In many recycling and recovery plants, scrap and waste materials are often stored in large piles to be processed at a later time. For these kinds of facilities, the use of a grappler is often the most effective method for introducing these piled materials into the recycling and recovery process. Grapplers can pick up large quantities of scrap material from these storage piles and place or feed the material into processing equipment, like material separators, shredders, and balers.
A grappler is a piece of material handling equipment which can take on many shapes; however, all grapplers serve the same purpose of picking up and maneuvering large quantities of scrap materials. This kind of equipment is generally attached to the long boom or arm of a piece mobile heavy machinery, much like a backhoe. One of the most common types of grapplers is the claw grappler. The aptly named claw grappler has a series of curved metal arms that look like claws. This machine is controlled by an operator who can open and close the claw to lift and release loose material. For recycling plants where metal is being handled, it’s quite common to use a scrap handling magnet, in place of a claw grappler, since this can easily pick up scrap metal using magnetic force.
Grapplers typically use either hydraulic or electric force to open and close their lifting mechanisms. These lifting arms need to be very strong in order to clench heavy materials and safely lift heavy objects that could be found among the debris. A grappler can typically be purchased and added as an attachment to a backhoe or a similar piece of heavy equipment. This versatility keeps equipment costs low while still giving recycling facilities the implements they need to handle high volumes of recycled material. On the other hand, they can also be purchased as part of a complete material handling vehicle. Many material handling equipment manufacturers design and supply grappling vehicles specifically constructed for use in recycling facilities. These types of equipment are equipped with stabilizers to keep the vehicle from tipping over when lifting heavy materials.
Scrap Handling Magnets
A scrap handling magnet is very similar to a grappler but uses electromagnetic forces to attract and hold objects instead of mechanical force. Scrap handling magnets consist of an electromagnet connected to a chain on the end of a hydraulic arm that can raise and lower it. Scrap handling magnets come in a variety of sizes, but they are usually round and the top portion is encased in a strong metal body to protect the magnet and hold it firmly in place during use. The magnets used to lift scrap metal can be powerful enough to pick up thousands of pounds at a time, and they are frequently used in facilities that specialize in metal recovery.