Cross & Sansam is a well-established family-run business employing around 30 people, that has been involved in patternmaking and engineering for over 65 years. The firm is no stranger to recycling its waste, having purchased a wood waste heater from Wood Waste Technology a few years ago, to save money on skip costs and heating its 23,000ft2 factory. However, a more recent purchase of a briquetting machine from Wood Waste Technology, the official distributor for Gross Apparatebau GmbH, has turned a money-saving operation into a money-making one.

Instead of utilising the summer heat dump facility on its wood waste burner, allowing the waste wood to be burnt and sending the warm air to atmosphere, the company now uses its new Gross briquetting machine to convert all the dust and shavings created from the business into 50mm x 50mm briquettes that can be sold for a profit.

Managing director, David Sansam explains: “Whilst it was great that we were still saving money on waste disposal costs during the summer, we realised that we could do even better.  We saw an opportunity to convert the waste shavings into income, and did our sums on investing in a briquetting machine.”

David continues: “Each tonne of briquettes has the potential to retail at £400 per tonne if sold externally to the general public, who like to buy them as fuel for their homes because they’re clean, easy to handle, easy to store and environmentally friendly.  With production in full swing, we can produce around six tonnes of waste a week – so around £2400 at retail value.  We can also choose to sell in bulk to solid fuel merchants, and still make a healthy profit should we wish to. Even in winter we’ll still be able to produce a limited number of briquettes, creating additional income potential all year round.”

The set up at Cross and Sansam is very unusual, as the briquetting machine has been integrated, with the addition of an extra screw from the firm’s silo, with a diverter valve that can be used in different seasons, to either send the waste to the automatic wood waste heater during colder months, or to send it straight to the briquetter when no heating is required – or even both. All the control panels to create this completely bespoke fully automated system were designed and built in-house by Wood Waste Technology’s experienced engineers.

The company has also managed to automate bagging up the briquettes, having just taken delivery of one of Wood Waste Technology’s automated bagging units, which reduces labour costs by 95% and eliminates any mess. The automated bagging unit counts the correct number of briquettes into each bag and then rotates to a new bag when the current one is full. The machine has been smartly programmed to know when all the bags are filled correctly, at which point it shuts off both the automated bagging unit and the briquette machine to allow new empty bags to be attached. Once the new bags are in place, the user just presses the start button and the bagging process begins all over again!

All this is a long way away from the old oil fired heaters that the company used to spend a fortune running before it invested in biomass technology.  David says: “We couldn’t be happier. We’re saving tens of thousands of pounds each year on waste removal charges and heating costs, and now we’ve found a way to make many thousands too! All thanks to the team at Wood Waste Technology!”

Wood Waste Technology offers a full range of wood waste heaters, from small hand fired units to larger fully automatic systems, and offers site survey and design, as well as manufacture, installation and on-going maintenance. The company also services all types of wood waste heaters and supplies genuine spares up to 60% cheaper than other suppliers.

In addition, Wood Waste Technology is the UK official distributor for Gross Apparatebau GmbH, a German manufacturer of dependable, precision engineered shredders and briquetters, available in various sizes and specifications to suit all business applications.

Tel 01785 250400