Ecohog – A dynamic family driven business with solutions for waste sorting problems.
The HUB visits N.Ireland...
On the third day, the HUB team went to visit Ecohog who are based in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, the capital of engineering.
Ecohog are a family owned equipment manufacturer operating on a global scale with over 20 years’ experience supplying equipment to the waste and recycling sector. Through extensive market research, research and development and concept design in finding solutions to waste sorting problems the company has developed the Ecohog WindShifter and metal recovery ranges which is some of the most efficient separation technology in today’s market.
We were met by Tracey McNally - Managing Director and Colleen McDermott - Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator.
Tracey, commented, “Our expansion has been rapid in the first 3 years at this site and currently we have sold 40+ machines into 10 countries. We are probably a bit different from a lot of manufacturers as they have mainly production lines whereas our manufacturing is more bespoke. Therefore, we can adapt to the needs of the customer which they appreciate as we can supply the specific equipment they require. This is particularly appealing to the smaller customer who can buy exactly the specification which includes any additions or options that are desired.”
The Ecohog product range has been designed for both mobile and static installations incorporating low energy consumption, low noise levels, and low dust emissions whilst meeting the latest law regulations and promoting the environment at a more affordable price. Ecohog have extensive experience and knowledge of the industry, each Ecohog unit is custom tailored to accommodate the customer’s specific needs and process requirements.
Tracey, continued,” We mainly focus on the windshifters which are basically our core product offering. The Ecohog WindShifter unit allows customers to incorporate air separation into new or existing processing configurations that experience contaminates in the materials. The technology provides an alternative to manual sorting which is both exhausting and expensive. In the UK and Ireland this is now necessary with the customers being legislatively driven to produce higher-grade products.”
“Through R&D and liaising with customers we also introduced The HogMag Eddy current separator to our product range. The HogMag is designed for the recovery of ferrous and nonferrous metals from residual applications incorporating Eriez magnetics components into our HogMag’s. In many applications, our customer’s identified the need for metal recovery in addition to the air separation therefore our products are complimentary to each other as well as existing products in the marketplace such as trommels, screens and shredders. We are currently employing a variation of Ecohog products in applications such as glass clean up in the States and landfill reclaim in Australia.
Tracey, continued, “We have also added another product into the range – The Razorback Starscreen which has just been launched. This has been specifically designed for the wood recycling sector. Teaming the Razorback with a shredder creates a closed loop system that eliminates second handling of material. Material which has not been sized passes through the Razorback screen and back through the shredder until the wood is shredded to the required size. Not only is the perfect product produced but the need for manpower and material handling is removed with this system, maximising return, so we are very excited about this new range.”
Recently at the RWM exhibition in September the company launched the AirHog Suction System which is ideal for some waste processes that don’t need the full capital expenditure because their ‘lights’ contamination isn’t a big enough issue to actually warrant the purchase of a WindShifter. However they could introduce the AirHog onto the end of the waste process that would reduce or eliminate their ‘light’ problem.
Dedicated to continuous improvement and ongoing development the company are also currently involved in a range of R&D projects. Other developments include the manufacture of tracked models, another option that will maintain the ethos of providing recycling equipment that complements other equipment in existing waste processing set ups.
Tracey continued, “We get a lot of positive feedback from our customers who are all treated like members of the family. Enquiries are followed up with site visits so we can examine the waste stream and fully understand what the client needs. We also take the client to view working equipment in a similar scenario so they can view the equipment. In the UK, we have appointed three distributors – Molson Green, Warwick Ward and WolfEco and are working very closely with them to ensure we have quality market penetration.
Declan McNally – Technical Engineer, added a final note, “First and foremost we are all about separation, specifically air separation and magnetic separation. There has been a lot of recent discussion about trommel fines in terms of what material should be going to landfill and what is the definition between heavy and lights? I believe we have proved that we can manage trommel fines separation using mobile equipment from our range. With our product range you can add to your existing set-up with our equipment so in reality most of our customers will have part of the equipment before they contact us because we are not selling them the whole fines processing plant. We can provide a simple solution to cleaning trommel fines, making the process more effective through our product enhancements.”
“Compost oversize is another fraction we are focussing on, again we can do it using mobile equipment, just by the re-configuration of a trommel with a windshifter and effectively clean up the compost oversize. We know we can improve the efficiency of existing mobile equipment already in the sector by simply adding our modular equipment to the waste process line that exists.”
“From a fines processing point of view we don’t necessarily advocate buying a large turnkey plant particularly because of the large capital outlay, lack of flexibility, daily overheads and labour costs associated with an operation of that kind. Therefore, as a company we are looking at a solution from a completely different angle with the aim of providing a cost-effective but efficient alternative.”
“We are also looking at rental through our distribution networks because some waste operations don’t need to make the capital investment. We believe there are big opportunities in the rental market as it can be set up very quickly and is ideal for processing over short periods.”
The HUB team were then taken around the site. It was apparent the speed of expansion that has been achieved in a very short period with more planned in the future. With EcoHog WindShifters, AirHogs, HogMags and Razorback StarScreens in production it illustrated a very efficient and busy production line.