Case Study: Encore Wire

Based out of McKinney, Texas, Encore Wire is a leading manufacturer of copper and aluminum residential, commercial, and industrial building wire. Even though they have enormous production capacity and distribute widely throughout the United States, their scrap processing capabilities lagged behind in sophistication. “We used to have a very labor intensive scrapping process,” says Scott Thompson, a Process Engineer at Encore. “It was a huge labor cost and could potentially pose a hazard to employees.”

At first, they updated their scrap processing system with a machine from a different equipment manufacturer. “It was a poorly designed and outdated machine,” Thompson says. “The only part of it that worked effectively was a small chopper by Sweed, and it worked really well.” After that, he called Sweed, who worked closely with him to understand Encore’s needs, capacity, and goals to be able to offer the best scrap processing solutions specific to their situation. Four years later, Encore has three additional Sweed machines customized to their needs, and their scrap processing has never been more streamlined.

“Sweed’s machines have exceeded expectations,” Thompson says. With Sweed’s Model 5703 XHD scrap chopper and PCR 1034 pre-chopper, which process linear scrap material, Encore can efficiently liberate the copper and aluminum from various constructed products. Shaker tables further process the PVC, XLPE, and Nylon by isolating them from the non-ferrous copper and aluminum materials to be reclaimed. “We produce and ship millions of pounds of finished product every year. A result of manufacturing that much volume, we generate PVC, XLPE and Aluminum scrap every year, which diminishes our bottom line.” With Sweed’s machines, they can efficiently reclaim reusable raw materials at a lower cost, all while increasing the quality and volume of their renewable raw materials internally. This increase in material use efficiency and labor savings has resulted in Encore increasing their bottom line and greatly reducing annual scrap loss.

The ability to decrease scrap loss and increase renewable raw material use with their processes is just one example of the steps Encore Wire is taking toward their zero-landfill goal, which is putting them at the forefront of sustainable manufacturing in the industry. Thanks in part to Sweed, Encore’s overall scrap footprint is continuously shrinking, and their raw material recycling program is ever expanding.

Throughout this process, working with Sweed has been seamless. “We’re in regular contact for preventative maintenance, and I can call or text any time and get an answer right away,” says Thompson. “These days, it’s hard to find a company like that.” Plus, because all of Sweed’s equipment is custom built in the United States, orders and parts arrive quickly. “The locality and flexibility are great. You don’t have to wait weeks for parts shipped from England or Germany.” Recently, when Encore needed a custom auger, Sweed was able to build it to Encore’s specifications and ship it to them quickly without any workflow interruption.

“It’s a great company. Old school manufacturing that’s down-to-Earth and easy to deal with. They’ve got a good way of doing business – just like us.”