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Quick-Conversion Kit Allows Morbark Grinders to Produce Chips

Wed July 01, 2009 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Morbark Inc. successfully demonstrated a quick conversion kit that enables horizontal grinders to produce chips in addition to mulch. In a live demonstration May 8 at the company’s Demo Days event, Morbark produced high quality chips with a Morbark 4600XL Wood Hog horizontal grinder configured for chipping, and demonstrated the same machine grinding with its usual hammermill configuration less than three hours later.

“This is a tremendous innovation for our customers,” remarked John Foote, vice president of sales and marketing. “The ability to switch from grinding to chipping and back creates opportunities for horizontal grinder owners by giving them a new product line to supplement their grinding operations.”

Unlike other designs which can take more than a day to convert, Morbark’s conversion does not require the removal of the whole hammermill, which saves time and eliminates the need for a crane to perform the conversion.

“We can expect the average conversion to be under 4 hours depending on the overall maintenance and condition of the mill,” said Gary Bardos, vice president of manufacturing for Morbark. “We have been able to produce very high quality fuel and pellet chips during beta testing in the field. These mills will produce a chip between five-eights inch and three-quarters inch with some level of control toward reducing the size through managing the feed rates,” Bardos added.

“Expectations for the kit are high because it allows grinder owners to enter the market for biomass energy chips without purchasing a chipper, but by better utilizing the equipment they already own,” added Foote.

The quick conversion kit is in its final stages of testing and market readiness and will be available this summer for conversion of Morbark Model 3800 and 4600XL Wood Hog horizontal grinders. Other models will become available shortly thereafter. Complete information will be available with the official product launch.

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