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Maximising the return from ELVs

Automobile Association
Material separation using the Powerhand VRS can show an increased return of up to £60 per vehicle - and that soon adds up!
Over the last year we have looked at a couple of products designed to rip ELVs apart, separating the higher value materials, giving the dismantler a real increase in the return from hulks of up to 25%. In this issue we take a look at the latest unit on the market, the Powerhand Vehicle Recycling System(VRS) which looks to take the idea a stage further.

First, a little background. The drive for the development of this product came from Richard Stewart of Dumfries based, D A Autoparts. He had seen similar equipment in both the USA and Japan but felt they all lacked something, somewhere. He decided to contact a local specialist in excavator and crane attachments, William Clark & Son. When I say, local, I wouldn’t want you to think that this is a sleepy little engineering workshop. The Company has been in business for over 90 years and has quite a pedigree within the railway, construction and recycling sectors.

After discussing his ideas, Richard worked closely with the firm’s MD, Douglas Clark and designer Ken Coupland to create a machine with the sole purpose of taking a vehicle apart in the quickest and most efficient manner. Richard said, Our aim was to maximise the return from every ELV and hulk from vehicles previously dismantled for parts.”

Naturally a great deal of development took place and the finished product has now been working at DA’s site for over 4 months now, and Richard is delighted with the results. He told atfPro, “We naturally have been monitoring the effectiveness of the system and there is very little that we would change. Yes, there’s been the odd tweak here and there but the biggest benefit comes from an effective operator and practice really does make perfect. This system doesn’t just rip engines out, you can take the alternator off that engine, you can take the starter off it; if it’s a cast iron block you can chop the ally head off it and separate the gearbox - that’s how effective the system is.”

Engine Removal
Powerful but sensitive jaws make removal of anything from a wiper motor to a complete engine easy business.
And don’t think this is only about removing the non ferrous element. The VRS is packed full of little features such as the side mounted shear which can chop through brackets and heavier sections so you can separate the higher value ferrous materials which all helps to improve your return.

At this point it’s worth taking a look at the actual features. We have mentioned the shear which is mounted on the side of the head. This is cleverly designed to make use of the same action as the main jaws, which due to their shape, not only have power but also precision so you can attach to quite small items, you can even remove the wiper motor quite readily. The other big feature about the head is that as you would expect, it rotates the full 360 degrees but the drive is through a worm wheel which means loads of torque so removing engines and axles is child's play.

The hold down arms also do a lot more than hold down the vehicle. Apart from moving up and down, they also go in and out making the hold down process very effective, no matter how large of small the vehicle. Within the arms are locators for clamping smaller items such as the engine. The pincer like jaws can then be effectively used to remove items such as manifolds (CATS) as well as those previously mentioned. Also, incorporated in the base is a wire stripper which allows for the quick and easy removal of terminals, fuse boxes etc giving a much cleaner material for the cable recyclers. And, all this can be done on a 14 tonne excavator so you don’t need a huge machine (it will fit on larger machines as well).

I haven’t personally) seen this machine working yet but those who have are very impressed. Terry Charlton, of Charlton Reycled Autoparts is one of the dismantlers with a machine on order. Terry said, “I, like Richard have looked at similar products in the USA and Japan but this one gives the option of separating and cleaning your material to a higher level which should show itself in an increased return.” Richard Stewart added, “the machine is capable of processing around four cars per hour depending upon the operator skills and exactly how much value you wish to take from each vehicle and that in our experience an extra value of between £40 and £60 per vehicle is achievable”.

If you handle a reasonable number of ELVs, then the Powerhand VRS is well worth taking a look at. It was great to see the Overton Auto Dismantling System at last year’s CARS show. Hopefully we will also have the Powerhand VRS being put through its paces at next year’s show. There will shortly be a video available on line but in the meantime, Richard at DA is more than welcome to demonstrate the system to you but it will mean a trip to Scotland - why not make a holiday of it!

DA Autoparts website Tel: 01387 272 900
William Clark & Son website email Tel: 01387 860241.

September 2013

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