When the metal products we use in our everyday lives pass their prime, they must either be discarded or recycled and used in other products. Because metal is a resource that can be reused over and over without any loss in quality, recycled materials are just as useful to manufacturers and builders as freshly mined and forged metals.
Thanks to the unique traits of metal, collecting scrap metal for profit is a common—and oftentimes profitable—endeavor. But is there more to consider when looking to bring life back to metals and put profits in your pockets? Keep reading for some best practices in the scrap chopping industry.
Before You Start Collecting Scrap Metal
Before you jump in, it’s important to know the difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals. The distinction between the two is the iron present. Ferrous metals are more magnetic and contain iron, which makes them stronger than their counterpart, while nonferrous metal is more pliable and resistant to rust or corrosion.
Typical ferrous scrap items that are recycled are old machinery, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, and engines. Nonferrous metal recyclables, meanwhile, typically come from copper wire, piping, brass fixtures, aluminum siding, chairs, or old computers. Check with your local recycling plant to assure that your collection, storage, and drop off of various metals meets their needs and gets you paid.
Request Third Party Weight Verification
All of your networking and partnerships should be based on a “trust-but-verify” outlook. Several times a month, you should request to see a loaded truck’s weight reading from a public scale, like a scale between your plant and the scrapyard, to make sure you’re being accurately quoted.
You should be able to request a third-party verification at random. Every scale report should have a timestamp and a recorded weight. The scrap company should also have a separate scale report with a slightly later time stamp and nearly the same recorded weight, within a certain range or tolerance window. When you process scrap on your own with a scrap chopper, your products can be cubed instead of shredded, which makes for easier transport and accurate weigh-ins.
Thankfully, the scrap business has evolved, and stringent guidelines and principles are enforced. Regardless, to get the most out of your work, it’s a good practice to request weight verification.
Scrap Choppers and Side Trimmers
The scrap chopping business exists on many levels, from the casual collector to large scale facilities. When you’re ready to take the leap and go big, investing in the best metal forming equipment can make or break your company.
Consider scrap choppers instead of scrap winders. As mentioned earlier, chopped or cubed scrap is easier to store, ship, weigh, and repurpose. Since this type of equipment is a niche industry, recognize that if you try to save money upfront on a scrap chopper and side trimmer, you might end up paying for it later.
Mill Duty Scrap Choppers
A metal cut-to-length line will take a master coil of flat-rolled steel from the integrated or mini mill and unroll, flatten and cut to length sections to a precise length and stack the sheets into a perfect bundle. Equipment will vary according to the width, thickness, and incoming coil weight.
Depending on the final end product from the cut sheet, flatness may be a critical point. Use of a hydraulic leveler, skin pass, or stretcher leveler may be employed into the process.