Komptech – Technology for Greener Environment

In a world where sustainability is becoming an integral part of everyday life, Komptech ‘s waste and biomass handling technology is receiving increasingly close attention.

Austria-headquartered Komptech is a leading international technology supplier of machinery and systems for the mechanical and mechanical-biological treatment of solid waste and the processing of biomass as a renewable energy source.

“Next year will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the business,” says CEO Dr Heinz Leitner, explaining that the company was founded in1992, the year when the Austrian region of Styria became one of the first in Europe to introduce the separate collection of biodegradable waste.

“That meant there were new material flows to be treated and the two company founders, engineers by profession, developed their first machine: the Topturn compost turner. This pioneering technology, with hardly any competitors at that time, allowed for rapid business expansion into new markets: first Germany, followed soon by Japan, and then by other countries.”

Over the following years, the product portfolio was gradually extended to make Komptech a full-liner for waste processing. In 2008 the company ventured into processing biomass as a renewable energy source with the development of the Chippo series chippers, in 2011 adding the Axtor high-speed universal wood chippers.

Today Komptech employs 750 people at its production sites in Austria, Germany and Slovenia and supplies over 3,000 customers in 70 countries around the world, with that number still growing. Komptech is part of Orasis Industries.

Full line of products

 Komptech’s product range comprises over 30 different types of machines, covering the key steps in modern waste processing – shredding/chipping, separation, and biological treatment. The focus is always on innovative technology and solutions that ensure maximum customer benefit.

Chief Technology Officer Dr Christian Oberwinkler says: “Our flagship product continues to be the Topturn compost turner but all of our products are equally important. What differentiates us from others is that we offer a full line, in other words, a complete solution for the whole process, not just a single machine. That is very important to us. With the range of our machines that include shredders and sorters, customers can process all their materials.”

Dr Leitner adds that another special feature of Komptech is its international character: the company export ratio is nearly 95%, with customers all around the world. “Our biggest markets are the EU and UK, accounting for about 50% of total turnover, followed by North America with 20%. We have customers in Australia, Japan as well as in Africa, and are now focusing on expanding in south-east Asia and India. Our export markets are served by our partners, and solid, long-term business relationships are key to our success.”

He affirms that Komptech is a premium brand offering the maximum performance of the highest efficiency and top quality. “Our products are not cheap but we are the best partner from a long-term perspective. We don’t just sell a machine but offer the best-in-class product support including consulting and after-sales service.”

Innovative development

Product development is a prime focus of the company’s investment, and new products and modifications are launched on a regular basis. Today, digitisation is one of the features that has enabled Komptech to be a forerunner in the sector.

“Digitisation is clearly one of our competitive advantages, and one of the most important differentiators. We embarked on the digital journey some five or six years ago and today each of our machines is always online, meaning that we can immediately help our partners and end-users as and when required.”

This was clearly a great advantage during the pandemic, when Komptech was able to provide uninterrupted assistance and support to customers, despite the lockdowns in individual countries, entirely in line with the customer slogan “always at the customer’s side.”

“Electrification is another big topic at the moment, with a view to launching machines with a reduced CO2 footprint,” acknowledges Dr Oberwinkler. “Most of our shredders are already electric available, and a good example of our recent product development is the Terminator e-mobile, one of the most successful single-shaft shredders for all types of waste, including the most difficult materials.”

Fermentation is another process that is becoming increasingly important, the most economically and ecologically viable treatment method for a range of organic waste, he says. Komptech offers the whole process chain including shredders, pulpers, screens, presses and further separation technologies as needed.

Dr Leitner points out that biogas is yet another area where Komptech machines make a big difference. “Using the right shredding and separation technology, fuel mature enough for the marketplace can be generated from food waste and green waste. Woody biomass, such as rootstocks, logs, and waste wood, is perfect as a renewable fuel for biomass plants. This way, companies previously operating in the disposal business can transform themselves into energy suppliers.”

Sustainable at the core

He affirms that sustainability is key for Komptech. “We strive to be a zero-carbon company in 2021, and that includes employee mobility. A very ambitious target but one driven by our owners, the management team as well as the whole team of employees.”

Dr Oberwinkler adds that the company is now preparing its customers for municipal solid-waste solutions. “Our field of business drives sustainability automatically. In operation, our equipment, be it for composting or fermentation saves much more CO2 than it generates. Electric machines also have lower noise levels, which is an important factor when working in a residential environment.”

Global megatrends indicate that Komptech’s technology will be in much demand in the future. Europe’s Green Deal and green policies promoted by the new administration in the US are directing nations into intensified environmental thinking. This will be needed given the global population growth trajectory, with new energy, food and water demands emerging particularly in Africa and Asia.

“Given global developments, we expect organic growth of 7-8% per annum, further supported by potential acquisitions as well,” reflects Dr Leitner. “Despite the current supply-chain bottlenecks that are going to last for quite some time, the business is stable – with our teams and our great supply network we have been handling the supply constraints well. We can see great demand for our products worldwide, so expect another very successful year ahead.”

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