IMMIX metal recycling shows its environmental credentials
As the Australian economy stretches and retracts to conform to the ever-changing constraints of the iron and steel industry, companies involved in metal recycling are showing that by implementing an entrepreneurial focus it’s possible to achieve new goals that benefit both the industry and the environment.
IMMIX Integrated Metal Management describes itself as providing a solution to metal retrieval, and by doing so it has been able to significantly streamline the conventional approach to dealing with scrap metal.
Based in Albury, IMMIX investigated the constraints of the metal recycling industry on a global basis, rather than working to a local domestic application. In this way the company developed a global approach to how metal recycling should operate as an adjunct to the iron and steel industry.
In the production of every tonne of steel there is a requirement for 33 percent of material content to be comprised of scrap metal. The iron and steel industry needs scrap metal to make steel, and IMMIX set out with the objective to create and develop a more sustainable supply chain that could operate globally, rather than just domestically.
What set the company apart from other established metal recycling businesses was how IMMIX researched the background to metal manufacturing and formulated a process to interact in all areas, from collection to buying and selling and then to exporting.
Markets vary daily. Companies using metal for production were buying and importing steel, and much of the requirement for scrap metal came from recycling operations based overseas. As IMMIX investigated further, the company gained a deeper understanding of the market through which it created its own relationships with the offshore recycling industry.
“We collect all modern non-ferrous and ferrous metals with the aim of maximising the returns for our clients. If they have different commodities we put in more bins to each location to enable the customer to pre-sort their scrap prior to collection. It’s easy for the company and they gain financially from higher returns,” said a company spokesperson.
“On arrival at our processing plant we have a baling machine that cuts and presses the material and puts it into individual bales. These are then packed in containers for shipment to foundries in Australia, NZ and offshore such as Indonesia and Malaysia and India,” the spokesperson added.
In entering the market the company knew it had to operate totally differently from the existing standards, creating a cleaner, more environmentally conscious approach and then build on that expertise through brand development and customer service.
From very small beginnings of a Mazda light truck with ten scrap metal recycling bins, IMMIX has grown to operate a fleet of five late-model DAF trucks covering the four states of Victoria, NSW, ACT and South Australia, with subcontractors operating in Tasmania and Queensland.
“We came up with the colour scheme orange, grey and white. The IMMIX orange colour represents molten metal during a pour, and the grey colour for the bins came from the base colour of iron and steel. The combination of these colours has played a significant part in our overall corporate branding, plus we have the advantage that grey bins are very serviceable,” the spokesperson said.
“The reasoning behind our operation has had a flow-on effect. There is another key player with the paintwork provider, Chris Burke of Rutherglen Complete Bodyworks. He has demonstrated a real passion for our vehicles.
“The DAF product has been very good for us. It became a head-turner and as we put the brand and the product together to create a unique point of difference we used the emergence of the brand in Australia to blend the two benefits together.
“The first truck got Truck of the Year recognition from DAF, and since then the branding has advanced, through our intention to do things differently in the industry,” added the spokesperson.
IMMIX operates five DAFs, all bought from Twin City Trucks of Albury/Wodonga, with one DAF FAP LF 55, two FAD CF85 Day Cabs, one FAD CF85 Sleeper Cab and, the latest unit, a FAD XF105 Comfort Cab, which is the first 8×4 twin-steer, hooklift to come into Australia from the DAF factory in Holland.
The new DAF XF 8×4 rigid is powered by the 12.9-litre PACCAR MX13, six-cylinder engine. With maximum power of 510 hp (375 kW) produced at 1,500-1900 rpm, and peak torque of 1850 lb-ft (2,500 Nm) rated at 1000-1410 rpm, the GVM of 34,000 kg is complimented by a GCM of 70,000 kg.
In its role as a hooklift with IMMIX, the DAF XF105 is coupled to a six-axled dog trailer, uniquely designed under PBS confirmation with Freighter Trailers, a division of MaxiTRANS. The combination has a net weight of 45 tonnes with an overall gross weight of 68 tonnes (see TrailerTorque P96 for further details).
With its Euro 5 emissions credentials, the DAF XF105 features a ZF-AS Tronic, 16-speed automated manual transmission with a tandem-drive Meritor MT23-165 rear axle that incorporates inter-axle and cross-axle differential locks. The rear bogie rides on Airglide 400, eight-bag air suspension with shock absorbers and stabiliser bars. The front suspension features parabolic leaf springs.
Fitted with dual-circuit, air-operated disc brakes throughout all axles, the XF105 features EBS (Electronic Braking Systems) as standard, resulting in a fully compliant EBS truck and trailer combination.
As might be expected from one of Europe’s leading brands, the DAF XF105 matches ABS braking with EBS, ASR (anti-slip regulation) and Hill Start Assist. The PACCAR MX engine brake and exhaust brake produces a retardation power of 320 kW at 2100 rpm.
In order to achieve Euro 5 emissions compliance, the PACCAR MX13 engine features Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), using AdBlue/DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) as part of the exhaust treatment. Further optional safety items in the DAF XF105 include Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, side-view camera system and Xenon HID headlamps.
“We built the new DAF XF105 to achieve what we wanted for this industry as the first of its kind in the country. The ability to couple to an extended-length six-axled dog trailer with a lift-up axle on each tri-axle set (leading axle and trailing axle) enables the trailer to carry two six-metre skip bins. There’s never been a unit designed to carry two, and we did it to remain competitive,” a company spokesperson added.
“We set about providing a service to meet specific individual needs. If a customer wanted a unique bin developed we built it. This gives us an edge to provide a solution to their recycling needs, and as a result we brought in more cost savings for our customers. It had a lot to do with work health and safety legislation and enabled us to reduce their risks.
“We will provide materials-handling equipment into customers’ locations for use and operation by their staff, and if needed we can provide training. By bringing our investment into their workplace it builds customer relationships. If we can put in a solution that reduces their risk and improves their efficiency we hope to have a customer for life.
“The industry is recyclable and we move a truck product that is Euro 5 or Euro 6 compliant. That’s the philosophy of our work, and that is what stands out. We extend that philosophy to minimise the fatigue involved in driving trucks by having the most comfortable and environmentally compliant trucks on the market.
“We extend that philosophy with our tyre maintenance programme operated by Beaurepaires for Tyres to provide national support. We do not want our drivers to have to do the job. In the event of a vehicle breakdown, the Twin City network will get there rapidly,” the spokesperson added.