Size Reduction Economics

System Economics — Hypodermic Needles

Cumberland granulators grind down plastic needles to quality regrind


Cumberland recently ran a test with a FX700 series beside the press granulator for a customer looking to mitigate disposal costs for a pharmaceutical hypodermic needle manufacturing application. The customer currently pays $13,000 - $15,000 in annual disposal cost since the parts must be treated as medical supplies disposal.

By adding a Cumberland grinder for size reduction, the needles can be ground into small particles and disposed of free or separated and repurposed, ultimately saving the customer thousands of dollars in disposal fees annually.

Quantity of savings from in house regrind applications


The payback period for a $4,000 – $6,000 machine is around 3 months, with the customer saving as much as $150,000 over 10 years!

Shredder Economics

How do you assess the value of a shredder to your operation? While no calculations are perfect or guaranteed, a well utilized shredder can increase down-stream equipment performance, such as a granulator, from 25% to 75%, depending on the materials an application. It will also reduce the labor and danger of manually cutting up scrap. Consider these other benefits:

Adding a 50 HP shredder to provide balanced loading can provide energy savings from 20 to 50% compared to a typical manual size reduction process with large, bulky, or dense materials.

Shredding reduces the power and size requirements of secondary operations, such as granulation, while increasing output by providing consistent input material size.

Though individual results will vary, ongoing studies indicate that adding a shredder can result in:

  • Energy saving up to $15,000 per year per line
  • Yield increase can add up to $100,000 per year, per line
  • Material “purity” can add up to $50,000 per year, per line

Each of these benefits add to your bottom line. Integrating a shredder into your size reduction system can also:

  • Reduce maintenance costs (including downstream equipment)
  • Reduce maintenance frequency
  • Add redundancy and versatility
  • Protect operational “up-time”
  • Reduce manual labor
  • Reduce or eliminate manual processes that can compromise safety and the economic impact of worker injuries