Eldan Recycling A/S

Pioneers within WEEE recycling - Case Study


Courtesy of Eldan Recycling A/S

  • Recycling areas: Electronic Waste (WEEE)
  • Company name: Cablofer Recycling SA
  • Located: Bex, canton of Vaud, Switzerland
  • Founded: 1972
  • Employees: 47

Cablofer Recycling SA is active within non-ferrous and ferrous metals, scraps (scrap shear 800 tons) all over Switzerland, and in western France. The factory (in Bex) is implanted since 1972 on a site of about 40 000 m2 well connected to railways and highways. In 2008 the largest materials sold by trading at Cablofer Recycling SA was Iron, Copper, Aluminium and Lead. Potential customers are Chemical, electro-mechanical, electronic, aluminium, building industries, All kinds of merchant (big to small) and privates, Communities, Electrical services and companies and Railway company and some other transport companies. CHF 56 Millions (2008)

In a scrap yard in Switzerland right in the middle of the beautiful Alps you can find one of Eldan Recycling’s most cherished and faithful customers – Cablofer Recycling SA. Cablofer was actually one of the first companies within the WEEE-recycling industry.

Cablofer Recycling SA is a scrap metal processor dealing with ferrous and non-ferrous scrap on a 40’000 m2 plot in Switzerland. They collect scrap from companies as well as from the general public.

Customer Requirements
In the beginning of the 1980’s Cablofer re-thought the concept of having a scrap yard. Scrap does not have to be worthless just because it already has been used. At this time national telecom-companies started to change from electromechanical switchboards to computerized switchboards. As the old switches were very big and contained a lot of metals such as steel, copper, aluminium, brass and precious metals Cablofer realized that this was going to turn into a gigantic pile of scrap with high value. They knew that they had a large problem, and opportunity, in front of them, but did not know how to solve it.

This was the first time that they got in contact with Eldan Recycling. Eldan Recycling was also convinced that there was a potential in this market, if it was possible to collect the valuable parts in the electronic equipment. By first crushing the electromechanical equipment into little pieces, and then separating them, it would, at least in theory, be possible to sell the different materials at ahigher price. To see if this was actually possible Eldan contacted five interesting companies to try out the idea. Cablofer was one of five companies which were contacted, and naturally they wanted to be a part of this adventure.

Eldan Solution
After the first meeting with Eldan, Cablofer immediately realized that this was the kind of idea they had been looking for.

In 1982 Cablofer ordered a standard WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) plant to take care of the telegraphic scrap that they had piled up in the yard. This standard WEEE plant included a Ring Shredder (Becker 4800), Overband Magnet, Drum Wind Separator, Granulator and Separator as well as conveyors and filter. The plant first shredded the input material into small pieces (< 8-10 mm) in the Ring Shredder and Granulator. It then separated the material into organic material, and non-ferrous material and precious metals.

For oversize input materials Cablofer used an existing Guillotine Shear to cut down the electromechanical switchboards to a suitable size before feeding the WEEE line.

Three years later they purchased a Super Chopper (SC1412) in order to increase the capacity of their existing cable recycling plant. By reducing the size input material before putting it into the cable plant, it is possible to both take in larger cables (which can only be shredded in the Super Chopper), but you can also process higher capacity in the cable plant.

From 1989 to 1990 they added to their cable recycling deposit by acquiring a Rasper (Rasper1200) and a Separator (C22).The Rasper is the ideal solution for preparing for instance cables for granulation. It has adjustable knifes and screens with different hole sizes are available. The Separation Table is a key machine in cable (and other metal) recycling, since its well balanced combination of air flow and oscillating movements produce an effective separation of metal and insulation.

Over the next two years two Water Separation Tables (one for cables and one for WEEE) was purchased. The Water Separation tables are a highly efficient solution to recover metal dust and fine wires from the plastic fraction after your metal separation.

The two following years an ACSR shear (M16-2) was purchased for the cable recycling plant as well as a Heavy Granulator (HG122) for the WEEE recycling plant. The ACSR shear (M16-2) is the perfect solution when processing aluminium cables with steel when this type of scrap is coming on reels or drums. (ACSR = Aluminium Cable Steel Reinforced). The Heavy Granulator is ideally suited for granulation of pre-chopped cables. It has straight block knives in exchangeable cassettes and friction clutches protect the drive system from momentary overload.

“It’s like buying a 700-series BMW or a Swiss mechanical watch like say a Rolex or a Breitling. They’ll be with you for a lifetime.” Theo Gertsch, Plant Manager, Cablofer Recyling SA

In 2001 Cablofer decided  to upgrade its recycling equipment and facilities, and a new Eldan WEEE plant was purchased. All together one Ring-Shredder (S1500), one Heavy Pre Granulator (HPG165), two heavy granulators (HG122) and a separation table (C26) was delivered.

“The reason Cablofer upgraded its equipment in 2001 was because they needed to increase their capacity, and wanted to incorporate some new technologies (Eddy Current Separators). The old equipment was sold on the second hand market - almost 20 years after it first was purchased” says Bertil Eklöv, product manager for WEEE and cables at Eldan Recycling.

In 2006 Cablofer purchased yet another ACSR Shear M16-2.

During 2006-2008 the company wanted to increase the capacity of the cable plant and acquired one Fine Granulator (FG952), a Super Chopper (SC1412), a Heavy Pre-Granulator for cables (HPG165) and a Heavy Granulator also for cables (HG129).

During the 30 years since the first contact between Eldan Recycling and Cablofer, equipment for both Cable and WEEE recycling equipment has been delivered by Eldan on a regular basis. This equipment is listed in the table on the opposite side.  The table does however not include spare and wear parts.

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