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Inside Dental Technology
October 2015
Volume 6, Issue 10

Trust Heraeus Kulzer to Give You the Key to Higher Returns

No middlemen or fine print means laboratories get the most from their scrap metal

The key to selecting a precious metal refiner is trust, explains Gerald Pontasch of Gnathodontics, a full-service dental laboratory in Lakewood, Colorado. “You trust the shipper to deliver your scrap to the refinery, that the refiner will process your scrap correctly without losing any precious metals, and that their report is accurate without hidden fees,” he says. “Then you trust that they are giving you a fair price.”

What does Pontasch think of Heraeus Kulzer as a refiner? “They’ve earned my trust for 20 years.”

He goes on to explain, “Learn about the refining process and find a company that does all the processing, refining, and assaying. These are keys to receiving the highest payment for your scrap. This may be a challenging and time-consuming task, but these days you owe it yourself to do your homework. In the long run, you will find it was time well spent.”

Giving you the highest payment generates something not easily earned: loyalty.

During the past several years, Pontasch has recommended Heraeus Kulzer to many dental practices, and all of them have reported receiving much higher payments along with better service compared to their previous refiner.

Heraeus Kulzer supports its laboratory customers in return. For 5 years, the company has made significant donations to the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology (FDLT) based on the value of refined scrap from all NADL/FDLT member laboratories that use Heraeus’ refining services.

With more than 150 years of experience refining precious metals, Heraeus Kulzer shares that knowledge with customers by providing guidance on how to maximize the value of precious metals in their laboratory business:

1. Collect everything – be thorough: grindings from finishing benches and drawers, spills and slag from casting wells, floor sweeps from casting and finishing departments, suction system debris, platinum foil scrap, buttons, sprues, remakes and crucibles, platinum muffles and thermocouples, etc.

2. Request free scrap audits.

3. Avoid the inefficiency and lost payments that result from giving your precious metal to a middleman who offers you cash without melting down your scrap first.

4. Have your scrap assayed using Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Atomic Emission Spectroscopy technology, or request a fire assay when necessary.

5. Ensure the value of your precious metal is based on London Metal Exchange prices on the day of assay.

6. Choose a refiner who is transparent, with easy-to-understand refining fees.

7. Send your scrap to a refiner who has no treatment charges, no assay charges, no freight charges, no weight charges, no accountability charges, and no minimum lot charges for low-grade lots.

If this does not sound like your current refiner, a healthy dose of skepticism is warranted. In fact, if another company is handling your precious metals refining, you should ask them how many of these elements apply to the way they do business. It is considered a best practice to look out for the following:

• Middlemen who offer cash the day they pick up your scrap

• In-office, pushy sales people

• Unrealistic turnaround promises

• Contracts and settlement statements with extensive fine print – particularly those with pages of terms and conditions

These types of refining services profit by charging hidden fees or underestimating the actual amount of precious metals.

Accountability charges from other refiners are typically hidden by not clearly disclosing that their payment calculations are based on only 70-90% of the scrap metal lot’s actual processed weight. That means they are reporting the total weight as 10-30% less than what it should be; this is actually your money that ends up being their profit margin.

Heraeus Kulzer does not use these tactics because it is a direct refiner that offers a fast, simple process to send in your scrap for maximum payment. For example, Heraeus Kulzer processes more than 20,000 annual scrap shipments, providing enormous economies of scale, which means it can charge lower fees and give you a higher return.

Pontasch also appreciates the excellent customer service from the Heraeus Kulzer staff, including the local service representative who regularly visits the Gnathodontics facility. “He ensures we have the right size and amount of shipping materials, and reminds us when to send it in,” Pontasch says. In addition, Heraeus Kulzer sends him as many drums or jars as needed to fit all of his scrap materials, at no charge.

Pontasch adds, “It’s refreshing to find a company that actually builds a true win-win relationship with its customers.” If you are not yet using Heraeus Kulzer for your precious metals refining, give it a try and find out how much more you could receive for your scrap.

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