Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hey Grinder Guy, why are Star Screens so expensive?

WHEN Magazine Article Dec 2012-

Apparently, you have been pricing screening equipment.
I assume you are comparing Star Screens to Deck Screens or Trommel Screens?
What if the Star Screen could produce double, triple or quadruple the production? Then what would you say? I sell both Trommel Screens and Star Screens, so let’s take a closer look.
Star Screens contain many more parts and much more technology than a Drum that turns round and round. The stars, made of rubber or Urethane, can number over 1000 per machine. With a hole in the center of the star, they are slid onto a shaft and rotate continuously all in the same direction. Materials are dropped on top of the rotating shafts and the finer product falls between the stars to a waiting conveyor or onto the ground. The spacing between the stars on each shaft creates the actual product size. By turning the shafts faster, material has less time to drop between the stars, thus giving a finer product size. Conversely, the slower the shafts turn, the larger the product size
                So what does this does this mean?
·         The same Star Deck can produce a range of sizes of materials without changing anything but the speed of the shafts. Turn a knob, touch the touch screen and you magically change from 1 ½ ” material to ¼” material.
·         Production in the under 1” sizes Star Screens can out produce Trommels easily 2:1, 3:1 or even 4:1 in wetter materials
·         Wet materials are no problem for Star Screen because of the pliable Star, the speed of the shafts and the cleaning ability of one star to another.
·         Plastic removal is much more efficient on a Star Screen because of the material floating on top of the Star Deck and the stepped drop from the Deck to the Discharge Conveyor
·         Product quality is much better because of the range of adjustability in the product size because of the Star Shafts. Most Star Decks have multiple drives so you are able to run the shafts at different speeds and create the perfect end product.
·         Star Decks can be Electric or Diesel and much more energy efficient using as little as 1.5 gallons per hour
·         Stars can be sized for each application. Larger Stars for removing 6” or 8” wood to small stars for producing ¼” topdressing.

But they are not perfect.
·         Star Screens cannot be used for aggregate
·         Star Screens cannot be used for heavy soils
·         Star Screens cannot be used as a scalping deck
These applications are for Trommel Screens or Deck Screens.

So what should you look for in a Star Screen?
If you are like most users, screening compost, soil blends or mulch choose the following-
·         Choose Electric over Hydraulic. Electric motors give you much more rpm to turn the shafts and a wider range of product sizing
·         Choose smaller stars. A star in the 4 or 5 inch range will give you a beautiful ½’ product and be able to screen even finer. Stars larger than that will not be able to make much finer than ¾” material efficiently.
·         Choose a Star Deck with a cleaning system so wet materials will not be an issue
·         Size the screen for your support and production equipment. Who cares if the Star Screen can screen 500 yards an hour if the support equipment can only handle 250 yards an hour?

Because of the ability to screen multiple materials and multiple sizes with the same unit, the Star Screens have become a much more useful tool then the Trommel Screen.
Review your products and your raw materials. If they meet the conditions above, give the Star Screen a try. 1/3 of the screening time, 1/3 of the Loader time, 1/3 of the manpower time, less fuel reduces the initial capital investment considerably while achieving product perfection and happy customers.

Have more Star Screen questions? Or any other Industry questions?
Dave Whitelaw

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