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IARC 24

UK-Based ATF Professional Vehicle Recycling Conference Roars into Action: Key Takeaways for the Industry

The highly anticipated ATF Professional Vehicle Recycling Conference roared into action on May 9th at the British Motor Museum’s Sky Suite, Warwickshire, UK. This sell-out event brought together delegates from all corners of the vehicle recycling industry for a day of thought-provoking presentations, insightful discussions, and unparalleled networking opportunities.

 

UK-Based ATF Professional Vehicle Recycling Conference Roars into Action: Key Takeaways for the Industry main

Sponsored by industry leaders, including SYNETIQ, its headline sponsor, as well as Lithium Battery Recycling Solutions, Combilift, B-Parts, Powerhand, Green Car Depollution, Solera—Hollander, and Eladene Systems, the conference kicked off with opening remarks from Haydn Davies, Director of ATF Professional. He also announced the upcoming ATF Professional Vehicle Recycling Awards on November 28th at the RAF Museum, Cosford.

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The morning sessions delved into the human element of the industry. Mike Monoghan from Auto-Motivate started with a presentation on the importance of investing in people to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Chris Clark from Morgan Sindall Group followed him by exploring the connection between safety, psychology, and employee well-being.

Later in the morning, Adam Murray, Head of Technical for Engineers at Solus, a subsidiary of Aviva, and well-respected industry expert, discussed his topic – Reclaimed parts – what’s next? The conversation centered around the challenges and opportunities in implementing standards and certification in the automotive industry. Adam highlighted the importance of compliance with FCA regulations while sharing his experience in developing a standard for reclaimed paths. He also emphasised the need for a collaborative approach to implementing standards. The next speaker, David Punter, President of the Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors (IAEA), discussed the significance of standardisation and accreditation in the industry and emphasised the importance of professional certification. He also highlighted the complexities of sustainable vehicle manufacturing and recycling. And his examples of salvage categorisation drew murmurs from the audience. Rounding out the morning session was Wayne Mason Drust from the National Body Repair Association (NBRA), who discussed the challenges and opportunities in the automotive accident repair and vehicle recycling industries, including compliance, capacity, and market segmentation.

After a refreshing lunch, where delegates were able to go onto the balcony due to the fantastic weather, the spotlight shifted to electric vehicles (EVs). Elena Wrelton and Lee Jane Eastwood presented “Electric Loops,” a project by ELVES, the Irish end-of-life vehicle compliance scheme, which aims to show the reuse and recycling potential of electric vehicles (EVs). They told the audience that in Ireland, over the course of twelve months, they meticulously collected data, scrutinising various facets of EV components to ascertain their worth. Their findings revealed valuable insights into parts with significant resale and remanufacturing potential, notably high-voltage batteries and charging cables. Their investigation results, which are now available for download, stand as a testament to the depth of their research and its implications for policymakers and industry players. 

Before the afternoon break, delegates heard from Mark Pickles, Group Parts & Service Director for Stellantis UK, detailed remanufacturing, repair, recycling, and reuse strategies, projecting substantial growth by 2030. He highlighted initiatives like Retrofit and end-of-life vehicle dismantling partnerships, underscoring Stellantis’ focus on designing cars for recyclability and sustainability. In response to queries about greenwashing, he emphasised sincere commitment, citing financial opportunities, customer retention, and industry demands. Finally, he highlighted ambitious carbon neutrality goals and lessons learned from supply chain challenges, demonstrating genuine dedication to sustainable practices.

In the first of the final two sessions of the day, delegates were treated to a lively presentation by Mike Kunkel, an industry expert from Profit Team Consulting, who gave up his time to come over from the US. He discussed the reputation of the auto salvage industry and shared some personal anecdotes about his experiences in the field. He emphasised the importance of protecting the industry’s livelihood in changing regulations and market dynamics. He touched on various aspects of sales management, including protecting the customer, establishing goals, and overcoming negativity. He also discussed the challenges and opportunities within the industry, including electronic procurement and core components, and highlighted the need for effective sales meetings and ongoing support for salespeople. Overall, he stressed the importance of staying focused on the fundamentals and aiming for continuous improvement to succeed in the auto salvage business.

The day’s final speaker was Eric Downer, representing Canadian-based company Cyclic Materials. He introduced the company’s mission to create a circular supply chain for rare earth elements, which is crucial for clean tech like electric vehicles and electronics. He explained the critical need for recycling rare earths due to China’s dominance in the supply chain. He shared information on how rare earth shortages affected defence programmes and emphasised the importance of keeping these resources local. He also outlined Secret Cyclic Materials’ approach to recycling magnets, including a two-step process involving shredding and hydrometallurgy. Eric emphasised their commitment to preventing landfill waste and their partnerships with magnet manufacturers, OEMs, and recyclers. Eric announced the company’s expansion plans into Europe and the UK ahead of schedule due to successful partnerships and investments. He concluded by highlighting the financial value of recycling components containing magnets and invited questions from the audience, addressing concerns about the environmental impact of traditional rare earth extraction methods.

The conference fostered active participation, with delegates posing insightful questions to the speakers throughout the sessions. Haydn Davies closed the event with a heartfelt thank you to the speakers, delegates, and sponsors. After the event, he remarked:

“The energy and engagement at this year’s conference were truly inspiring. It’s clear that collaboration across the industry is key to navigating the future of vehicle recycling.”

“From mindset to rare earth elements, today’s discussions showcased the exciting advancements and crucial considerations shaping our industry. We’re all in this together, and I’m confident that by working together, we can ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for vehicle recycling.”

“I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all the speakers who shared their expertise, the delegates for their engagement, and our sponsors for their invaluable support. Together, we’ve made this year’s ATF Professional Vehicle Recycling Conference a resounding success.”

Stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and upcoming events by visiting www.atfpro.co.uk!

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