Located just outside of Buffalo in Bliss, New York, LVM Materials services the state of New York, as well as northern Pennsylvania. The company was established as a milk hauling business in 1950 by the father of the current owner, Lee Maher, but these days, LVM is just one of the businesses Maher manages. From the same location, they continue to haul milk for dairy farmers in addition to providing truck repair and towing services.
When it comes to the wood waste aspect of the business, LVM takes in clean, non-contaminated wood waste from a variety of sources—pallet shops, furniture stores, waste management companies, and construction crews. The wood waste is used to create animal bedding, which is then sold to wholesalers and local farmers.
Maher started out with a used grinder in 2010. In 2012, he upgraded to a new MC-266 and purchased a second machine of the same model three years later. The first MC-266 machine was used for a primary grind and fed directly into the other MC-266 machine, which was used for the secondary grind. While Maher used both MC-266s, LVM was grinding up to 17 hours a day to keep up with the amount of material they were taking in given their process and capacity.
LVM needed a more efficient grinding process that could keep up with the amount of feedstock they were able to bring in. As both MC-266s were getting older, Maher was also looking to potentially upgrade LVM’s equipment and update his current two grind workflow into a single streamlined process.
From the beginning of their partnership, LVM has worked with Rotochopper to create a custom grinding solution that suited their business, but as with most companies, LVM’s needs had changed over the years. Instead of building the grinding process around the equipment he had available, Maher now
had the opportunity to build the grinding equipment around his ideal workflow and final end product specifications.
Maher purchased a Rotochopper EC-366 electric grinder and RMT Hammermill, which are components of an entire grinding solution that also includes a surge hopper, conveyors, and augers. In addition, LVM’s new grinder features RotoLink™, Rotochopper’s remote monitoring system, which allows operators to—among other things—view detailed machine data, troubleshoot issues, track performance, and easily manage various maintenance tasks.
With their upgraded equipment, LVM has been able to streamline their entire grinding process. They take in materials during the morning and early afternoon, then run their grinder for about six to seven hours during the afternoon and evening—a stark difference from their previous 17 hours spent grinding.
The new set up has offered a multitude of benefits for the company. With a smaller equipment footprint, their facility has more space to take in and stage feedstock and also store finished materials. The noise level has dropped, as well as their maintenance and labor costs, and LVM is saving thousands on fuel each month. After the first few months of operating the new system, LVM has realized a cost savings of over 50% by switching from diesel fuel to electricity to run the grinders.
“The system is integrated and works flawlessly. I have not found any downfall to the new EC-366 grinder or the RMT Hammermill.”
With the new equipment, LVM is able to easily keep up with the feedstock materials coming in. Their production capacity has increased so much so that they’re able to stock up on end product to mitigate fluctuations in cyclical supply and demand needs, and Maher is looking to potentially add an additional storage building to accommodate. Maher is also learning to utilize RotoLink™ to it’s full potential, he’s very optimistic about the additional ways he can monitor and further improve the efficiency of his grinder and LVM’s operation overall.