In 1992, Martin was appointed managing director of composting operations for Hauke – Erden, a leading producer of soil and garden supplies.
Martin’s chief focus was on plant modernisation and developing technical systems to improve production. By January 1998, the first MAF (Mobile Aerated Floor) system was in prototype operation.
Martin talks about growing up in the family business and what led to the development of MAF.
After my studies, when I assumed a position of responsibility in the family business, I one day found myself faced with a monumental problem: Our composting facility had to be temporarily relocated, odour emissions needed to be reduced significantly, expansion of operations required economising available work space…and that was just the start of it.
Everybody knew aeration was the key to proper composting. Some companies were even employing elaborate methods to achieve this but, in my mind, the costs and construction requirements were obstacles. I knew injecting air into windrows would have to be more economical than containment as with in vessel systems.
I also knew our facility would have to undergo relocation so the system would have to come with us.
My thinking was: ‘Composting is simple; it’s a natural process. Therefore, the system must be simple. I don’t want to change the natural process; I just want to accelerate it.’ These are the thoughts that led to the development of the MAF mobile aerated floor composting system, a lightweight, mobile, modular method of injecting air into windrows. Create the air, channel the air under the prepared material and let Mother Nature do the rest. When the job is done, remove the system and move your compost to the next stage. You must be able to set up your system anywhere, directly on the ground in any configuration to accommodate the amount of material, pile it up and turn the system on.
Today, I’m happy to say the benefits and affordability of this system have surpassed my wildest expectations and I welcome the opportunity to prove it to you.