Built To Dismantle

How the KOBELCO SK210D is Redefining the Task of Auto Dismantling

Sure, you could dismantle four to five cars a day by hand. Or, you could process up to 70 a day with the raw power and delicate precision of the KOBELCO SK210D. That’s what Texas Auto Salvage of San Antonio is doing. The company purchased its first SK210D in October 2017 and quickly ordered a second unit one month later.

“Before, we were using an excavator with a bucket and thumb attachment to pull motors and tear apart cars,” said Daniel Hack, Manager at Texas Auto Salvage. “We were breaking most of the motors and losing a lot of material during the process. Once we got the SK210D and saw how much more revenue we were making from the same volume of material, we realized we needed a second machine to expand and go after the revenue we were missing in white goods.”

Traditionally, auto recyclers were in the business of removing and selling car parts. All usable parts were taken out of the car and then the car was flattened and sent to a scrap yard or mill with a shredder. The shredder pulverized the car into smaller pieces which were sorted into different materials of different values, primarily ferrous and non-ferrous metals, aluminum and copper. Recyclers were paid for mixed materials based on the weight of the car.

After realizing the profits that scrap yards were making by separating and sorting valuable metals from their cars, auto recyclers began to remove these metals themselves by hand before sending the car to the shredder. This created a new and profitable revenue stream for their auto recycling business, but they needed a better and more efficient way to pull the copper and aluminum from the car.

In the 1970s, KOBELCO began to work closely with the Japan Auto Recyclers Association (JARA) to develop and refine a machine for their market that would provide a safe and cost effective way to capture these materials. Almost 40 years and several machine generations later, KOBELCO is pleased to bring the SK210D and new SK140D multi-dismantling machines to the North American market.

“The KOBELCO auto demolition machines are not add-on or conversion packages that take a standard excavator, weld on tines and a nibbler tool,” said David Donneral, Specialized Machinery Manager at KOBELCO USA. “These units are purpose built from the factory for one job, which is to tear things apart with power and precision and make revenue.”

The KOBELCO dismantling units are engineered with a heavier frame, turntable, bearing, counterweight and additional boom and arm reinforcement than a standard excavator, enabling them to withstand the demands of heavy dismantling and demolition work. These machines also boast various other features, such as boom and arm holding valves, cylinder guarding, reinforced belly guards and travel motor covers.

“One of the biggest advantages of using the KOBELCO dismantler is its hold down arms,” said Hack. “The hold down arms are able to raise, lower and open and close in order to grab the car low and from the sides, rather than by the top of the roof or front fenders. This leaves the engine area and interior open to capture more copper and aluminum as well as gives us the ability to hold the engine and frame for more complete dismantling.”

Texas Auto Salvage is one of the growing number of companies that is ignoring the parts business in favor of directly scrapping the “end of life” vehicles down on their yard before final shipping of separated metals to the shredders and mills.

Hack commented, “When we realized what we had been missing for the past 10 years, it made me sick knowing all the revenue we gave away.”

“KOBELCO is bringing several machines to North America in the next few years for the scrap, recycling and high reach demolition markets,” said Donneral. “KOBELCO has over 40 percent market share in Japan with these markets and we are excited to do the same here.”

KOBELCO backs its multi-dismantling machines with a complete 3-year/3,000-hour warranty on the entire unit, including the nibbler tool and hold down arms. For more information on KOBELCO USA or KOBELCO products, please visit www.KOBELCO-USA.com or call 281-888-8430.

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