Larry Trojak


Investing in efficiency

Scrap Metals Supplement

Andersen’s Sales & Salvage, Greeley, Colorado, invests in maximizing productivity and efficiency.

January 7, 2015

To those unfamiliar with the scrap industry, it could seem predictable, outdated and rooted in maintaining the status quo. Anyone even minimally involved, however, knows most of today’s scrap processing professionals work hard to stay abreast of technology changes. Their rationale for doing so is simple: maximizing productivity and efficiency in every facet of their operation yields a better bottom line.

To see this belief in action, one need only drive 60 minutes north of Denver to the town of Greeley, Colorado. There, amidst a landscape that’s equal parts equipment dealerships and cattle farms, Andersen’s Sales & Salvage has been steadily improving its operation through a combination of foresight, good business practices and solid equipment purchases.

Pasture prime

Like many scrap recycling operations, Andersen’s Sales & Salvage is a multigenerational business, having been formed more than a half century ago by current owner Dean Andersen’s father.

“My father actually started this company in 1958 as a car parts operation and did a little bit of scrap work on the side,” Andersen says. “That original site was my grandfather’s pasture, not far from here. Eventually, seeing scrap recycling as the better choice, he transitioned the business to that side of things, and we’ve continued in that direction ever since.”

Today Andersen’s Sales & Salvage operates on 38 acres, still has a self-service yard for auto parts and is one of the area’s most comprehensive and efficient full-service scrap recycling facilities. The company also recently opened a satellite yard in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and another in Sterling, Colorado.

“Here at our main yard, we take in and prepare material from about a 200-mile radius—everything from cars, farm machinery and industrial and retail scrap to residual scrap from the auto parts operation,” Andersen says. “Our shredder, a 4,000-horsepower Riverside Engineering M88, is the centerpiece of our operation and has served us well for more than six years. In fact, we have close to 800,000 tons through it now, and I see nothing in the structural box that is going to define its end of life. It’s been just a great performer,” he adds.

The company’s shredding system includes an 88-by-112 shredder mill, feed system, operator station and H2PRO water-injection system. A Rockwell Automation system, also designed by Riverside, controls the shredder and downstream functions, helping them maintain a consistent and impressive production rate of 10,000 tons per month.

Grappling with a problem

Since installing the shredder, Andersen’s has relied upon a number of makes and models of loaders to feed it, but a loader is only as productive as the attachment at the end of the boom. And that’s where Andersen’s Sales & Salvage hit some snags with the grapple fitted to one of its units. According to Andersen, after only a short time, the grapple virtually self-destructed, unable to withstand the rigors of daily use. The problem was serious enough to warrant a replacement, a move that led the company to turn to Genesis Attachments, Superior, Wisconsin.

“We were already strong believers in Genesis products, having five of their mobile shears at work between our three facilities,” Andersen says. “So when that first grapple died, it made sense to call them. Turns out they were just introducing their GSG scrap grapples, and we quickly ordered one of the first units. We were so pleased with the performance that when we ordered our second loader, we had it shipped with a Genesis scrap grapple attached.

“A scrap yard is a tough environment for attachments, but Genesis has done a great job designing its grapples to stand up to those challenges,” Andersen says. “And because of my experience with their shears, I already knew they stood behind their products, so I wasn’t at all surprised at their levels of performance and support.”

High scrap IQ

Further proof that Andersen’s Salvage is anything but content with business as usual can be found in its approach to processing residual materials from the shredding effort. At its Greeley yard, the company is expanding its ability to pull value from automotive shredder residue (ASR), a material that many consider a waste product. Using an approach dubbed the IQASR, developed in conjunction with Riverside Engineering, Andersen says the patented process affords it a wide range of benefits.

“Once the ASR is transferred from the shredder it enters the IQASR system, where a patented airflow sorting technology removes unwanted materials that traditionally degrade its value,” he says. “This increases the amount of metal that can be recovered, lowers the burden on downstream separation equipment and increases the effectiveness of the sensor sorters used in copper wire recovery. It also results in less material headed to the landfill, which reduces our disposal costs. We’ve had one IQASR line in place for three years already; this second one will expand that capability.”

He adds that with the IQASR, Andersen’s also can more confidently and efficiently create clean zurik, a combination of stainless steel, insulated copper wire, aluminum, copper, lead, magnesium, nickel, tin and zinc, which is closely monitored under China’s Operation Green Fence initiative. He also says the method with which the company handles ASR is a perfect example of what can result when the relationship between an equipment supplier and its customers is positive and mutually cooperative.

“We choose to only work with companies that share our commitment to quality,” Andersen says. “Companies like Genesis and Riverside have shown they fully understand what we are doing out here and work hard to make certain we can do so as efficiently and effectively as possible. And they offer a level of support that says they will always be there in the event an issue arises. That’s why they have our business and will continue to do so as we move forward,” he adds.

And moving forward Andersen’s Sales & Salavage is.


The author submitted this story on behalf of Genesis Attachments, Superior, Wisconsin. More information is available at


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