Visiting LCM Scrap Company
We were recently invited to visit LCM Scrap Company at their Edmonton branch, to have a look at their new frag machine, which was up and running and working hard.
For those who don't know, a frag or fragmentiser is a kind of shredder or grinder. It grinds up the scrap metal into a product that would have been transported to a British foundry in the past. These days most of the frag is exported out to countries such as China and India.
On arrival to the North London site, I was greeted by the Yard Manager who firstly handed me some personal protective equipment (safety first!), before walking me over to where the frag machine was situated. Not that I could have missed it. The machine is enormous and hard to miss when it is in operation. There were another two significant items of machinery beside it, one was loading scrap metal into the hopper, and the other was clearing the various belts that were coming from each side. I was introduced to one of the operators of the frag who proceeded to talk me through the process of how it works.
The extremely knowledgeable member of staff walked me around the machine and explained how the mound of light iron would end up as an exportable product. He showed me the light iron being loaded through the hopper which then passed through these heavy blades that shredded the metal. Once shredded the metal passes through a series of magnets, shakers and conveyors shooting various products off in different directions.
As the material passes through the machine, it gets smaller and smaller before finally reaching a heap at the end which some people would say, looks just like rubbish. Not the case, this mound of plastic, wood and anything else that isn't a form of metal is sold on and then sorted further and recycled down. The process is a very efficient way of ensuring that wastage and materials sent to landfill are very minimal.
Coming from the demolition industry, I know that processing industrial materials can cause environmental nuisances such as dust. I was surprised to see that the air quality around the fragging process was extremely clean and completely free from dust.
When I asked how this was possible I was directed toward the large extraction system attached to the machine. At every point of where the metal was shredded large extraction fans were removing the dust and transporting it into a cylindrical tank. It is in here that water is used to collect the dust. The dust is then filtered with the water then reused to help reduce wastage.
Watching the frag in action goes to show the lengths that scrap metal dealers go to separate the valuable scrap metals from the lesser value by-products. By doing this so effectively it helps to increase the grade of the scrap metal, thus increasing its value and reducing the amount of wastage during the process.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to LCM in Edmonton and would like to thank the team for their hospitality whilst we were there. We look forward to visiting again in the future.