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The shear that nearly didn’t happen…

The new Vezzani VS is the result of what happens when a request from a good customer and business friend pushes you to new limits in areas you never expected to go. They encourage you to press on and trust in your ability to achieve the right result. That is the root cause of the creation and launch of Vezzani’s latest innovation.

In concept, the VS pre-compression shear has existed for some time and several different versions have been built. Vezzani knew it was onto something good whenever it built a VS but, being busy, there was never enough time develop a new machine just for the sake of it. As a result, very few companies own one of Vezzani’s extremely rare VS shears.

It’s Vezzani’s most exclusive club, which is ironic because it’s the smallest machine Vezzani makes and the complete opposite of the mammoth installations it is known for. It’s also interesting to note that every VS shear is owned by customers that already have much larger installations.  

Big companies also need small shears, sometimes, and that is why Vezzani was approached by Jansen Group, a major scrap metal recycler in the Netherlands. Jansen already owns a fast high productivity Vezzani shear.

A simple coincidence

It was pure chance that Pierluigi Sambolino, commercial manager at Vezzani, visited Jansen just as the company was getting ready to replace a much older semi-mobile shear that had been used for many years. Jansen was also looking for the chance to improve processing capacity. 

As we all know in business, things often grow out of a simple coincidence or a chance conversation. A few months before the visit to Jansen, Vezzani’s ceo Gabriele Merlo had told Sambolino of his intention to revive the VS project and update it.  Naturally, the Vezzani commercial manager mentioned this and Jansen were surprised and a little intrigued to learn about the possibilities of bespoke mobile equipment. 

A few months after the onsite meeting, Jansen contacted Vezzani. It had some specific requests regarding the replacement shear and it was clear about the objectives. But it was also clear it would be tough meeting them. At this point, Jansen had begun testing onsite machinery made by other OEMs while Vezzani was still on the starting line without even a prototype machine to show its customer.

The slowdown due to Covid gave the Vezzani technical department the breathing space needed to focus on this project. The brief from Jansen was for a mobile machine to be based mostly at its main scrap yard but also easily transportable to other locations by truck while respecting road restrictions. The shear had to be powerful, fast and highly productive – in every way the equivalent of the Vezzani static shear of a similar size. And the scrap to be processed would often be heavy and bulky.

First studies resulting in an outline design of a ‘theoretical’ machine was based on the existing VS.  First results were not good because transport weight and dimensions were an issue but certain elements of the design were essential and couldn’t be changed in any way.

‘LEGO’ approach

Vezzani had reached deadlock. In the end, it made a leap of imagination and dreamt up a system of interlocking ‘Lego’ like elements that could be assembled or disassembled whenever needed.  This allowed the manufacturer to maintain the heavy build quality and hydraulic circuit performance of a static shear without compromising in critical areas. 

True to the ingenuity of Vezzani design, each of these customisable components could be added to or removed from the main body of the shear through a quick-locking assembly process. This now permits maximum flexibility in terms of production while increasing the ease of transport. Fully assembled, the VS800 at Jansen weighs in at well over 110 tonnes.

The VS was successfully installed in the autumn of 2021 and Jansen says it is very happy with the shear.    

Hunger for scrap

Vezzani has already received considerable interest in the new VS. The shear has an alert, aggressive look, almost suggesting it wants to pounce on the scrap pile. This styling was not intentional but is well-matched by its fast, powerful, nonstop cycle. Currently the VS800 is set to make 240 guillotine cut strokes per hour nonstop automatically. In fact, the VS can go faster because the diesel unit is oversized and will never drop its revs at any point in the cycle while the pumps develop maximum pressure. The VS has all the quality details you would expect from a static installation. 

“Let’s go modular!”

The VS modular platform is based on parts that can be fixed onto the main shear body, which is a fully functional unit on its own which can be diesel or electric powered. It has an efficient low friction gravity-feeding box.

There are two 90-degree opposing side pressing blocks which focus power to punch through and fold scrap heavy scrap. The side pressing block can be built in different ways.

A permanent externally mounted housing allows extra pressing power by fitting bigger side cylinders, which would be more suited to a permanent position and very heavy scrap situations.

An alternative is retractable side-pushing blocks for those occasions when width during transportation is the most important issue. The blocks pull themselves into the feeding box, narrowing the shape.

There is also a stepped vertical pressing block between the guillotine to create extra density. It can reach up, grab and pull down 2m high scrap into the feeding box. The single cylinder 800 tonne guillotine can cut through a slab of steel plate that is more than 120mm thick. Vezzani is now planning on a VS with a 1 000 tonne guillotine.

And these are the accesories:

  • Steel base with scrap evacuation system
  • Steel base with incorporated conveyor belt that can slide under the shear for transportation
  • Crawler tracks for onsite mobility to be bolted onto the steel base
  • Self-lifting legs on the main shear body
  • Extension to the feeding chute to allow longer materials to be loaded with greater stability or to load greater volumes of lighter fluffy scrap.
  • A design on the drawing board is for the hydraulic station powerpack to be separated from the main shear mechanical body to reduce transport weight even further.

The modular approach and bolt on accessories give flexibility in the shear layout design for various requirements both now and in the future. 

Swiss army knife concept

This concept of a shear that is a cross between Lego and a kind of Swiss army knife is something Vezzani wants to develop further. It is, it says, a very difficult hands-on build and is viewed as a life-saver machine for when a client needs performance but has to stay within various constraints that are solved by a modular concept. Perhaps new modules that Vezzani has not yet thought of can be added, according to customer requests.

Vezzani has been one of the greatest innovators of metal scrap recycling solutions, having invented and introduced the inclined shear in the late 1970s. Long revered for superior engineering and the manufacture of high-quality machinery, Vezzani delivers the highest-productivity and lowest-operating cost shears, balers and other equipment for metal scrap processing.

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