Posts by DNYRecycling

Hitting the Reset Button

Posted by on Feb 2, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hitting the Reset Button

Driven by trends in technology and repair techniques, parts recyclers are calling for a new focus on industry forces working together. Whether you’re a new technician entering the automotive world, or you know someone who is – perhaps you’ve just hired one or two – it’s critical to understand one thing: Your education is never finished! “The best professional automotive recyclers demonstrate essentially the same characteristics as those in automotive repair shops. They subscribe to best practices, including the Gold Seal and Certified Automotive Recycler certifications of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), and work to position themselves in the marketplace as providers of excellent experiences for their customers. They’re also trying to stay ahead of rapid changes in vehicles rolling off the assembly lines. Some examples of those changes include advanced virtual computers; high-strength steel and plastics; high-tech software that can track the habits of car owners; 24/7 wireless connectivity that’s subordinate to high-profit business models (think Tesla and Google); and OEMs exerting control over the recyclers’ creations. Bottom lines and business models are changing. Regulations, legislation and the courts are impeding. Yet despite all the changes, professional automotive recyclers continue to seek creative ways to serve customers and maintain market share. What follows are some of the issues that the industry is working to master. Some of the issues will be years in the making; others are knocking on your door now. The Parts-Data Issue Not so much a trend as a critical need, recyclers continue to struggle for access to parts numbers entitled to them by law. “Two years ago, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act into law,” notes ARA regional director Scott Robertson, president of Robertson’s Auto Salvage of Wareham, Mass. “It requires OEMs to provide data to recyclers to identify recalled parts. We still don’t have the data. In the future, the OEMs could control all aspects of the vehicles they manufacture. Therefore, they could control how they are repaired and disposed of at end-of-life.” Viewing this as an antitrust issue, and one that’s not in the best interests of the consumer, ARA is investing time and resources on Capitol Hill in the belief that more partnering is required. Should these efforts be successful, they would benefit all repair, insurance and auto recycling industry partners. “Until the data is released,” adds Mike Kunkel, of Profit Team Consulting, “the auto recycler must continue to stay efficient to remain profitable.” The High-Value Parts Issue Smartphones keep consumers connected, and they want that same level of connectivity in their cars, too. Automakers are responding to these desires at light speed. And as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Crash Avoidance and Electronic Controls Research Program contributes to the public’s acceptance of advanced crash-avoidance systems, automakers are digitizing their vehicles at a rapid pace to meet the demand, which means that the number of salvageable auto parts is multiplying – as is the value of those parts. For example, just one electronic sensor on a new Volvo costs $1,200. Automotive recyclers will seize the opportunity to salvage these high-dollar electronics, which will likely replace current cash-cow parts. Imagine dismantling and recycling all of those systems? Yet for the progressive and adaptable recycler, the potential for profit will be astounding. And although vehicle safety technology mandates might increase, with the intended result being fewer accidents, auto salvage recyclers must rise to the challenges of increasing the number of parts of higher value that they have in stock. “Electric and hybrid vehicles will soon dominate the market,” says Norman Wright, president, Stadium Auto Parts in Denver,...

