Wealth from waste
By PTA News Bureau
Even before sustainability and green issues became fashionable debating points, the Faaborg (Denmark)-based Eldan Recycling had shown its strong commitment to environmental protection. Since 1956, this global supplier of recycling equipment for processing waste tyres and various scraps have installed more than 830 complete plants and 7,100 single machines all over the world. Today, with subsidiaries in Germany (Düsseldorf), the United States (New York), Australia (North South Wales) and France (Paris), it has enlarged its footprint across the world. It offers standard and customised plant solutions that can produce different sizes of rubber granulate and powders from scrap tyres.
As its CEO, the vision of 42-year old Dr Toni Reftman is to take forward the visionary philosophy of its founder Ejvind Laursen, which was given a further boost by his son Steen Laursen, who took over the company from him. Their contributions to the company’s stupendous growth over the years reinforce its pedigree with its name derived from E (Ejvind) L (Laursen) and DAN (Denmark).
Elaborating his corporate vision, Dr Reftman said his agenda is to make Eldan synonymous with recycling equipment. “My vision is that Eldan Recycling is the top-of-the-mind brand within the recycling equipment globally,” he told Polymers & Tyre Asia in an interview.
Existing and potential customers know that Eldan offers superior equipment and experienced personnel services at the best prices. In order to achieve this goal, the customer has to be aware that the recycling is a complex industry. There are different regions in different phases of development where the perceived awareness and knowledge about recycling and equipment vary.
Various governments give companies different incentives to get into recycling, said Dr Reftman, who has PhD in Mechanical Engineering, whose doctoral thesis from Lunds University was on granulation and recycling of polymers materials.
He pointed out that different government policies and norms have posed a challenge to Eldan as it is a global player with customers in more than 60 countries. This has compelled it to be flexible in offering different business solutions and technological strategies depending on which region the customer is located in.
“We work closely with local agents to adapt our approach. First, we need to generate trust with the customer to the Eldan brand by basically showing them what we have installed in the past. Then we can present a solutions to the issues for which the customers need help in solving,” the young CEO said.
Surge in interest
Dr Reftman, who still maintains academic interest as visiting lecturer at various universities in the US such as Cornell University, UCLA and MIT, is pursuing with vigour cutting edge technologies. He has a global view of the emerging market opportunities.
He said Eldan’s success in the fiercely competitive global market is because of its customer-focussed business approach. “The increased customer awareness for end-of-life tyres and environment-friendly recycling is naturally very positive for us,” he noted.
While the interest in recycling of tyres is increasing, so is the number of manufacturers of recycling equipment. Many investors seem to believe that there is no huge difference between one recycling equipment and other. The fact is that there is an indeed a big difference.
“First, never buy equipment from a manufacturer you have not seen running the equipment. Second, double-check what is included in the quoted price. We have seen instances where, for example, knives have not been included. Third, quality equipment always pays off – even in small quantities. Downtime is very expensive,” he pointed out.