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Inside Dental Technology
October 2021
Volume 12, Issue 10

The Importance of Refining

The right partner can significantly help your bottom line

Despite the growth of CAD/CAM and all-ceramic crowns, a significant percentage of dental laboratories still utilize PFM restorations for at least some of their cases. Those that do have undoubtedly noticed the increased prices of gold and palladium. What they should keep in mind is that they can recoup many of those costs by sending scrap metal to a refinery.

"At today's high prices, you can send half the scrap you sent 5 years ago and still receive more money than previously," says Tony Circelli, Director, Scrap Refining for Kulzer.

Circelli attributes the high price of gold to the strength of the American dollar and the fact that gold prices move higher when the economic conditions worsen, and he attributes the high price of palladium to the booming car industry and subsequent increased demand. At these prices, assay results carry higher stakes than ever, he says.

"For an assay result of 1% to 2% difference a scrap lot of gold or palladium that weighs 25 oz net, 1% to 2% equates to thousands of dollars," Circelli says.

He adds that non-precious metals such as nickel, chrome, and cobalt are present in today's laboratory scrap, but that these metals are challenging to melt and thus harder to gain a representative sample for assay.

"If you are dealing with a company that is not experienced and well-equipped to do the kind of melting for these higher-melting-range alloys," Circelli says, "you might not get a good representative sample."

Laboratories have a number of options available when evaluating where to send their scrap metal. Circelli says Kulzer's advantage lies largely in its experience and its state-of-the-art facility that was built 3 years ago. A robust process is utilized to accurately value your scrap.

"Unlike most other companies, we keep the refining and processing under one roof from beginning to end," he says, "so you are actually dealing with the end refiner. If a refiner is outsourcing production of the scrap process, it typically leads to additional fees for the customer. Also, do not be fooled by low fees, because they do not always equate to a higher return."

Some laboratories send their scrap metal to the same company from which they originally purchased the material, but Circelli says they should be aware that this does not necessarily lead to higher returns.

"A laboratory owner owes it to themselves to find the most honest and reputable refining company to offset their metal bills," he says. "Do some research and try a few different companies before you make a decision on which will be your long-term refining partner."

When should laboratories act on sending in their scrap metal? Circelli says not to wait.

"Once you have enough scrap, send it in and take the money to invest in the laboratory, or accept gold coins in return for your scrap dollars and save for the future," he says.

Why Refine with Kulzer?

• Higher Profits: We have a robust process that accurately values your scrap
• No Cost to You: We cover all materials and shipping costs
• Autoship Program: Automates your shipping material request process
• Full Assay Report: Detailed scrap value report provided
• No middleman: Come straight to the end refiner
• No Hidden Fees: Transparent, easy-to-follow fee structure
• Payout: In only 7-10 business days

"A laboratory owner owes it to themselves to find the most honest and reputable refining company to offset their metal bills." Tony Circelli, Director, Scrap Refining, Kulzer

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