.

At the green waste site, about 1.5 kilometres away, the L3 star screen shows what it can do. Wood and sand are well separated to give optimal final output. The L3 would normally run on electricity from its own generator, but Aalbers has given the machine an extra grid power connection. Frank raises a hand with five fingers: “This saves five euros in fuel costs every hour; it also makes less noise and has no emissions. In short, it’s perfect for green and wood recycling.” The L3 has reached a respectable age, although this is not evident in performance. The overhaul ensured a good start and Aalbers keeps his machines in top condition. The stars are replaced in unison to keep performance consistent, and the Crambo gets a new partial set of teeth when needed.

After a tour of the various locations of Aalbers, it is clear that the new site will provide the company with many possibilities. Currently they have to move the machines regularly, but soon the material flows will mesh smoothly and there will be a lot more space for everything. “The Netherlands is moving away from natural gas step by step and wood recycling can play an additional role in this. As far as we’re concerned, the future really offers great opportunities,” notes Frank.