One big, happy scrap family

November 9, 2021

ISRI joins SciAps to support professional development at Scrap University

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries joins SciAps in support of Scrap University and their formalized program for education, training, and certification. SciAps partnered with Scrap University in April 2021.

Voice, education, and instruments for modern scrap recycling

This triad partnership establishes the best the industry has to offer: the voice, education, and instruments for the scrap recycling industry. SciAps supports the work of ISRI through sponsorships of golf outings, conferences, and auctions that raise money for the Recycling Education and Research Foundation. Scrap University uses SciAps instruments to demonstrate profitable upgrades when sorting scrap metal.“We provide our customers with the most advanced instruments so that they can work with confidence. Brad and Kate at Scrap University help them become master operators of those instruments. ISRI brings it all together. Everybody wins,” says Don Sackett, CEO and co-founder of SciAps.The people who created SciAps have been in the business of handheld sorting from the beginning, helping to develop the world’s first handheld X-ray in the mid 1990s, and then innovating the world’s first X-ray gun with an X-ray tube instead of a radioactive source.  Today, if recyclers want to sort aluminum alloys in two seconds with 100 percent accuracy, they need SciAps XRF. If they want to segregate carbon steel grades and lithium-containing aluminum alloys, they need SciAps best-selling LIBS.Sharing this type of expertise is at the heart of Scrap University, home of the industry’s first Certified Scrap Metal Professional program. Scrap University educates office staff, laborers and technicians in making sorting decisions. Students learn metal descriptions and their nicknames, as well as how those metals can be upgraded and where they are commonly misplaced in the scrap yard."How you make money in the scrap business is through an upgrade," says Brad Rudover, founding partner at Scrap University. "You want to buy low and sell high. Find the clean stainless within the dump of dirty stainless. Or buy 304 stainless and find some 316 stainless. That's an upgrade because the price gap between 304 and 316 right now is about 25 cents per pound. Every single one of our lessons (after the introductory modules) defines the metal and shows how to upgrade it." These upgrades are demonstrated with SciAps XRF handheld analyzers.

Partnering for innovation

In addition to French and Spanish translations for the CSMP program, Scrap University will add dedicated course work for catalytic converters (car-cats) in 2022. Many scrap recyclers miss this common upgrade, which means the difference between aftermarket car-cats at $10-15 per piece and the visibly similar OEM material worth up to $300 each.There’s also increasing interest in using handheld LIBS analyzers to measure so-called contaminant elements, including lithium in aluminum scrap and carbon content in steel. “The mills are getting tougher and tougher on contaminant elements,” Sackett says. “The mills will pay scrap processors more if they can guarantee that certain contaminant levels are lower than a certain amount. There’s an increasing interest in measuring those elements whereas five years ago nobody cared.”Scrap University’s CSMP designation sets the standard for metal identification by covering almost every ferrous and non-ferrous grade through a series of online lessons, quizzes, and a final exam, which can be completed in a week or less. The program is designed to be beneficial for any role within an organization, from laborers to ownership, and complements current in-yard training to accelerate the learning process. The training material can be downloaded and made into a booklet for employees to review when sorting and upgrading scrap material.The Scrap University curriculum is quickly becoming an enhancement to the ISRI definitions, standardizing the entire industry in how to maximize profitability when sorting scrap metal by both physical examination and handheld analyzer measurement of the scrap metal.“We want to deliver the best for our customers. These partnerships between SciAps, ISRI, and Scrap University help everyone get the most out of the latest technology and innovation,” Sackett says.

With the advent of high-performance XRF and laser units, fine sorting aluminum alloys in a few seconds is a reality.

Grading aluminum with SciAps X-550

Brad Rudover, one of the founders of Scrap University, recently shared some hints on grading aluminum, one of the many training sessions offered at Scrap University's Certified Scrap Metal Professional training course for individuals and companies.“Tough/Taboo is one of the most common grades of aluminum found at a scrap yard,” Rudover says. But it goes by different names and can have strong upgrade potential.“In the past, making use of an analyzer to identify each grade of aluminum didn’t help capture upgrades as they would typically report ‘light element’ rather than the actual grade. It wasn’t until SciAps entered the market that specific aluminum grades could be identified with an analyzer,” Rudover says.

Scrap U follows ISRI specifications to train new hires. Brad says he loves working with SciAps X-550 — "It looks like a Lamborghini, and performs like one too."

See the X-Series in action

The X-550 comes with the patented Aluminum App, which will allow you to sort ALL of your aluminum, including low Mg aluminums, in 1-2 seconds. Watch the video demo to see the difference.

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