Progress meets experience
With over 5000 hours experience in the cockpit of a Topturn X53, Stefan Wieder is the ideal man for the job. And he's doing it in the ideal place - Stefan Wieder is responsible for the curing process of the organic fraction at the UDB mechanical-biological waste treatment facility in Oberpullendorf, Austria. With a density of 900-1000 kg/m³ this residual waste compost is heavy going.
It needs to be turned twice a week, which works out to 5-6 hours of turning a day. Wieder has taken the wheel of the new X55 for a several-month test run, to see how well Komptech's development team did their job. For the machine, that means day after day of hard work, but for our technicians it means invaluable data in a short period of time.
Major changes were made to the cabin of the Topturn X. The development team went to great lengths to turn it into a comfortable workstation. Does the operator have a good all-round view? Is the console properly positioned? Does the AC fan blow too hard? Is the seat sprung just right? Important details that can only be worked out in actual extended use. The intensive communication between user and test technicians as the liaison to the designers makes it possible to eliminate potential trouble spots before the machine goes into series production. For example, a door that takes excessive effort to close.
But Stefan Wieder isn't just responsible for driving the Topturn. He's also in charge of its care and feeding, so he pays special attention to maintenance. "Air filter, oil filter - everything's easy to reach, and I can do it standing up."
It looks kind of spectacular when the Topturn unfolds to transform the panels to the left and right of the cabin into spacious work platforms. Ladders complete with railings unfold, and all maintenance points are easily accessible.
Wieder has nothing bad to say about the most important criterion, the throughput. Indeed, he sees advantages. "There's plenty of drive power.
And now that the Topturn is bigger and heavier than its predecessor, it has better traction too. That's good, because we run it with a lateral displacement attachment, so it has a heavy load to haul."
Wieder thinks the machine is also better equipped to handle extreme situations. "Heavy compost, turning with lateral displacement, dust, the high temperatures we get here in the summer, they weren't always easy for the other turner to deal with. But with the new radiator system this one won't have any availability limitations," says Wieder, who has already gained a very high opinion of the new X55.
Taking on the Topturn
It's the availability that matters most to Rudolf Haider, director of UDB. "To run our facility at top potential we need to time all processes very tightly, and keep operating costs as low as we can. A dependable machine with predictable costs is a big part of that," says Haider. He knows what he's talking about - he and his colleague Helmut Löffler built the company into one of Austria's bigger waste treatment operations.
"We were already very happy with the Topturn X53 and with Komptech service. Now the 'old man' has got on in years, and we're looking for a replacement. Naturally I listen to what my employees tell me," says Haider. And that creates the motivation to try even harder.