Franz Demmel, 31, always wanted to do his own thing. In 2011 an accident forced the trained carpenter to look for a new profession, so he purchased a commercial lot in his hometown of Bichl in Bavaria and took the plunge into trading in firewood and wood chips. As he recalls, “my business plan projected annual sales of two thousand cubic metres of chips. I thought that sounded like an awful lot at the time. The only way to get the bank on board was by including three wood carburetors, which made me an energy producer.” Thus began the success story of Biomasse Demmel GmbH. Today the company is a regional service provider for land clearing, tree felling and wood-based fuel, with machines, vehicles and 13 employees.

Opportunity knocks
Up until last year Franz Demmel shredded his cleared material with rented machines. Then a used Crambo on a tracked chassis came up for sale, and he snapped it up. He didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to try out a Komptech shredder. Demmel reports enthusiastically, “nothing's better for rootstocks. The machine works smoothly. No material jumps out of the shredding chamber. The interchangeable screen baskets let me get exactly the material quality I need.” Because the Crambo is so all-purpose, it’s been in use almost the entire time since Demmel bought it. “With our flatbed trailer and a new tractor we can take it anywhere,” he says.

Together makes three
Through a good relationship with Komptech Sales Manager Daniel Schischek, another green machine joined the company’s machine park. Demmel tells the story: “It was the first Axtor 4510 in Germany. The target delivery date didn’t work out, and because we had an urgent need, the company lent us one of their own prototypes.” As far as he’s concerned, the Axtor is the success factor in the bark business. “No other machine gives me such high quality with such efficiency. We work with stationary teeth and robust shredder blades at reduced speed. That keeps the fines low, and gives the bark the right chip shape and grain,” he explains. With the addition of the Axtor, the existing drum screen wasn’t able to keep up with the output, so a used Multistar S3 was added for post-screening. Demmel says, “The specialists at Anlagenbau Günther configured the screen decks for our needs. Now the Axtor and star screen work perfectly as a team.”

Recipe for success: The right machines and the right people
The Crambo and Axtor are also a team, especially in chipping and shredding waste wood. “Good machinery is decisive, and so are the people behind it, in-house and externally,” says Demmel, adding, “All told, this year we’re going to process more than 200 thousand cubic metres of material. That’s 100 times as much as in my first business plan.”