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Shredder manufacturers ride a wave of demand, profits

Keywords: Tags  Shredded Scrap, Auto Shredders,

The production of shredded scrap has two components: the manufacturers who build and sell equipment to handle the scrap, and the scrap operations that then process and bring the material to market.

A sophisticated and competitive marketplace has developed in recent years for companies offering shredders to the scrap industry. These expensive pieces of equipment come in different sizes, capacities and processing speeds—a variety that has allowed even smaller scrap businesses the opportunity to enter the race for shredded scrap sales.

Some companies that recently have sold shredders to U.S. operations include American Pulverizer Co., St. Louis; Helsinki, Finland-based Metso Corp.; Riverside Engineering Inc., San Antonio; and Tonawanda, N.Y.-based Wendt Corp.

Automobile shredders are setting new standards for efficiency, reliability and ease of maintenance, according to these companies, and they also offer reduced energy consumption while producing clean, high-density scrap at optimum tonnages. In today’s competitive environment, such companies seek to fill all market niches.

For example, Wendt’s line of auto shredder systems includes the Model 60 Shredder with 1,000 to 2,000 horsepower at the smaller end and climbs all the way to the 6,000- to 10,000-horsepower Model 130/134 Heavy Shredder. Several large scrap businesses—more than 40, by some counts—have opted for the latter.

But some sellers who want to get a toehold in the shredded business are choosing smaller shredders because of their affordability, their size and the ability they offer scrap companies to more closely meet the needs of their local markets.

"While there is still demand for the larger, centralized shredders, we have developed the Model 60 shredder to allow companies to decentralize their shredding operations," a Wendt spokesman said. "Instead of having multiple feeder yards supplying a large shredder, the feeder yards are able to produce their own shred."

These developments in equipment have allowed scrap companies to concentrate more fully on the business end of the shredded market. Several shredder expansions have been announced in recent weeks.

American Auto Salvage Recycling Inc., Mays Landing, N.J., has purchased an American Pulverizer shredding system that should be up and running at its new Millville, N.J., site by the end of the summer. All work will be conducted inside, and a downstream design team from Hustler Conveyor will work to eliminate noise and dust concerns. "It should be running by August," company president Joe Silapena said. "We expect to train someone in-house to run the shredder and will hire about 30 people."

The project is expected to cost $13 million.

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