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ARS's many years of experiance in the use of dismatling machines has enabled it to develop efficent proceedures for dismantling ELVs 

'The Real Thing'.............Kobelco Multi Dismantling Machines ..............Mike's Story 



A routine visit to Japan more than two decades literally transformed my business. It was on that trip that I first saw Kobelco’s Multi-Dismantling machine take an entire car apart in just minutes.


I saw the possibilities immediately.  It looked like a dinosaur eating its prey, but I knew it actually represented the future of my business. Dismantling a whole car in a matter of minutes using one worker was a revolutionary process. I had to have one of these Kobelcos!


The Kobelco Multi-Dismantling machine, first developed in Japan in 1979, allows auto recyclers to separate the recyclable materials quickly and easily. It enables the operator to extract the high value componants and materials like copper, aluminium and heavy iron from the car body, improving the overal return from scrap by a significant margin. It makes such light work of removing copper wiring harnesses that doing it by hand seems futile.


The machine does, indeed, look like a giant bird of prey as it devours its kill, The clamp arms hold the car in place while the nibbler, which rotates 360 degrees, grips each part in turn and pulls it away from the vehicle. The machine has the power to rip the engines, transmissions and suspension out, pull the body apart, and the finesse to remove tricky, small components.


Although Kobelco had sold more than 1,000 Multi-Dismantling machines In Japan since 1979, the machine was not available in overseas markets until 2009 when I quickly placed an order, making me one of the first two customers outside Japan to have one. For me it was better than taking delivery of a new Ferrari as I had tried for several years to acquire a second hand unit from Japan. Very few had ever come on the market and when the new version with the multi-function clamp arms was released I realise I had to get my hands on the latest version. The new clamp arms could move laterally as well as up and down, giving even more control and versatility, providing a wider range of functions during the dismantling process.


It wasn’t long before the benefits experienced using my first Kobelco gave me confidence to buy a second one. Both my units are SK135SRDs and work independently in parallel processes. They are perfect for dismantling todays ELVs and the complex lightweight vehicle designs that are becoming more common. The larger 20 tonne Kobelco SK210 model is bigger and  stronger, making it ideal for dismantling trucks and vehicles with full chassies.The design of the nibblers and clamp arms are the result of more than three decades’ experience by Kobelco Japan in dismantling vehicles, engines and other scrap like home appliances,

Use of the Kobelcos enables us to prepare scrap material satisfactorily for export markets.

Learning to operate the machines is a relatively short process and, once an operator is confident on the controls, the nibblers and clamp arms become an extension of their own limbs. It’s this intuitive ease of use that helps make the dismantling process so fast and effective.

The most important quality I look for in an operator is an understanding of the dismantling process when applied to different makes and models.It precise enough to pick a teacup off the ground without breaking it.

The SK135 has a large, comfortable cab that offers outstanding all-around visibility and is also heavily protected from flying debris. The zero rear swing specification means the rear corner of the upper frame doesn’t project beyond the base, making it ideal for working safely in confined spaces.


 The push for more efficient recycling has driven the need for better equipment worldwide, so I believe the demand, outside of Japan, for these Kobelcos has only just begun and is likely to change the global auto recycling industry forever.

Already over the last couple of years the demand has outstripped supply. Kobelco’s long lead-time in supplying new Machines has opening the door to a few other equipment manufactures that have tried to imitate the way the Kobelcos function in order to cash in on what might be a huge market.

Having seen these imitations attempt the same job has been somewhat amusing to say the least.  As the saying goes, ‘There’s no substitute for experience.’ Kobelco’s 35 years of experience means its competitors are simply outclassed when it comes to quality, reliability and performance. Ticking all these boxes means Kobelco also wins when comes to providing real value for money. 


I have visited Kobelco’s production plant at Hiroshima in Japan where I saw first hand how quality control and attention to detail was paramount.


My advice to anyone considering buying a dismantling machine is to get in the queue and wait until you can get your hands on ‘The Real Thing’.      You’ll never look back.  


Mike Third

Total Auto Recyclers



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