Knife life is one of the most important aspects to consider when you are looking at the productivity of your shredding system, knowing how to identify when the lifespan of a chamber or determining when it needs to be replaced is key to keeping your system running at optimum levels. So how do you know when to replace your knives? There are a few simple ways any operator can do to visually inspect and perform an assessment to help make these decisions.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to visibly inspect how damaged the knives are, if you can see a chamber full of chip and gouges or if there are multiple missing hooks it might be time to look at replacement. The hooks on the knives are what pull material into the bite of the shredder to be processed if you have damaged or missing hooks you will not be operating at peek performance. You can do some simple math if you see missing hooks on your knives to determine how great a loss in potential throughput you may be experiencing. For a simplified example of this equation, pretend a chamber had a total of 40 hooks in it, if 10 of those hooks were missing or damaged you would have a potential reduction in throughput of 25%! You would be operating at 75% of peek performance without any other considerations.
nother way to judge knife wear and when to consider a change out is to see how rounded the edges of the knives are, these are the entire outside circumference of the knife. Consider the knives in the chamber acting like many sets of scissors, the two opposing edges of the knives cut or shear the paper between them, when scissors are dull it becomes difficult to cut. This will reduce the amount of material that you can process as well as being harder on the entire system to run which can ultimately cause additional expenses and downtime.
The last simple way to gauge when to change your knife set is to monitor the throughput you are seeing over time, if it is starting to take longer and longer to process the same materials and your throughput rate is dropping, you will be taking more time to do the same amount of work. Always remember sharp knives contribute not just to time savings but also operational costs such as fuel savings and engine maintenance (Dull knives stress the engine and exert unnecessary stress to the driveline).
Shred Tech is always available to consult on any questions you may have regarding your shredding system and knife wear, there are Technical Service Experts always ready to take your calls or messages to assist you towards the maximum performance of your system.