Waste No time!! Sennebogen 818E

The EMS Waste Services story dates as far back as the 1940s when founder Alf Stuart bought a second-hand Dodge and began to transport cattle around Exeter. Transport has always been the backbone for the company with a Volvo Truck dealership formed from this side of the company, the move into warehousing soon followed. Not one to miss an opportunity, Alf’s son Roy, already in the business, grabbed a chance to open an inert landfill facility at Hill Barton and took the next step for the company and their first into waste management. Further expansions within the farming and transport sectors eventually saw the business step up their presence within the recycling sector in 2009 with the acquisition of EMS Waste Services Ltd. Between 2012 and 2015, the Stuart family added further interests in waste management into the fold.  This was in the shape of Devon Contract Waste skips, AJS skips, ASAP skip hire and Bay skip.  Another addition included a new scrap recycling facility to boost the range of services offered to their growing list of clients throughout Devon and the surrounding areas. Further acquisitions have seen the company increase their vehicle fleet for the recycling business to almost 50 units and employing around 120 staff to process over 150,000 tonnes of waste on an annual basis.

To handle much of this incoming waste, the company has invested in a state-of-the-art Kiverco picking station enabling them to double their throughput at the plant. Whilst having the ability to increase production with a new plant, the company realised a new machine for loading the plant was also required.  With an eye on reducing their carbon footprint as well as reducing harmful fumes created by standard diesel-powered machines, the Stuarts decided that a new electric material handler would be the ideal way forward for them.

Speaking to the market, the team at Hill Barton opted for a new Sennebogen 818E electric drive with K10 ULM boom and stick configuration allowing an impressive 11m reach. Supplied by Molson Green, part of the larger Molson Group based just up the M5 at Avonmouth, the Sennebogen has an operating weight of around 22 tonnes.  In order to meet with the company’s requirements for an electric machine, it is fitted with a 90kW electric motor replacing the standard Cummins diesel engine. A fixed trailing cable supplies the Sennebogen with power and whilst this is ideal for a machine that remains stationary, we all know these machines do have to be relocated from time to time. As the cable gives a modicum of flexibility for the 818E, this isn’t too much of an issue.  Should the machine require a little more mobility, Sennebogen designers have replaced the standard cast counterweight with a powerpack solution for short-distance mobility.

Working from the fixed electrical connection, the Sennebogen is almost silent apart from the noise generated by the hydraulic system. More importantly, it generates no exhaust fumes making it ideal to work inside the recycling centre. Sitting on a four-outrigger undercarriage, identical to that found on the diesel version, ­­­it is only the material handler’s upper structure which has come on for any cosmetic changes. On the offside of the machine, the former home for its diesel engine is now filled with a state-of-the-art 90kw, 400V electric motor. The only major change lies behind the hydraulically elevating Maxcab where a larger vertical electric cabinet has been fitted. 

While there is an obvious cost implication to buying a highly specified electric material handler, this cost is hugely offset against the machine’s lower maintenance costs. The electric drive machine offers significantly longer maintenance intervals compared with diesel engines along with reduced maintenance costs.  There is no need for fuel and oil filters or oil changes, although these will have to be considered with the use of the powerpack. Another notable plus point is the massive reduction in vibration throughout the machine when in use thanks to fewer moving parts. An added bonus for production is that when connected to the power cable, the electric-powered 818E will instantly be ready to work with no waiting for the engine to reach optimal working temperatures. All of this equates to almost a 50% reduction in service and maintenance costs over a fossil fuelled machine.

The 818E supplied to EMS happily sits adjacent to their in-feed hopper on the Kiverco picking station with the machine using its 450 litre NPK selector grab to pre-sort and load the incoming material into the plant. With its hydraulically elevating cab rising over 6m off the ground, the operator’s eye-line is now around 5.5m giving them an unimpeded view across the incoming material and the in-feed hopper of the picking line. The comfortable and well-appointed cab offers a quiet and relaxing workspace and even at full elevation, is an impressively stable location.

Handling in excess of 150,000 tonnes of material on an annual basis with the Sennebogen will not only reduce the plant’s cost per tonne but also reduce their carbon impact hugely over a year. Dave Peacock for Molson Green said: “We are seeing a huge increase in customers looking at swapping diesel-powered machines for their electric equivalents as they are providing lower running costs over the year as well as reducing a company’s impact on the environment.”