Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

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Powerhand – new developments and products for the wider vehicle recycling market

ATF Professional wanted to find out what has been happening at Powerhand over the past few years, so we caught up with Murray Clark, Managing Director, who provided us with an update on the developments they have made as well as discussing new products on the horizon to suit the wider vehicle recycling market.


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(L-R) David Hardie, Managing Director of Hardie Engineering (contractors for the new factory), Powerhand Chairman, Douglas Clark, and Managing Director, Murray Clark

Recent developments

Over the past three years, one of our big focuses has been the design and build of our new factory facility, and since November 2022, it has been fully operational. The new building is our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, encompassing a machine shop, hydraulic cylinder manufacturing zone, assembly and dispatch area and staff welfare facilities. The new factory will allow us to continue to increase our production capacity and quality and act as a springboard for further investment in the future.

Another key development for us has been our growth into international markets; this has been a key priority for us over recent years, and we are very proud to export our full Powerhand range of products to 25 countries globally (vehicle recycling, forestry and specialist material handling applications). It has been very interesting to build new trading relationships around the world during a period when travel had been difficult, but now that things have opened up, we are very excited to build upon these relationships further.

Grand opening of the new factory facility

VRS ten years on

Our journey with VRS has been incredibly exciting; we have learnt a lot and met some great people. As a business, we love designing and producing products in the UK and then taking them all around the world.

We are incredibly proud that Powerhand is becoming an increasingly strong and sought-after brand in the UK and worldwide.

Ten years and over 100 million views on social media platforms – we’re excited for the next ten years!

Adapting to environmental responsibilities and legislation

The world is certainly changing; we recognise that there is a huge move towards increased recycling rates of all types of materials as well as increased recycling facilities in the country of consumption. Therefore, we are working closely with a range of recyclers in the UK and around the world to maximise recycled content from ELVs as well as developing new products to handle other end-of-life product streams.

Getting maximum value from ELVs

All businesses are certainly facing a squeeze in terms of increased operating costs, and that is why it is more important than ever to have efficient operating processes. We believe that, for car dismantlers, Powerhand VRS systems offer the most profitable and efficient solution to ELV recycling. For example, copper wiring loom is a key material that VRS can extract from ELVs, which in the current market, can generate returns of over £3,000 per tonne. Our customers report that they can extract around 14kg of copper wiring loom per car, meaning that, from the wiring loom along, they can generate an additional £42 profit per car processed.

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The value within the manifold CATs is also incredibly important to consider for recyclers, but extracting these from the vehicle without causing damage is a difficult task. However, the plier-like design of the VRS grapple is the ideal tool for extracting the engine without compromising the CAT. A skilled operator can then also use the VRS grapple to remove the CAT from the engine intact. This allows increased profits to be generated for the recycler and also saves the manual labour costs in attempting to remove the CAT from the engine by hand.

What’s next for Powerhand?

There are a number of exciting developments and events for us on the horizon. Notably, we are very excited to be exhibiting at the ISRI convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in April, where VRS will be on the Liebherr stand for thousands of people to see.

We also have some new products in the pipeline for vehicle recyclers and the wider recycling market, including the new VRS140 system. This system has been developed out of a rising demand for VRS from smaller-volume recycling yards looking for an entry-level model. VRS140 can be installed onto excavators in the 14-15tonnes weight class, which will reduce the overall investment required while allowing recyclers to reap the benefits of a VRS system. Keep your eyes peeled for it at the CARS show in May.

To find out more from Powerhand, go to

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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