From Animal Feed to Renewable Energy and More…
Sizer Pelleting Solutions has a quality problem with a difference. Its machines are simply too good.
For nearly 90 years, Sizer has sold its animal feed pelleting machines around the world and they just kept on working, requiring limited maintenance and seldom needing to be replaced.
That said, the team still sees scope for expansion in its historical markets and new opportunities are opening up for innovative applications for its technology in the energy and construction industries – not to mention literally at the other end of the animal food line, manure.
The company has been looking long and hard at other applications and other materials that could benefit from pelleting, focusing on the burgeoning opportunities offered by recycling and renewable energy.
They have teamed up with Hallam Energy, the consultancy set up by Sheffield Hallam University to help businesses to benefit from the energy engineering expertise of its materials and engineering research institute.
“We ran a project with Hallam Energy to look at what we could do to move these machines into different markets – primarily the market for wood,” says Roger Pearson, Managing Director.
“As a result we could see there were other things pelleted.”
One of the first products Sizer looked at pelleting was wood. “Pellets can be made from virgin wood that has been dried and we are also looking at waste wood – off-cuts from joiners and saw mills, saw dust and material collected by extraction fans,” says Mr Pearson.
“The lignum is still there, which helps it bond when you compress it in a die to form the pellet, it’s easier to transport – you may need one lorry where previously you needed three – and you can sell it as a fuel or for animal bedding because it is dust free and absorbent as well.”
Wood is more difficult to process than animal feed. A machine that will produce 10 tonnes of animal pellets in an hour may only produce three tonnes of wood pellets. “We are re-engineering the bits inside that take a bit of a hammering,” says Mr Pearson. “We are still designing and developing.”
Sizer’s machines have already been used to make fertiliser pellets from chicken manure and slug pellets from sheep’s wool (the slugs hate the fine scales and small barbs on the tips of the wool fibres), as well as the chemical variety.