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Parts Reuse Essential

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Parts Reuse Essential

Parts Reuse Essential

OEMs want an off-ramp on the Circular Economy For the longest time, auto recyclers have coexisted with manufacturers. But now, we are facing challenges with OEMs and their hot and cold views of our industry. Auto recyclers are an integral part of the circular economy and end-of-life vehicle management. OEMs understand what recyclers do: we take end-of-life vehicles and break them down for materials and parts. We then sell the materials and try to sell the parts, but that’s becoming more difficult because OEMs are ramping up marketing efforts that portray recycled parts as being inferior. Previously, these efforts were directed at the offshore aftermarket, which can include counterfeit parts. From a safety standpoint, recyclers agree – OEM parts are always going to have a better fit for the vehicle they’re engineered for. But now that message has been broadened to emphasize anything that isn’t brand new is a problem that’s just waiting to happen – and these scare tactics are having an impact on the industry. In reality, recycled parts are OEM parts, and we’re taking them off the vehicles they were built for. It could be six-month-old part with the same fit, function and safety parameters, but for reasons of economics and maintaining their market share, OEMs would rather refer to recyclers as junk yards – as in, you wouldn’t put a piece of junk on your car, even though it’s their own part. We’re also seeing a lot more OEM-certified shops and OEM-certified repair procedures. Ultimately, those repair procedures say you must buy new and some of the certification programs say you can only buy a part from the dealer. The technology of cars is evolving, and OEMs are almost shooting themselves in the foot with the level of complexity – where’s the repair industry going to go? When recycled parts don’t seem like an option, you can total a car pretty quickly. For example, bumper covers used to cost around $400 and you could get them aftermarket for half that. Now, some bumper covers are $4000 because of sensors, cameras and computer components. It doesn’t take much of a fender bender to write the whole thing off and then everyone loses, except for the manufacturer, because they’ll be selling a new car. So, repairers are starting to get nervous. While they’re getting better information from the manufacturers and it’s easier to order parts, they’re also seeing record levels of write offs, total losses and vehicles not being repaired because it’s getting so expensive. On the one hand, OEMs wrap themselves around the environmental benefits of the circular economy and how they build these cars so they’re good for the environment at end-of-life. But to them, end-of-life means press it and don’t use the parts, just have somebody do the dirty depollution work and recover those materials. But the circular economy is not just about recycling – reusing and repurposing are essential. Supporting the circular economy and pushing the idea that recycled parts are inferior are two ideas that don’t match up, and this is something that’s not going to get simpler. It’s a pretty challenging spot that we’re in, and the repair and insurance industries also see it as a problem. We need to be talking about the issue as an overall sector and not just what benefits one sector over the others. Collision Management Magazine, December 2017 The post Parts Reuse Essential appeared first on Automotive Recyclers of Canada. Source: Industry...

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Nova Scotia auto recycler takes pro experience to remote northern community

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Nova Scotia auto recycler takes pro experience to remote northern community

Nova Scotia auto recycler takes pro experience to remote northern community

Not many maritimers find themselves in August gazing out, next to the mouth of the Great Whale River, at the vastness of Hudson Bay. This past summer, Paul Bell, who works at Poehls Auto Recycling in Kentville, NS, was doing just that. He had the experience of a lifetime sharing his professional experience in the adjoining remote Nunavik communities in northern Quebec of Kuujjuarapik and Whapmagoostui (combined population about 1500), as part of Scout Environmental’s “Tundra Take Back” program. Paul spent two weeks in the community sharing his knowledge, skills and the best practices of modern recycling with two other volunteers who were flown in and room and boarded by the Program. The “Tundra Take Back” program is one of several initiatives established by Scout Environmental that sends qualified volunteers to remote northern communities to work with local community members to deal with the safe handling and recycling of end of life vehicles and large machinery, appliances and associated fluids. Paul was there with two other volunteers and, during their stint, they trained six locals in modern recycling methods. Recycling in a remote community that is only accessibly by air year-round and by ship for a window in the warmer months is far different than in Nova Scotia or anywhere south of 60. A bit of improvisation is required and to this end some of the community’s snow removal equipment was repurposed to crush the vehicles down to size and for removal to a safe holding site outside the community. Ultimately the scrap and safely stored fluids were destined for shipping to the south when the sea lanes were free and the transport and supply ships could steam in to drop off their usual load of months-worth of supplies and pick up the recycling. Paul’s first comments in discussing this adventure were to relate the “unbelievable beauty and sheer expanse” of being on the edge of Hudson Bay and the warmth and kindness of the residents and their welcoming and well maintained little corner of Quebec. He was also quick to point out that although indeed a very isolated spot on the map, it’s not remote enough to keep that icon of Canadian caffeine in a cup from having an outlet, that does double duty also serving up well known fried chicken, albeit at a cost for a sandwich that would be measured in buckets of extra crispy in the Maritimes. Hoping for a glimpse of some perhaps unique to the North wildlife what Paul got was the sight of a lot of geese. The Co-op Hotel was comfy, the food fine, connection to the wider world easy via satellite TV and the satisfaction of helping keep a community safe and clean rewarding. The team spent most of their time dealing with the recycling load which added up to over one hundred automobiles, appliances, boats, a few pieces of heavy equipment, snowmobiles and snow blowers and other miscellaneous implements. One thing that was not on the recycling list but caught the attention of Paul and the others were two old Bombardier Snow Buses, formerly in the service of Hydro Quebec, in traditional yellow, still looking pretty solid for such ancient beasts. Once ubiquitous in the north these are a pretty rare sight these days. Probably relics of the days when government considered damming the Great Whale River. Paul’s experience was priceless and, without missing a beat, asked whether he’d return to the North with the program again, he replied: “oh, yeah – no question, I’m there! I’d love to get others in our industry involved too.” As he points...

