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A&E Auto Electric adds swissRTec shredder

Kensington, New Hampshire-based swissRTec America Inc. has announced A&E Auto Electric, Spartanburg, South Carolina, has added the recycling technology manufacturer's Kubota Vertical Shredder as part of the company's plant expansion.

A&E Auto Electric has manufactured alternators and starters for 36 years. Owner and CEO Don Willis says the company recently ventured into the reclamation field because of the valuable copper in its manufacturing byproducts. 

"Initially we sold our waste material to China," Willis says. "We then realized we could profit from this waste material as well. About eight years ago, we invested in a shredder. However, it quickly became apparent that there was more that could be done in terms of extracting valuable material if we had the right equipment, and that brought us to swissRTec."

A&E has added to its facility swissRTec's Kubota Vertical Shredder, which can process large and small domestic appliances, metal scrap and other bulky items, including alternators. Since installing the vertical shredder, Willis says he has seen a significant difference in the efficiency of his recycling operation. 

Willis explains, "We are making good headway in terms of getting the copper out of the alternator components. We have gotten millions of pounds out and we are just getting started. Our scrap metal dealer could not believe how much we had retrieved, or the quality of the copper. Alternator components have four or five different metals within them, and there is also plastic and trash residue to be removed. From this process, we get No. 1 copper and busheling steel."

Bernhard Mueggler, president and CEO of swissRTec America, says the Kubota Vertical Shredder breaks down and grinds up all kinds of materials to one inch or less in size in a single pass. 

"The technology available with this shredder meets the operating needs of today's companies," Mueggler says. "It provides optimal flexibility for serving various industries, and that allows companies to process waste more efficiently. When you recycle, you cannot control your intake?you have to deal with the materials that come your way, but our shredder allows you to better adapt to what comes in, thus making processing more productive and economical. This shredder can also be used as a stand-alone unit, or in combination with other processing technology, which is the case with A&E Auto Electric."

A&E Auto Electric had looked at several different shredders, Willis says, but it took some time to find one that could reduce material to the size the company preferred.

Willis says, "With copper-bearing material, in order to get the most value out of it, you need to shred the material as fine and as cleanly as possible.

"SwissRTec had a shredder that did this, using adjustable choke rings at the base of the shredder. No one else had that feature. With the swissRTec shredder, the output particle size can be as small as one-quarter-inch when processing ASR (automotive shredder residue), and the choke rings allow for adjustment of particle size?no screens required. It's also designed for continuous operation and is very efficient to operate. Finally, we liked the fact that they were in partnership with Kubota Environmental Services Co. Ltd. Kubota is a good name, so that weighed favorably with us."

Willis also had words of praise for Mueggler and swissRTec who have walked him through much of the process. They have been an invaluable resource, he says. 

"We are new to this business and they have taken the time to educate us. Our employees are getting up to speed and I know we are going to keep on getting better and better at what we are doing and reap the rewards," Willis says.

SwissRTec America, a wholly owned subsidiary of swissRTec International of Switzerland, sells technology and mechanical systems to the recycling industry on an international scale, as well as designs, builds and commissions turnkey ewaste, scrap metal and ASR recycling facilities.

» Publication Date: 03/01/2017

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement N° 690103