We at ATF Professional recently attended the International Round Table on Automotive Recycling Event (IRT) held near Norwich, Norfolk.
Round Table Conference Sessions began on Thursday 23rd May after an evening of networking and a visit to English Whiskey Company, a welcoming introduction was made by host, Andy Latham of Salvage Wire.
First on the agenda was ‘The key elements to Profitable growth beyond 2025 for auto recyclers’ by Chris Daglis, advisor to insurers, suppliers and repairers in the automotive industry on alternative parts strategies. The idea throughout his presentation was to emphasise how dismantlers must embrace change in order to thrive as a business. He focused on the 6 Pillars to profitable growth which included using online platforms to sell parts, such as through eBay and understanding the changes within vehicle technology.
Following on from Chris, Richard Dudley representing the Auto Parts and Recyclers Association of Australia (APRAA) and the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) talked about the lack of laws provided to the industry and how the vehicle statistics ‘don’t add up’. He said that illegal activities take place in Australia and over 300,000 vehicles exit the Australian market. He said that the APRAA has been working hard in the background as Government is doing very little. The bottom line was, finding out how other countries deal with their issues is key. It seems that every other country who attended the event had the upper hand, at least they have an ELV policy unlike in Australia. He discussed what they want to achieve in the future which included introducing improved export control and to develop new enforcement strategies as part of ELV policy and regulatory framework.
The final session of the day was presented by Chas Ambrose of the VRA who pointed out the issues the UK face within the industry, unfortunately due to the overtaking of ‘Brexit’, our industry has been sidelined as not being a priority. Andy Latham followed with his presentation on High Voltage Safety who gave instruction on the importance of battery handling and how it is necessary to receive the correct training within your business.
Paul D’Adamo ‘the recall guy’, of Airbag Recalls kicked off the second day of IRT sessions with his knowledge of the recall sector and how there is a ‘call to action to eliminate Takata airbags’, his slogan ‘#YANKTHATBAG’ and since launching in 2018, so far 20,000 airbags have been recalled. Chris Daglis stepped in to point out that in Australia, it is illegal to sell recalled components and how associations need to take a proactive approach to the Takata airbag recall.
Tim Hughes of Lockout/Tagout focused on safety when working with energy sources on a site including electrical, mechanical, using liquid or gases and hydraulic or pneumatics. He ended his presentation with a rather graphic video showing an accident happening without the implementation of these safety features, something that got people talking before lunch.
Country reports consisted of those by the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Japan and Malaysia and the consensus was similar across the board, all facing similar issues including a lack of communication between manufacturers and OEMs, the ongoing issue of illegal operators, standardisation of parts and battles with Government bodies to prioritise and recognise the vehicle dismantling industry. Although, it seems that Japan has a different business model where illegal operators are not a concern, something which other countries could learn from. They also produced some interesting statistics on how low CO2 emissions were when using reused parts.
Following on from the conference sessions, we headed to DLH Auto Recyclers Ltd, owners, Dave and Jo Horsnell. who gave us the tour of their recently expanded site (see previous article here) showing off their efficient set up and to end the day, we were treated to a delicious barbecue whilst chatting with our fellow delegates.
The event ended on the 25th with the round table conference coming together at Dunston Hall. Members from each country in attendance had the opportunity to take part and be part of this dedicated band of people who showed their progression within the industry. It was most encouraging to be privy to such a conference and that this progressive group of people are working together on behalf of all dismantlers throughout the world to give the industry a bigger voice and understanding of the part they play in vehicle recycling.
Communication is key, a goal which is not impossible if all associations from around the globe work together. The problem lies within Governments and within communications with manufacturers and OEMs. But it was suggested by this dynamic group that sharing ideas between one another will create more power to communicate to Government and manufacturers. From what we have seen at this year’s IRT event, determination and is the drive for a positive outcome.
Next year’s IRT will take place in Japan – details to follow.
Andy Latham, Salvage Wire, said:
“It was a pleasure to welcome delegates from all over the world to the UK for IRT2019, all leaders in their own countries, they came together as equals and openly discussed their successes, issues and ideas, and the final outcome has the potential to enhance global automotive recycling”.
Steve Fletcher, Managing Director, Automotive Recyclers of Canada said:
“The previous IRT’s have helped to shrink the global world for auto recyclers. It is always re-affirming to hear that the problems and opportunities you experience are felt by others around the world – and there may be synergies to working together to tackle these issues. The Norfolk event was no exception – we were able to quickly identify the common concerns and develop a shared understanding and accountability for preparing for the future. I think we broke new ground in ensuring that work continues between IRT’s, so that the next event in Japan will pull us even further along the path of true global cooperation for auto recyclers everywhere.”
To find out more visit the IRT website here: www.irt-autorecycling.org