The following text is a transcript of a video in which Ethan Willard, the business development manager, shredders, at Buffalo, New York-based Wendt Corporation, talks with Andrew Gallo of DMS Metals, Stouffville, Ontario, and tours the company's modular shredder that Wendt supplied.
Ethan Willard: My name is Ethan Willard with Wendt Corporation, and I'm here with Andrew Gallo from DMS Metals. We're at his scrap yard, just outside of Toronto, Canada, and we’re going to take you on a little tour today.
Andrew Gallo: We have a baler and then shear/baler and mobile shear and then we, of course, [have] the shredder and the nonferrous downstream equipment.
Ethan Willard: When did you install the shredder here?
Andrew Gallo: We started the process in 2019. We were operational about a year ago in March of 2020.
Ethan Willard: What differentiates you from the others that allows you to have such a successful business?
Andrew Gallo: The size of the shredder and the versatility allow us to do different things and make different products. Typically, a shredder will shred cars, shred light sheet and items like that and, when you do that, you're going to make a ferrous shred product, and then you're going to make ancillary nonferrous products, zorba, wire, stainless. But in addition to that, we generate probably four or five different specialty items, other products that we make. A lot of times when we do that, we make three different products in one shift, which is unique. It's important to note that if you're running ferrous, let's say you're running a steel-based product, and you want to switch over and shred aluminum, you can’t have any cross-contamination. Your stalls have to be clean, your belts have to be free of any other materials, and the fact that we can do that and do that efficiently and cost-effectively is huge and gives us a leg up. It’s definitely easier for us to do that.
Ethan Willard: You decided to put in a Wendt 6090. What is it that made you go with Wendt over some of the others on the market?
Andrew Gallo: We decided that we wanted something in this size range, a 2,500-horsepower motor. We didn't know that we wanted a modular shredder at the time, but when we discovered that it existed, we thought, this would be great. Obviously, Wendt is the pioneer in this space, in the modular shredder. What puts you over the top in terms of why we went to a Wendt is the depth in your team, the engineering department, the support team, the technical staff, the sales team, just everyone there was very knowledgeable and accommodating, and then the depth of your customer base. But one of the nice benefits of that customer base is that we made some good relationships with other 6090 operators. It is really a great network, and we're happy with the decision to go with Wendt.
Ethan Willard: It's almost like you created a community with other 6090 operators.
Why don't we kind of walk through the shredder first. I see you have your infeed conveyor coming down into your 6090 shredder, so maybe kind of walk me through this and see what you've got going on. I see you have, it looks like, a container for the electrical controls. The motor has its own building, so this is really what the modular package is all about.
Andrew Gallo: Exactly. For those people who don't know, when I said “modular shredder,” when we talk about a modular shredder, this is it. You have your controls containerized. They came to site ready to go. You guys hooked everything up. We bring it here. There's still electrical work required, but you're pretty much plug and play. Your motor house is the same thing. It came in a container. Our hydraulics came in a container. The control pulpit came in a container. So, it all comes together, I guess like Lego, and they put it together.
Ethan Willard: Then the big savings for you then is on infrastructure, correct? Saving on the buildings and the concrete.
Andrew Gallo: That’s right. It's a lot easier to install. It's a lot quicker to install, which means it's a lot cheaper to install.
Ethan Willard: We’re at the nonferrous plant and, just like the ferrous downstream, you’ve designed this plant to grow as well.
Andrew Gallo: We went with the basics and now, fortunately, we're in a position where, as you know, we're going to be expanding the system in the near future.
Ethan Willard: You go from a vibratory screen here up into that building, and then inside this building are your two eddy currents, making your zorba.
Andrew Gallo: That's right, yeah.
Ethan Willard: It seems like there's kind of an overarching theme with all of your equipment, you have your shredder that you put in with the idea in mind that you'd be able to expand on it in the future, should your business grow, should you need it, and the nonferrous seems like you’ve done the same with it as well, correct? You’ve put in the eddy currents, which are going to recover a lot of your zorba and your high-dollar amount materials from a revenue standpoint; but, then again, you designed it to grow and add equipment on in the future.
Andrew Gallo: That's right. You know what's interesting is that of the five or six shredders that we visited, I think all but one of them did the same thing. They all started smaller and then what was a good sign is that they all expanded shortly thereafter. So, a year after most of them added on, and that is exactly the same progression that we're finding ourselves on, which is good. It speaks volumes to the equipment.
Ethan Willard: We've kind of come full circle around the shredder now. We have had a good look at the shredder and the downstream and the nonferrous plant. I noticed throughout the plant, it seems to be simplicity was kind of one of your main focuses. We look at the downstream, and it is just a dual magstand with a picking platform. There's not a lot of the bells and whistles that are at least available. What made you go that route versus the other options?
Andrew Gallo: We have always been kind of a buy-what-you-need type of company. What is important is that, again, with your guidance, we were able to design the system in a way that we could adapt. If we felt like we had a change of heart or requirements at the mill changed and we needed to add some further separation, we could do it. We left room, we added conveyors and whatnot.
Ethan Willard: Obviously, your staff here at DMS is absolutely critical, but also having the manufacturers’ staff able to support you on a regular basis is also critical to keep the machines up and running. What kind of support do you see from Wendt?
Andrew Gallo: So, there's two types. There is the support that we get, the kind of informal advice, shoulder-to-lean-on type of support, where if we want to try something, and we may call the other shredder operators, too, but we might reach out to our local sales rep. Then you have more of a tech support call. Wendt’s tech support is very good. We have called them at 5 in the morning, and we've had support. We have called them after-hours, we have had support. With today's technology and the way that you guys, the controls are set up and the way you guys have designed the machine, it is really easy. They can access our machine remotely. A lot of the times it is as easy as that; it's a quick fix. Our proximity to Buffalo helps. We’re close, right? We have had situations where we had an issue in the morning, and we had tech support, a Wendt staffer here or somebody from the Wendt team here on-site two hours later. We get great support from Wendt.
Ethan Willard: Support is something we always strive for within our company, and it is good to hear that you're getting the support that you need. How’s the ROI been for you on this plant?
Andrew Gallo: I can't tell you all my secrets, but we typically as a company, if we're looking at a purchase like this, we're looking for a three-year return on investment, a three-year payback, maybe four, maybe five under special circumstances, depending on the size of the investment. I'll just say that we're in good shape to meet that goal.