’Green Line’ Helps Liberty Keep Pace With Customer Demands

Fri May 06, 2005 - Northeast Edition

Heavy equipment is such an ordinary part of the recycling business, it should take a machine quite a bit out of the ordinary to turn a long-time yard operator to a whole new business direction.

But Liberty Iron & Metal Company, of Erie, PA, isn’t an ordinary recycling yard and according to the company’s enterprising president, Marc Olgin, Sennebogen material handlers are no ordinary machines.

Liberty Iron, formerly Penn Iron & Metal, has been a successful operation for approximately 75 years, and it’s well-positioned to remain successful for many years more. Founded by Morris Olgin, Marc’s grandfather, Liberty Iron is the largest independently-owned scrap processor and broker in the region.

Its operations include one of the northeast’s largest vehicle shredding and recycling facilities. The output from the 20-acre site can run up to 35,000 tons (31,751 t) per month, including a full range of ferrous, non-ferrous, nickel alloys and stainless steel scrap.

Olgin’s ongoing investment in the business has led to development of many advanced metal technologies at Liberty including on-site chemical analysis, radiation detection and portable spectrometers to allow inspections at customer sites. Non-ferrous material is processed indoors in a 150,000 sq.ft. facility that also houses the maintenance shop.

Marc has been active in the business since his early teenage years. He still works alongside his father, Gerald Olgin, who is now semi-retired.

All three of Liberty’s newest material handlers are Sennebogen 835 M C Series rubber-tired machines. The Sennebogen equipment contributes to every aspect of the recycling operation. Two machines are equipped with magnets, while the third uses a magnetic grapple to feed a vehicle shredder, a 2,500-hp (1,863 kW) Universal 74/104 Hammermill shredder, which processes up to 10,000 car hulks each month. With the range of metals, equipment and facilities in the yard, Liberty has been able to keep pace with customer demands for varied melt mixes and materials as markets have fluctuated over the past several years.

According to Olgin, when running an auto shredding operation, it is critical to make sure that all systems feeding the shredder are reliable. “The cost of downtime can be very high, we cannot afford to let down our customers, even once.”

The transportation fleet at Liberty includes close to 30 trucks and trailer rigs. All outbound loading, including customers’ and contractor orders, is handled by one of the Sennebogen 835 M machines. On an average day, 75 to 100 loaded trucks roll out of the Liberty yard.

The third 835 M usually works in the back lot, assigned to feed the yard’s shear and baler.

The operations manager at the site, Joe Plumadore, agreed with Olgin’s assessment of the Sennebogen equipment.

“We picked up a lot of lost time with the mobility of these machines,” he said. “We can have a machine anywhere in the yard in five minutes or less to service a truck. Our crawler equipment would take at least 20 minutes. We can move any one of the machines anywhere we need it. Actually, we don’t need as many machines now. We used to have four crawlers working, now we can do the work easily with three machines.”

Plumadore said the equipment operators and maintenance crew are impressed with the unique features of the Sennebogen machines.

“Our maintenance people really like them as they are so easy to work on,” he said. “The operators like the hydraulic cab. It’s safer. They used to climb a 10-foot or 20-foot ladder to an elevated cab but here, the cab lowers right down for them. It’s also great for getting up and seeing right into the truck to place the load where you want it.”

Operations at Liberty Iron provide an ideal site to demonstrate what the Sennebogen green line machines line can do. According to Olgin, whether it is in front of a shredder or just loading trucks in the yard, when people come here, they are impressed with the quality and utility of the machines.

Olgin admitted that he has gained a new perspective on equipment service after the Sennebogen machines went into operation.

“I have a whole new appreciation of the quality of service I get at my yard,” he said. “Lee Gibson and his staff at Gibson Machinery have been superb. It was impressive to visit the Sennebogen parts warehouse in Charlotte and see how they have everything you could need ready to ship. Gibson and Sennebogen provide the kind of service I need at Liberty.”

Based in Charlotte, NC, Sennebogen North America offers 21 different purpose-built machines to suit virtually any heavy lift or “pick and carry” application. A growing network of distributors supports Sennebogen sales and service across North America, ensuring the highest standard of professional machine support and parts availability.