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Investing in CATs

Core Parts & Catalyst MachineryRoss Barnes, Managing Director at AutoParts UK Ltd, tells us about their business in processing core parts and catalytic converters and the changes they have made due to legislation. He also gives us his views on the future of catalytic converters as core parts.

When looking at core parts from a vehicle dismantlers point of view, I have always asked myself the same question, what benefit and / or financial gain will it bring to the table? The last thing a dismantler needs is another core dealer cherry picking a small quantity of components at a fraction of price that could be achieved over the counter.

The core products we currently purchase from car breakers include steering racks & pumps, both hydraulic & electronic, gearboxes and rotating electrics (starters & alternators).

Core products

We have built a second factory to focus on certain core products which we have gained a good deal of knowledge and experience. The components included are both hydraulic and electronic, such as steering racks and steering pumps.

Remanufacturing companies are now successfully repairing the electronic components and it sets us up for the future. The other product we are selling more and more of, especially abroad, are gearboxes. Therefore we have purchased a stacking system that allows us to pick gearbox orders and dispatch them quicker, something that works well for our UK customers who need single units quickly.

Our starter motor and alternator range has been both expanding in range and volume and we will be stocking larger volumes of this product as well. There are two products we are looking into for the future, these are EGR valves and suspension pumps.

Catalytic converters and changes in the law

There has been a change in the legislation regarding the handling of catalysts. Back in May 2016 the EA changed their classification of catalytic converters to hazardous, this is due to some of the units containing RCF (Refractory Ceramic Fibre). AutoParts UK Ltd have invested in all the newly added health and safety measures and were successful in obtaining the bespoke hazardous waste processing permit. With the new EA position in mind, we have adapted the new building to accommodate all the processing operations in a sealed environment and to compliment this we have converted our guillotines to be hands free plus added a milling machine to sample small batches. See the EA’s quick guide to Catalytic Converters containing Refractory Ceramic Fibre (RCF) here.

Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs)

All companies that supply refining companies with monolith will have to separate the DPF material containing silicon carbide from the catalyst side – aluminium oxide. I have attached an update regarding DPFs which shows this in more detail. Click here to open the DPF update document.

core parts and catalytic machinery

The minimum lot for sampling DPF material is around 500 kg. The average percentage of silicone carbide material is currently around 5% which puts smaller collectors and larger breakers that deal direct with refining companies out of reach of going direct with this material, as the time to collect the minimum quantity would be too long. This is what prompted the investment in the new hammer mill sampling system that we are currently installing which is suitable for milling and sampling lots of up to around 350kg.

It is my belief that there will be DPF material on the market in smaller quantities and we would like to be on hand to accommodate for this.

The future for catalytic converters as core parts

Core Parts and Catalyst processingThe catalyst systems installed on modern vehicles entering the market now consist of several sections and up to five different units including an ammonia catalyst to treat the off gas after the Adblue treatment is added. Not all of these catalysts contain precious metal. We have invested in new analytical equipment to test new catalysts that come onto the market quickly including a single cat mill for quick testing to eliminate the units with no precious metal value.

We believe the future for the uncoated catalysts is for re-use, therefore to enable us to reuse these catalysts as components we have purchased a DPF cleaning machine.

Regarding the collection of components, we will be purchasing more components from existing suppliers located in the Southeast with a fleet of seven vans. This should give us the perfect balance and all of which should be up and running by the coming summer.

Visit AutoParts website at: http://www.autoparts-uk.com

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