Date: Sunday, February 10, 2019
AUTHOR: Team Viably

CUSTOMER STORY: Michigan Wood Fibers

Customer Story: Michigan Wood Fibers

Michigan mulch producer finds effective, efficient solution in Komptech star screen technology.

Michigan is the land of long winters, long shorelines, and a longstanding tradition of hard work. And while hard work goes a long way in commercial mulch processing, Zeeland, Michigan-based mulch producer, Michigan Wood Fibers was also looking to boost efficiency.

“You’re always looking for ways of improving your process internally,” said company President Nate Weaver, standing in the shadow of his mulch mountains.

Getting Started

A family owned business since 1994, Michigan Wood Fibers provides premium quality mulch to landscaping companies, municipalities, school districts, and retail garden centers all over the state. Over the years they’ve developed about 20 to 25 kinds of mulch, with their color-enhanced varieties being most popular. Weaver’s dad and grandfather started the business while he was in high school, which enabled Nate to observe and learn the business firsthand from the beginning.

Eventually, Weaver and his two brothers took over the business and became responsible for managing the relationships the company had built with their customers and vendors, and how those customers had come to expect an exceptional product.

With that in mind, Michigan Wood Fibers implemented a Komptech Multistar XXL-2 star screen into their mulch production process, to increase throughput without sacrificing any of the all-important quality.

“None of those other screeners were able to do the capacity we were looking for, the volume we needed to do,” said Weaver. “That’s when we first started looking at the Komptech, knowing that was a product made for landscape mulch.”

Employing Komptech’s star screen technology made an immediate difference for the business, and that impact was felt from the company’s president, all the way to those operating the machines daily.

“The process before we brought in the Komptech was very labor-intensive,” said Jared Devries, a manager at Michigan Wood Fibers. “It took a lot of time.”

Much of the time was spent grinding scrap wood materials twice or more through a tub grinder, a common process for many in the mulch industry. However, with a Komptech Multistar star screen, up to 80% of finished mulch product is created after only a single grind. That means less fuel, labor, and equipment wear costs, just to start.

“Some of the products that we’d separate in the past could now be combined because the Komptech was able to process them together,” said Weaver.

Adding The Right Tools

When Weaver began shopping around for new equipment for his operation, finding the right machinery was a task that was not taken lightly.

“When we look to purchase equipment, we look for the best equipment on the market,” he said. “They’re big decisions, long term investments.”

While the outstanding processing efficiency of the Komptech Multistar unit was to be expected, the team at Michigan Wood Fibers also noticed a few ripple effects that they had not foreseen.

“Having the Komptech freed a lot of time up because of the processing it will do,” said DeVries. “It freed other machines up, so they were able to do other tasks within the yard.”

Adaption Made Easy

With this new screening technology being introduced to their yard operations, it was critical to get their staff up to speed on the tech they would be using.

“Learning the Komptech machine was very simple,” said DeVries. “It’s very user-friendly, operator-friendly. Very little training was needed to operate the machine. It’s cut-and-dry and easy to learn.”

With minimal interruption to their existing process, Michigan Wood Fibers was able to implement a new system that increased the productivity and cost efficiency of producing high quality mulch products. Viably (formerly Komptech Americas) worked with Michigan Wood Fibers to deliver an intuitive solution that is providing real results for their business.

Want More Information

Contact our Viably screening experts today to discover how the Multistar XXL-2 star screen can help you streamline your mulch production process by eliminating the need for double grinding all materials!


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