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High-tech auto recycling leaders in the green economy

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on High-tech auto recycling leaders in the green economy

High-tech auto recycling leaders in the green economy

Andrew Macdonald, owner of Maritime Auto Parts in Glenholme, Nova Scotia, is a passionate voice for and leader in the automotive recycling industry. His business, which employs 23 people at three Nova Scotia locations, is one of a few dozen recycling operations in the Maritimes that operates to high standards of environmental responsibility and stewardship. All are members of the Auto Recycling Association of Atlantic Canada and as such conform to extremely high environmental standards and practices in all facets of how they process vehicles for recycling and/or reuse. Recycling, reusing and/or repurposing used auto parts is nothing new. Doing it in an environmentally sensitive and hightech era and in a demanding competitive global economy is. As Andrew points out “When we’re bidding at auctions for inventory vehicles we’re not just competing with other local or regional operations anymore but increasingly buyers from around the world. Many of these buyers are in countries with little to no environmental recycling standards so beyond the added buying competition we are concerned about the global green impact.” Added to that are the demands of a modern customer base that requires instant service and high quality and the parts recycling business begins to resemble a localized auto Amazon.com in management, operation and high tech solutions. To keep up with the pace of modern time and delivery standards, Maritime Auto Parts uses an ever more updated and advanced computer system to manage inventory and to maintain up-to-date data on the available vehicle market aka their parts supply. As Andrew explained, on an average one of his vehicle buys he’s looking at twenty core component parts that trend as being in demand at any given time – data he’s able to track through their computer system. Those core parts are the value proposition for him in a car. The operation will inventory, on average, 75 parts per car but those baseline 20 parts are the business case. Reputations are built on quality and customer service and after over 80 years in business, in one form or another, the latest proprietor is focussed on maintaining that edge and building on the storied history. With expectation of “right now” service in all sectors the auto recycling biz is no different. They field three to four hundred calls a day and not only is time of the essence in terms of delivery so too is quality. Andrew has three quality control staff that verify that each part going out the door is in exactly the condition it’s been inventoried and advertised on their website. Beyond the clear environmental benefits of recycling/reusing parts Andrew made a good point. “If your Subaru ends up in a body shop and needs this or that part, if we’re supplying it it’s an original Subaru part, not an aftermarket one. Important to remember that we’re maximizing, to the best we can, what came out of the, in this example, Subaru factory.” Interestingly, in the ever evolving and progressing world of automotive recycling there is an emerging market in the sale of historically low demand parts to companies that remanufacture them. Everything from key fobs to radiators. Maritime Auto keeps a series of bins where they separate these items out and sell and ship them off to these firms all over North America. Always with an eye on the future and where the industry is headed, the second generation Macdonald owner of Maritime Auto Parts sees plenty of challenges and opportunities moving forward. The Waterloo Mechanical Engineering Alumnus chose to take-over and modernize this business after a few years working for some of the big automakers in Ontario and with his and the wider industries continued dedication to the environmental cause, the auto recyclers really are the “Green Leaders” of the automotive business chain. by Andrew Skaling, Auto & Trucking Atlantic November 2017 The post High-tech auto recycling leaders in the green economy appeared first on Automotive Recyclers of Canada. Source: Industry...

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