5 questions about planning for the future of the market

Bob Huffer of GK answers questions about the future of recycling markets.


BOB HUFFER General Kinematics Eastern Regional Sales Manager

1. What is your approach to systems design, and why does it matter?

We understand that investments require financial justification to move forward. Everything we do from inception to completion is centered around this justification. Maximizing the return on investment (ROI) for our customers is the foundation of our approach. We outline goals and apply our expertise to calculate their ROI. Our technical expertise drives the payback and overall technical solution we deliver.

2. What do you see as future industry trends?

The consolidation/acquisition of recyclers is a trend that will likely continue with the industry’s larger and regional players. As system integrators, we need to match their strategic vision. These companies will want to consolidate equipment suppliers, standardize process layouts and take advantage of their economies of scale. We see this clearly, and we are growing to match the needs of the industry with a continued focus on creating quality commodity streams.

3. What trends do you see in the commodities markets?

The high demand for postconsumer recyclables continues combined with high purity requirements that have driven the need for technological advancements. As a result, robotics technologies have made some large strides to push what is possible. While there is still development to be made with newer technologies, equipment suppliers are refining their processes to create high-purity output. At GK, we developed new screening technology to put more G-force into the material, increasing the separation quality with lighter density streams.

4. How has the future of the commodities market changed your business?

For us, it has meant growing GK’s family of products and services. Years ago, we realized that we had the expertise to design entire systems as an equipment provider. Since our core equipment was at the heart of the process, we knew the most significant piece that best drives customer profitability. By filling in the other pieces of the puzzle through acquisition, we compete with some of the best companies in the field. We have rounded out our solutions to provide our customers with an experience that is simple, straightforward and profitable.

5. What is the largest hurdle for the industry?

Recyclers want to add solutions that increase capacity and yield a better product through automation and efficiency, which capitalizes on commodity prices and reduces the reliance on manual labor. However, we all feel the real-world challenges of the supply chain and overall increased demand. Currently, the most significant hurdle is lead times, which we are tackling as a welcomed challenge.

February 2022
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