Efficiency with a ripple effect

Michigan is the land of long winters, long shorelines, and a long tradition of hard work. And hard work goes far in commercial mulch processing, especially for Michigan Wood Fibers, who produces 20 to 25 kinds of mulch in many different colors.


A family-owned business, since 1994 Michigan Wood Fibers has provided premium quality mulch to landscaping companies, municipalities, school districts, and retail gardening stores all over the state. Nate Weaver’s father and grandfather started the company while he was in high school, so he learned the business first-hand from the beginning. Eventually Weaver and his two brothers took over the company, which had established relationships with vendors and customers. Those customers had come to expect an exceptional product.

High expectations

Michigan Wood Fibers needed to increase throughput without sacrificing any of the all-important quality. “You’re always looking for ways to improve your processes,” said company President Nate Weaver, standing in the shadow of his mulch mountains. Weaver began shopping around for new equipment, a task that was not taken lightly. “When we look to purchase equipment, we look for the best equipment on the market,” he said. “They’re big decisions, long term investments.” With the assistance of Komptech Americas, Michigan Wood Fibers determined that a Komptech Multistar XXL2 star screen was the right solution. “None of the other screeners were able to do the volume we needed to do,” said Weaver. “But the Komptech is made specifically for landscape mulch.”


Do it once, do it right

The Multistar made an immediate difference for the business, with an impact felt from the company’s president all the way to the staff operating the machines on a daily basis. “The process before we brought in the Multistar was very labour-intensive,” said Jared DeVries, a manager at Michigan Wood Fibers. “It took a lot of time.” Much of that time was spent grinding scrap wood materials twice or more in a tub grinder, a common procedure in the mulch industry. However, with the Komptech Multistar up to 80% of finished mulch product is created after only a single pass. That means lower fuel, labor and wear costs. “Some of the products that we would separate in the past can now be combined because the Komptech is able to process them together,” said Weaver.

Freeing up capactiy

While the outstanding processing efficiency of the Komptech Multistar unit was to be expected, the team at Michigan Wood Fibers also noticed ripple effects that they had not foreseen. “Having the Komptech gave us a lot of added capacity because of how much it gets done,” said DeVries. “It freed our other machines up, so they were able to do other tasks in the yard.” Due to the easy integration and user-friendly operation, Michigan Wood Fibers was able to implement a new system that increased their productivity and the cost efficiency of producing high quality mulch products, directly and through ripple effects.