Shear upgrade boosts productivity

Increased capacity, lower production costs and a better quality product have all resulted from the installation of Danieli Henschel CIB 1400 shears at Sell and Parker’s sites in Australia. In addition to transforming the production process, the machines have helped to reduce the need for costly on site staffing requirements at the company’s most remote locations.

When Ross Parker launched Sell and Parker in 1966, the company operated out of two trucks in New South Wales. Following a concerted expansion programme, it now has 200 staff, seven sites covering an area roughly the size of Europe, and equipment including one Danieli Lynxs shredder and three Danieli Henschel shears. The CIB 1400 shears have revolutionized operations at two of the newest sites, Port Hedland and Darwin, while the third, in Sydney, is preparing for installation.

Danieli Henschel scrap shear CIB 1400-10 at Sell & Parker, Darwin

Port Hedland, Western Australia, is at the heart of Australian iron ore mining production. The town’s mining industry exports in excess of one million tons of iron ore each day and generates high quantities of scrap in the process – railway lines, excavators, trucks all wear out and everything is made of metal. The site is so remote that all spare parts have to travel 2,000 km, engineers are flown in, and workers live on site for lengthy periods.

When Sell and Parker bought the site in 2013, it immediately began a programme to upgrade equipment. The arrival of the new shear resulted in a more uniform, denser product which finds a ready market even in demanding times. Managing Director Luke Parker explains: “We are producing a better quality product, so it is more attractive to our end buyers. In terms of production, it also gives us enormous flexibility to grow in future – to date, we are not utilizing the machines completely because as yet there is not enough scrap in those locations to fill them up.”

At Port Hedland in particular, the new shear has transformed working methods. In such an isolated location, workers must be flown in, then live on site for extended periods. The employer pays for labour, accommodation and flights, and staff are on site for 168 hours a week, which brings cost and social implications that other sites do not encounter. As a result, Sell and Parker was keen to reduce staffing requirements to the minimal level. The Danieli Henschel shear has been so effective that production has increased while enabling the company to reduce staffing requirements by four full time workers.

Scrap shear with lateral reducer CIB 1400-10 Danieli HenschelParker continued: “We have moved from the four gas cutters and two sets of mobile scissors that we inherited, to one gas cutter and effectively half a set of mobile scissors – in other words our capacity has increased at the same time as dropping four full time equivalents.”

Parker says the fabrication of the equipment was a key factor in choosing the CIB 1400 models. “It looks nice and strong, and the control system is very user-friendly – we are able to monitor remotely.” The machines include a 1m wide blade and 1400 ton shear. Both the Darwin and Port Hedland shears feature an 8m box and capacity to produce bales that can be fed into a shredder. The Sydney model does not bale, but incorporates a 10m box, which gives it high production with slightly less power in the side press.

Danieli Henschel’s Assembly Manager Stefan Lanzendoerfer explains that manufacturing materials give the machines their robust appearance and longevity: “The difference in our products is that we use very thick material for the shear head and the bed. Also, the machines run very fast – you can achieve a high tonnage output. If you are processing light scrap, for example, you will manage between 30-50 tons an hour, whereas heavy scrap will be more in the region of 350-500 tons per day.”

Being self-sufficient is a key aspect in running the Sell and Parker operation, even at the Sydney facility. Parker explains: “Sydney is a city of five million people, but there aren’t many experts in shears, so we still tend to maintain the necessary experience in our in house team. In addition to our maintenance crew we have our own fabrication business, with six guys fabricating equipment, conveyors and buildings for the business. We have to be self-sufficient, we cannot outsource any of our maintenance, especially at our more remote locations. If we need a cylinder re-sealed, we have to send it by truck almost 2,000km and fly the engineers in.”

Although the company has been operating for 50 years, with its first shear purchase taking place in 1979, the nineties saw a conscious decision to expand. Luke Parker joined the company in 1995, with brother Morgan following in 2000. Shortly after, the company bought its first shredder, a Danieli Lynxs model which revolutionized the business. Parker explained: “The shears gave us better production, better efficiency, then the shredder allowed us to move into a new line of business such as cars and shredder feed, which the shears couldn’t process to a standard that was suitable for the local steel mills.”

“We knew that if we wanted to make the next step in our production capacity, and our ability to serve customers, we had to have that capability. The scrap that we process in Sydney is standard material from a city of five million people – industrial and demolition scrap, peddler scrap and scrap from landfill. So in Sydney we run shears and the large shredder. It has given us a massive capacity, and allows us to handle complicated scrap; it runs hard and it is a very good tool for us.”

Looking to the future, Sell and Parker is planning more growth. With land earmarked for development in Queensland, the aim is to replicate the New South Waste operation with shears and a shredder.

For now, however, Luke Parker is happy to sing the praises of the new Danieli shears. “They are good, strong, simple machines. I like the way that the hydraulic power pack is a self-contained module. A lot of effort has gone into making it simple. And another thing that is really important for us is that they are all the same – we are able to share expertise from site to site.”

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