PAST AND FUTURE OF SCRAP PROCESSING MACHINERY
Today’s scrap recycling equipment is so much safer to operate and better performing than the past. At the end of the first half of last century a huge amount of physical labor was required for moving, sorting and preparation of scrap.
This type of work, performed within scrap yards where security was certainly not a priority, led to daily serious accidents.
Also energy consumption was not an issue and it was not uncommon to see scrap-processing machinery like scrap shears operate with 6, 8 or even 10 electric motors.
With the evolution of the concept of workers safety the manufacturers we have engaged with the construction of safer plants and machinery for scrap processing and with the need to increase the productivity of the machines better performing plants have been studied. Nowadays it is common to find a scrap shear or shear baler able to process large quantities times with maximum efficiency and safety.
Towards the end of the last century a new concept has been introduced for the processing of scrap. An increasingly competitive market and predetermined sales prices by the steel mills have led the scrap processors to become more and more aware of the most important factor in scrap processing; the cost per ton factor. Having essentially fixed margins (the difference between the buying and selling price of scrap), the operating margin should be entirely derived from the optimization of the process and reduction of costs.
Few producers of shears or shear balers for scrap have thoroughly understood the implication of reducing the cost per ton factor.
The cost per ton factor must be inculcated to the designer from the first line drawn on a white sheet, and this is a very difficult thing. The vast majority of manufacturers still offers recycling machinery designed within the design office by personnel who has never set foot in a scrap yard, let alone understanding the real problems of who should then buy that machine they design.
Only producers who have understood the real issues of who processes scrap and the real environment where scrap processing machinery will have to operate will have open doors to the new market.
These companies produce machines guaranteeing high productivity with minimal power consumption, high reliability of the machine eliminating down time and extended use of commercial components available locally.
These same companies really know the reality in which their scrap processing machinery they designed will operate and difficulties that scrap dealers are facing every day.
But the most important factor is and remains the reduction of the cost per ton factor. Because a scrap shear which has been thoroughly studied and which also reduces the cost of only 1 Euro per ton of work can mean the end of year savings to over 50,000 Euros! That is the one-thing scrap processors are looking for when considering scrap processing equipment.