In a down economy

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Courtesy of Sweed Machinery, Inc.

Look to Recycling and Safety to Save

Sweed Choppers can turn scrap bands into profits. For nearly 50 years, Sweed Machinery has been designing and manufacturing recycling equipment to help companies control their scrap problems. “We design machinery to meet existing needs and develop custom modifications for individual customers” said Cory Graper, Sweed’s sales manager. Companies are beginning to realize the importance of practical recycling, efficient use of space, employee safety and profit recovery through scrap conversion. Sweed Choppers have important jobs helping companies achieve their recycling and safety goals.”

All recyclable materials are commodities; as a result, their value fluctuates. For this reason, a recycling program should be built around cost avoidance rather than potential revenues”, explains Cory. “Reducing disposal fees should be one of the primary goals.” Cory continues, “The less scrap you dispose of results in fewer dumpster pickups required, which leads to savings in disposal fees. Of course there are several other reasons for recycling, including environmental benefits, but businesses must be profitable in order to keep their doors open and a successful recycling program is a definite way to add to a company’s bottom line.” Weldwood of Canada agrees with this idea and uses a Sweed chopper to aid them in their recycling efforts. Peter Montgomery, purchasing agent for Weldwood states, “If we didn’t chop our scrap banding, we would have to ship it out to be processed and pay high transportation costs. By chopping it on-site, we save in shipping costs and our scrap dealer picks up the scrap for free.” The amount of loose banding that customarily fills up a 30-yard dump box can normally fit into two 55-gallon drums after it’s chopped. Every time you pay to have a dumpster of scrap emptied, you erode your company’s profits. By reducing the number of times a dumpster is emptied, company’s show increased profit on their bottom line. Peter continues, “…unchopped banding is also a safety issue. If it’s left to pile up, it turns into an unmanageable pile of intertwined banding that poses a serious threat for employees who try to handle it or work around it.” Weldwood currently owns two choppers, one in their plywood plant and one in the logging yard. Having a chopper in each of these locations “saves production time and further risk of injury by not having to drag the banding across the site.”

Scott Ashpole, Sweed’s president and general manager states, “One Worker’s Compensation claim alone can pay for a chopper. Steel banding and band saw blade scrap are especially risky. Every time it’s moved or stuffed into a barrel or dumpster, employees are at risk. Every time a barrel or dumpster is emptied, there is more risk of injury.” Norm Stanevich, safety manager for Nagel Lumber Company in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin noted, “We’ve recently had two work-related injuries. One was an ankle injury due to an employee who had tripped over a pile of banding, and the other an employee who had cut his hand trying to pull on banding that was snarled together in a pile.” Having a chopper can help a company reduce their worker’s compensation claims and further add to their bottom line. Craig Johnson, Assistant Superintendent of the Paper Department at Smurfit Stone Container in Florence, South Carolina agrees that buying a chopper is a good investment. Craig explains, “Before we chopped our scrap banding, we were putting it into trash cans. The chopper helps to keep the work areas clean and our scrap dealer buys back our chopped banding.” Smurfit Stone owns two Sweed Choppers; each chopper is located near their banding machines. “We deal with the scrap banding right there on the spot so that it doesn’t lie around causing anyone to get hurt. We have had employees cut their hands on the scrap banding before, and the purchase of a chopper is certainly better than having to pay a Worker’s Comp claim.” Craig continues, “I would definitely recommend a chopper to another mill. It’s a good safety tool and helps you in your safety program.”

Reduced Worker’s Compensation claims, reduced dumpster fees, reduced labor costs, more efficient housekeeping, and money for processed scrap—anyway you look at it, Sweed Choppers will help you achieve your recycling and safety goals.

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