With innovative technology and specialized expertise, a wide range of energy sources are being used ever more efficiently. Wood, a renewable and CO2-neutral resource, has been a point of fascination for Amstutz Holzenergie AG since the company’s founding in 1987. Since then the wood chip supplier has developed into a one-stop shop developing innovative solutions which it builds into its custom-made equipment. When lubrication challenges come up, Amstutz relies on MOTOREX.
You too have probably passed a timber rick at some time: a seemingly haphazard stack of wood alongside a forest track. These piles of energy are often found near heating plants. Producing wood chips for energy is the job of Amstutz Holzenergie’s four powerful mobile high-capacity wood chippers. The devices can handle logs up to 70 centimeters in diameter. Even bigger logs can be cut down to chippable size with a splitter attachment. The result: some 200 cubic meters of untreated wood chips per hour.
A CHALLENGING INDUSTRY
Like other industries, wood energy is subject to standards and regulations. For example, there is a precise classification (ISO EN 17225) for wood chips. Among other things, the standard specifies lumpiness (mass and shape), particle content and moisture content. Wood chips are divided into seven main categories. Amstutz Holzenergie supplies heating plants of capacities ranging up to several megawatts. These come in several varieties, producing environmentally safe steam for industry, process power, district heating or ambient heating. Each wood furnace takes just the right kind of chips for the given equipment.
A HIGHLY MECHANIZED PROCESS
Wood requires substantially less energy for conversion into fuel than other energy sources. Moreover, nearly 95 % of its associated economic value is generated in the country of origin. Accordingly, the company’s 43 employees strive relentlessly to minimize kilometers traveled and diesel fuel consumed per kWh of heat energy generated. By continually enhancing the efficiency of the equipment (high-capacity chippers, shredders, screening systems, wheel loaders, ash vacuums, haulage vehicles), they are achieving steady gains in these metrics. Without a high degree of mechanization, however, producing and distributing 220,000 cubic meters of chips per year and disposing of 1000 tonnes of wood ash in compliance with the law, without dust or harm to the environment, would be impossible.
EQUIPMENT BUILT IN-HOUSE
Amstutz can boast some impressive feats of engineering. Developing and building a high-capacity wood chipper, for example, can take up to 6000 hours of work. Drawings were once made by hand, but today the in-house engineering department uses 3-D software. The equipment is assembled in the company’s own workshop. Based on a MAN five-axle chassis and having an operating weight of some 40 tonnes, the high-capacity wood chipper is one of the company’s most imposing machines. Whenever lubrication challenges arise, MOTOREX is there with expert advice and the right product for every need. The longstanding collaboration between the companies is based on trust and professionalism.
Besides supplying wood fuel, planning, building and operating wood chip furnaces for local heating networks, in part as general contractor, has been an important line of business since 2002. This allows Amstutz Holzenergie to provide customers and clients with expert comprehensive service in every aspect of wood energy production. In Switzerland alone, unused timber growth is estimated at between two and three million cubic meters per year – an abundant potential source of innovative wood energy well into the future.