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All the latest news for auto recyclers

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Scrap prices higher - are you getting the benefit?

neon see through car
McIntyre sent us this image of a neon car - really demonstrates the amount of material available to the dismantler to capitalise on - and it's not just metal.

Metals prices hopefully have further to go but they are now well off the lows of last year, and after parts sales, are the most promising area for a vehicle dismantler to capitalise on. And there are genuine reasons why now is a good time to make a start.


Why is now a good time? Just take a look at the modern car; there is an ever increasing list of parts the manufacturers don’t want you to sell, so that could have a serious effect on parts sales in the future, but on the flip side of the coin, there is an ever increasing variety of specialist high value materials being used. If we accept that, then maybe we need to take the materials content more seriously. After all, if we can process and separate effectively, it could add significantly to profits going forward.

In 2015, an average a car was 47% steel, 8% iron, 8% plastic, 7% aluminium, and 3% glass, with other materials accounting for the remaining 27%. We shall leave the remaining 27% for later, and look at the main players.

Steel is still the big one and the trick is to separate the higher value, non ferrous elements quickly and easily as these hold the higher value. We have looked at systems like Builtrite’s Auto Dismantling System and Powerhand’s VRS previously which have shown you can easily add £50-£60 per vehicle but what about the next stage.

Don’t forget, there’s many grades of steel scrap and you can separate these to add further value. Apart from the heavier grades, many vehicles include higher grade steels in key areas. These too can be separated using your dismantling system. Last month we looked at How Hills Recycling are using researchers to find out information about vehicle parts and usage. This also applies to materials usage. The internet gives us access to an incredible range of information which we can use.

Once we have our materials separated, we can look at processing them. McIntyre, (a JMC Recycling Systems Ltd company) focuses a great deal of their attention on adding revenue from these material streams. Cable granulation, engine breaking, baling and cutting, CAT processing are all areas where the dismantler can improve the return from each vehicle. None of this equipment is rocket science, most is now well tried and tested and having a site licence you’re half way there. And if you want to process further, then McIntyre also have a comprehensive range of ferrous and non ferrous processing equipment; all aimed at adding value.

But what about that 27% of ‘other’ materials. That’s where research and understanding your product can pay dividends. I know this is perhaps an extreme example but it show the way things are going. The Tesla Model S is packed full of these specialist materials. It’s underbody is made from titanium and at over $3,500 per tonne, this is certainly not to be sniffed at. Just look at how much aluminium is used now compared to the past. Many items such as speakers and electronic components include rare earth metals. What are the options for these? Only last month we mentioned the potential opportunity to sell leather.

Here at atfPro we feel that the industry is only scratching the surface when it comes to material separation and processing and there is plenty of potential for the dismantler, once we look at the hulk in the same way we look at parts. Don’t just think of it as what’s left, think of it as a collection of materials that are there to be capitalised on.

Over the next few months we plan to look closely at the materials used and the processes available for the dismantler. If you doing something a little different in this area, then please let us know. In the meantime, you can find out more about:
McIntyre's metals processing range.
Overton’s Builtrite Auto Dismantling System.
Powerhand’s VRS.

February 2017

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