Gebrüder Gratz focuses on quality to meet metal scrap processing output and compliance needs
Processing 150,000 tonnes of scrap metal and 15,000 tonnes of non-ferrous metals in a year makes Gebrüder Gratz one of the largest players in the field in Austria. Founded in 1938, the company started off with a focus on processing raw materials like coal. Gradually, they switched to recycling scrap metal and evolved together with the recycling market. High quality, equipment longevity and flexibility define their business needs as well as their partner in metal shredding and shearing – Metso.
Gebrüder Gratz is led by two cousins, Karl-Heinz Gratz and Kurt Gratz, and is located in the north of Austria, close to three foundries. They collect scrap metal from industrial and commercial companies in both the public and private sectors. The sorted, shredded and prepared metal is supplied to steelworks foundries, especially in the Austrian, German and Italian markets.
The cousins bought their very first scrap shear back in 1980, which also marks the beginning of the partnership between Gebrüder Gratz and Metso, then known as Lindemann. During the intervening 30 years or so, the two companies have experienced a lot and have grown together.
“We are still very much a family company, even though we have grown to have our own rail connection and exports account for 80% of our sales. We take pride in our work, which shows in the high-quality products which are in demand internationally,” says Dr. Karl-Heinz Gratz.
Watch the interview with Dr. Karl-Heinz Gratz.
Keeping up with production output and quality with “the Mercedes of scrap processing equipment”
The recycling industry has evolved due to the scarcity of natural resources and stricter laws and regulations. The requirements for pure steel scrap are increasingly restrictive. For example, steel scrap as an end product must contain only a small amount of copper, or no copper at all. Besides controlling the end product, regulations on water and air quality must also be met. For this, Metso has supplied a de-dusting system for Gebrüder Gratz.
“We have to be flexible, and the equipment needs to be adjusted constantly. We need the equipment to meet our quality standards, and we can’t risk our production by not having the best-performing and most compliant equipment. With Metso, we know that we get that, and with the same aspiration for success that we have,” says Dr. Gratz
Gebrüder Gratz has not settled for premium product quality only; they are also working on their production output. In 2018, they replaced their shear with a Metso Lindemann EtaCut™ II and the shredding housing with a Metso LindemannTM ZZ 190 X 260 housing and the new Shredder Drive Assistant. Their output grew by 10–15%, and the Shredder Drive Assistant has allowed smart monitoring and controlling of the process for optimal results.
“It has been great to help Gebrüder Gratz to adjust their production processes and help them to be compliant with the ever-stricter regulations. Along our journey of over 30 years that we have made with this customer, we have got to know their processes and understand the demands they have for us, the equipment, and the spare parts stock in order to achieve their targets,” says Klaus Peter Spielvogel, sales manager in Metso’s Metal Recycling business.
Having owned seven pieces of Metso equipment in total, Dr. Gratz has a solid opinion on them: “Metso equipment has always been the Mercedes of scrap processing equipment due to the quality of the machines”.
Committed service helps in managing the constant change in the recycling industry
Back in 1997, the shredder in use was damaged heavily due to an explosion caused by a gas bottle on-site. In only six weeks, Metso and Gebrüder Gratz personnel got the plant back up and running. The same service level remains today, even though there are new challenges to overcome together.
The company sees the future of the metal recycling business as bright, but with a lot of change that needs to be managed and adapted to. Besides the equipment, Gebrüder Gratz thinks that Metso’s people are highly committed to their work. They provide services covering everything from immediate trouble-shooting to supporting planning for long-term profitability.
“If you are in trouble, you make one phone call and there’s someone on site. The spare parts inventory is also very good. It was also great to see that there is manufacturing in Germany, which was well-demonstrated at the Shredder Day* event,” Dr. Gratz mentions, adding: “We look forward continuing our co-operation with Metso”.
*Shredder Day was held in April 2019 in Germany for all Metso customers in the metal recycling industry.