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Eldan Recycling provides cable recycling solutions

cable recycling solutions

In almost four years, Lopez Scrap Metal increased its cable recycling operations from two shifts a week to 24 hours, five days a week. Isidro Lopez, President of the Texas-based scrap metal company, is now introducing a third production line to increase capacity.

The third-generation recycler hopes the new line will boost production to about 1360 tonne a month by 2023.

“We could even increase that number,” Isidro says. “I’m super excited to see production grow.”

Lopez Scrap Metal began in 1970 as a one truck operation collecting scrap metal from various businesses. Isidro says the company expanded to collect and cut steel from surrounding rail yards and, eventually “started taking everything” from copper to aluminium, brass and all base metals.

He says the company is in a prime location, on the border of Mexico, which has a large automobile wire manufacturing sector with plenty of cables to be recycled. Lopez Scrap Metal strips the copper from wire harnesses and processes it back to a clean copper chop to be reused by manufacturers. 

Isidro says COVID-19 forced the company to downsize when some car production stopped, but the industry is steadily building again and he’s keen to grow with it. 

Lopez Scrap Metal brought an R1200 rasper and granulator from Eldan Recycling in 2001 to kickstart its cable recycling operation. A second rasper and granulator were added soon after.

Isidro says both lines are used simultaneously to process the copper. There is the ability to run both lines the same and alter them to achieve different gradings. 

“The copper is completely liberated from the plastic,” he says. “The finished product is a good, clean copper chop.”

cable recycing solutionsA cut above

Carsten Nielsen, Eldan Technical Specialist and Area Sales Manager, says Eldan provides standard and customised cable recycling solutions no matter if the input is dry cables, ACSR cable, harness wire, jelly-filled cables or greasy underground cables.

He says the modular design means operations can be expanded or upgraded as the market changes.

“The standard solutions have capacities ranging from 300 to 5000 kilograms input/production an hour and are typically the starting point. Customisations can allow up to 10,000 kilograms per hour,” Carsten says.

“The systems are known for high performance, low production costs and minimum metal loss. They’re developed based on ambient mechanical techniques for size reduction and separation and require no melting or chemical treatment.”

He says Eldan also has cable strippers and shears for small capacities or for complementing other types of cable recycling.

A solid reputation

Isidro says his father was impressed by the versatility and ease of use of Eldan machinery. Lopez Scrap Metal also has an Eldan Super Chopper which it uses to shred aluminium, tyres and copper.

“It’s a two-step process,” Isidro says of the copper recycling. “The material fed into the rasper goes from a whole wire to a 22mm piece. It’s then fed into a granulator which chops it up further. We have a 5mm screen that dictates the size of the chop. We recover only the copper.”

Isidro has a soft spot for the chopping line, it’s the first job he had at the family business after studying economics and business at Texas Christian University.

He says he ran the chopping line while fielding job offers until it “got to a point where I couldn’t leave”.

Within four years, he expanded the line to a 24-hour operation. Now he’s working with Carsten on the details of a third line to increase throughput again.

“We’re now figuring out what it will be like,” Isidro says. “Carsten came out from Denmark several months ago to help us out. The service from Eldan is extremely helpful.

“It’s exciting. We’re expanding in other parts of the yard as well and looking to grow across the board.”  

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