The frustration of the scrap metal market

At the beginning of 2022, I had the opportunity to read an article published by Virginia Buechel, Marketing Director of Rockaway Recycling, where she mentioned the main frustrations a scrap buyer encounters. I found it interesting how she prioritized the lack of clarity in processes, as this factor is critical when looking for continuous improvement or simply being under an audit process.

Lack of clarity is the most frustrating

From the list shared by Buechel, the one that ranks at the top of the top frustrations in the scrap metal market is the lack of clarity about its classification. Most troubling is that this frustration can be experienced by both the scrap buyer and the scrap seller. A misidentified scrap metal intake can become a very challenging problem, as it has a direct impact on the integrity of the process and the quality of the final product.

The first step to proper sorting is to consider that the supply of this scrap is not clean when it enters the manufacturers’ yard, as these metals and alloys are regularly mixed with other materials in the collection trucks. Automobiles are the main source of steel scrap. This large supply is followed by the purchase of structural steel from construction, appliances, rebar and steel packaging.

Sorting these materials is not a simple task; it is not something that can be sorted by color and shape; many scrap metal sorting and management companies have difficulty differentiating between various metals. However, scrap metal can be properly sorted from the moment it enters, as long as the necessary infrastructure is in place to implement technology solutions that allow obtaining reliable information on materials, volume and density, among others.

Providing clarity from the inbound process

So, with so many materials entering through manual processes and lack of data integrity, how can you ensure that you are paying the right price for the material you ordered? Can you certify that what you are selling to manufacturers is accurately identified? Can you do this in real time?

Surely these questions give rise to that frustration in both buyers and sellers of scrap for manufacturers’ recycling processes.

One thing that has been implemented to ensure the integrity of incoming material is portable XRF analyzers, which allow accurate and reliable material identification. When scanned, each element present in a sample produces a fingerprint that is unique to that specific element, making XRF spectroscopy excellent for qualitative and quantitative analysis of material composition.

What if this was connected to your systems automatically? Without a doubt, the challenge becomes greater when looking to integrate platforms that allow you to centralize all the information and have a complete process at the time of an audit. SCRAPYARD allows you to graph each scrap entry immediately, obtaining values of volume measurement, density and automatic classification, among others. Avoid the costs that could arise if buyers reject or undercut the delivery of finished product to your warehouses. Schedule a demo today with one of our experts.