Who Knows The Business End Of Your Scrap Handler?

With the right supplier behind you, effective asset management for lifting equipment isn’t just for big operators anymore!

ZANESVILLE, OH The purchase of a new scrap-handling machine is generally a careful, thoughtful process for most recyclers. But then, once the brand and model is confirmed, there’s that “oh yeah!” moment when the attachment at the end of the apparatus gets added to the purchase order. A magnet? A grapple? Bucket? Combination magnet-grapple?

It’s often surprising how little attention is given to this critical attachment – the part that actually holds onto the material you’re moving!

Paul Bean doing LifTTrax survey.

For some yard managers, it’s simply a case of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!” Their scrap-handling attachments are put to work year after year and, as long it keeps picking up material, no problem. If a problem does crop up, just call the equipment dealer to send out something similar.

For Jack Joseph, the situation is a little different. As a 3rd generation recycler and past President of the Ohio Valley ISRI chapter, Jack has as much experience with scrap-handling attachments as anyone. But there’s a good reason he doesn’t give a great deal of thought to magnets and grapples: he has someone else to do it for him!

When Jack needs a new lifting attachment for one of his two Muskingum Iron & Metal sites, he simply calls Paul Bean, a Regional Sales Manager with Winkle Industries. “I’ve known Paul as long as I can remember,” says Jack. “He knows my business and he knows my equipment, so I trust him to provide the magnets I need for my application.”

A process behind the scenes

(From Left to Right) Peter Pinkerton, Muskingum Iron & Metal, Paul Bean, Winkle Industries and Jack Joseph, Muskingum Iron & Metal.

Talk to Paul Bean, though, and you find that the business end of Muskingum Iron & Metal gets a lot more attention than meets the eye!

“Jack and I go back a long way, but I don’t just trust my memory to make sure he gets the right equipment and service from us. Winkle has a very detailed process for surveying and inspecting customer machines and lifting devices. We have some very large customers who rely on us to provide complete asset management and maintenance programs for them, and that’s what provided the impetus for our “LifTTrax™” system. Everything we learn about our customers’ scrap lifting operations is captured in our reference database, from machine inventories to the condition of electrical connections on the devices. That puts us in a position to be proactive with our customers to keep their equipment running efficiently and effectively!”

A Winkle LifTTrax survey and inspection will cover the full range of scrap-handling equipment, including both magnetic and mechanical lifting attachments as well as auxiliary devices such as magnet controllers and electrical, hydraulic and fuel-driven power supplies. While the initial survey and inspection can be a lengthy process on a large recycling and steel mill site, Paul Bean says the basic approach to tracking customer needs is second nature for Winkle sales and service staff, whether the yard is big or small.

Winkle Magnet with Grapple at Muskingum Iron & Metal.

“Jack called me a while ago, interested in working with us to remanufacture or replace some surplus magnets,” he recalled. “When he started going into details on a couple of the magnets, I could tell him ‘it’s ok – I’ve got it all right here!’ I could see the size and type and tracking information for all his magnets right on my desktop.”

Turning technology into service

Winkle has invested extensively in its engineering technologies and service capabilities over the past several years, and customers are beginning to discover the value of giving more attention to their attachments, old and new. Mike McCray, also a Regional Sales Manager with Winkle, recently completed a LifTTrax program at several Southeastern US recycling facilities. “After I completed the survey,” said McCray, “We were able to develop a plan that helped the customer create additional cash flow from their surplus, obsolete and damaged inventory. Additional, we were able to show them that by matching their magnets to their machines, that they would be maximizing their operation’s throughput.”

Paul Bean says that, while large metals corporations often have sophisticated information technologies in place, the size of a recycling operation doesn’t have to be a factor. Jack Joseph, along with his brother Rob and son Josh, are a prime example of a family business that takes advantage of applying advanced asset management and maintenance through their supplier. All three are active in the local ISRI association and stay on top of competitive trends in the industry.

Customizing for the customer

Jack Joseph uses the grapple-magnet arrangement because it allows his operator to switch the magnet power on as needed and boosts the lifting capacity of the mechanical grapple.

“Our most successful customers see us more like a partner than like a supplier,” Paul continues. “Jack was purchasing new grapples recently; he wanted Winkle to custom fit a magnet to a Young grapple. He prefers a grapple-magnet arrangement that allows the operator to switch the magnet power on as needed to aid in boosting the lifting capacity of the mechanical grapple. Due to our experience with these units, are engineering department had the specifications on-line to design the fitting. With the number of grapples that we remanufacture these days, we are building a database of drawings for all kinds of scrap attachments. With ease of access to the information we need, customizing for individual applications becomes much more efficient and economical.”

Jack Joseph concurs. “Good relationships mean a lot,” he says. “I value Paul’s advice on getting us the right ideas and the right equipment.”

By working with a true partner who is dedicated to giving proper attention to the equipment assets of his business,” says Bean, “Jack can focus more attention on looking after his own customers!”

About Winkle Industries

Winkle Industries is a worldwide leader in engineered solutions for users of mill-duty material handling equipment. Winkle’s ISO 9001:2008 facilities provide end-to-end design, manufacture and support for above-the-hook and below-the-hook lifting devices, electrical and mechanical crane products, on-the-ground material handling equipment, engineering services, aftermarket services, machining and fabrication. Winkle’s experience and resources are “raising customer expectations” on a wide range of needs, from innovative product design to customer process improvement.

For information, contact:

Mark Volansky, Director of Sales
2080 West Main Street, Alliance, Ohio 44601
Tel: (330) 823-9730 Fax: (330) 823-9788