As we all know by now, the scrap metal market has taken a pounding with a strengthening U.S. dollar and slower than expected economic growth internationally, and this is projected to be the case for throughout 2015. However, on the near horizon there is potential bottom-line relief for some firms as new technologies are being developed to lessen scrap metal-related expenses, as well as to help generate additional incremental revenue by improving the efficiency of the process of scrap metal separation for non-ferrous metals.
This is especially the case as the recovery/recycling rates for sources of non-ferrous metals(such as crushed automotives) such as aluminum range as high as 85%-95%1, therefore it is important to extract such high-recycle rate metals with an efficient, and cost effective method. Researchers at the University of Utah have developed a less expensive procedure that does just that with a higher degree of accuracy that currently separates pellets of various non-ferrous scrap metals using a powerful magnetic field.
This mechanism uses a magnetic field to react to the electric current within the metals passing through the field to force the metals to be moved in a certain direction towards designated bins, which will then ultimately collect the metal(s) to end the process. All that has to be done to accomplish this is to simply apply the proper settings on the equipment to the frequency of the magnetic field of the metal(s) that you wish to collect. Don Eggret from O2M Technologies, (which have joined with the University of Utah to produce this new scrap metal separation technology) states with that:
“What we have calculated so far is that the expense to value ratio — that is how quickly you can pay back the cost of the technology over time – we’re currently estimating it to be less than one year.”2
This incremental revenue provided from previously missed or wasted non-ferrous scrap should help provide some relief to firms in weathering these tough market conditions while also reducing scrap-related waste. With that in mind, I find it best to conclude with reflecting upon on a quote that I believe rings true to our current market situation: “Growth can’t continue unchallenged forever; Earth’s resources are finite. Sustainable growth is still a myth…..Unless we can reimagine and reinvent new industries, we simply cannot rely on economic growth to power our growth plan”.3
Advanced Remarketing Services offers innovative solutions to some of the remarketing industry’s toughest questions. We navigate the confusing landscape of wholesale, salvage and consumer markets to sell the vehicles in the best venue to the most appropriate buyer base.
Lisa Crowell, News Desk
1. The Scrap Recycling Industry: Aluminum, Copper, and Other Nonferrous Metals. (2015, January 1). Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://www.isri.org
2. Putic, G. (2015, February 23). Scrap-Metal Separation May Become Cheaper. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://www.voanews.com
3. Mootee, I. (2013). There’s No More Business As Usual. In Design thinking for strategic innovation: What they can’t teach you at business or design school. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.