copper meatball recycling
Custom software designed for recyclers can help them manage the many grades handled by high-volume metal recycling companies.
Photo by Recycling Today staff.

Tying information together provides software’s value

Metal recyclers save time and money when functions and facilities are connected, say software vendor’s customers.

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June 15, 2022

Customized, recycling-specific software is helping metal recyclers in Europe and other parts of the world save time and money by creating new efficiencies, says Ireland-based technology provider AMCS.

The company, which published a white paper on the subject in 2020 and periodically offers case studies involving its software, says scrap processors are seeking visibility into all their operations, including an ability to connect processes within one system across all locations.

Those connections, according to AMCS, range “from contracts, to work in progress, daily prices for commodities and materials, on-yard weighing, grading materials and the actual inventory, all the way through to accounting.”

In its white paper, AMCS quotes the CEO of Germany’s Kaatsch Recycling as looking back with little fondness on the company’s former paper-based system. Ralph Wager says, “Everything was on paper, including contracts, price lists, overviews of incoming orders and trip lists, as well as route planning and stocks of recycled materials. Information was not available centrally, but was communicated on a one-to-one basis with suppliers, customers and drivers.”

In the software era, Wager of Kaatsch Recycling, says technology “gives us a 360-degree view of the entire organization and lets us make constant adjustments.”

Starting with scrap procurement, Wager says the company knows “exactly which materials and quantities are involved. As incoming loads are being weighed, they are photographed and the images can subsequently be used to present to customers, should they have any queries or complaints.”

The system with cameras also brings internal benefits, Wager says. “Because of the integrated system we can check things such as which material has been weighed and whether it is of the right quality,” he adds. “I am convinced that digital processes and digitization will give recycling companies a competitive edge. In fact, this has already been proven to be the case, and it is set to become even more important in the future.”

Another German-based firm, Karle Recycling, says with its AMCS software it is able to “monitor all operational processes in one central system.”

Karle Recycling’s Bastian Lauer points to a specific feature as a crucial time-saver: the license plate recognition feature on its scale lets it complete a weighing process within seconds. “A significant benefit of speeding up the weighing process is that the recycling software contributes to reducing the overall on-site turnaround times,” AMCS says.

Lauer says, “Through the integration of the system the recycling software is also providing the possibility to capture all phases of a transaction, from weighing, mobile grading in the yard right through to accounting. That means all company specifics and all process specifics are in one system meeting our industry-specific solutions that meet our specific needs.”

Lang Recycling, also based in Germany, cites inventory management as a benefit of recycling-specific software. The AMCS customer says the software vendor’s RSBI technology allows it to better manage its sizable inventory in real-time, thus reducing its warehouse inventory by around 25 percent, “creating real savings in their cost of capital,” according to AMCS.

In an AMCS case study, Lang Recycling Managing Director Maximillian Lang tells the software firm Lang handles more than 400 grades of scrap metal.

Lang says, “In the past, our records were written down manually on slips of paper and later added to [the] AMCS [system]. As a result, our inventories were not updated every day, which exposed us to additional costs.”

Lang Recycling’s newly acquired AMCS technologies have included a mobile reporting app that enables employees to record and document inventory movements while on the move and as they happen, says Lang. An RSBI Business Intelligence system “makes it easier to make forecasts that are much better aligned to the sales flows,” AMCS adds.

Citing the 25 percent inventory reduction figure, Lang says, “By using mobile reporting and AMCS RSBI, we were able to save around 40,000 euros ($42,460) in cost of capital.”