COMPANY OVERVIEW & HISTORY

 

 

 

L & S Metals and Processing, Inc., a metals brokerage company, was founded in 1981 by Larry Lockamy, Jerry Sweeney and John Sweeney.

Tennessee Aluminum Processors, Inc. (TAP) was formed in 1983 by the same principals as L & S Metals.  TAP, with locations in Mt Pleasant, Tennessee, and Gadsden, Alabama operates secondary aluminum smelters that melt aluminum scrap such as used beverage cans, old and new sheet products, litho sheet, aluminum foil, automotive castings, chips and turnings, and many other types of aluminum, into a remelt secondary ingot (RSI).  TAP also processes aluminum dross, a by-product of all aluminum smelting. RSI is returned to the supplier who reuses the metal back into the aluminum industry.

TAP is a toll converter of aluminum scrap and drosses.  The company melts the scrap and dross owned by our customers into RSI for a fee (toll).   TAP does not take ownership of the scrap and dross.  Because TAP is a toll processor, it therefore does not compete with their customers.  Toll fees are based on the amount of melting time, volume of natural gas, flux required, preparation required prior to melting and freight.

A rotary furnace, consisting of a cylindrical, refractory lined steel drum, is used to melt aluminum scrap and dross.  The furnace is heated by a natural gas, oxygen enriched burner located on one end of the furnace drum.  This burner generates temperatures of over 1700 Fahrenheit.  Once preheated, flux and feed material (scrap or dross) are charged into the furnace.  The furnace is then rotated and a tumbling action will make the aluminum droplets coalesce and form a molten bath.  Stopping the rotation of the furnace allows the molten aluminum to be tapped and discharged through a trough to a mold where it solidifies.

TAP with 32 years experience, is recognized as the industry leader in the recovery of aluminum from scrap and dross. A difference of 2% in recovery can mean profit or loss for the customers of TAP.

Our industry exists because the early producers and users of aluminum found that its high value necessitated the careful collection and re-use of the unused or scrap metal.  Careful blending of the scrap enables TAP to produce feedstock for the aluminum industry at less cost than primary aluminum. The energy required to melt and recover aluminum from scrap and dross is just 5% of that required to produce from bauxite ore. The year 1997 marked the first time that recycled metal became the largest source of metal (greater than primary aluminum) in the U.S. aluminum industry.

There is less and less production of primary aluminum in the USA.  High electric rates and labor costs have forced domestic producers to relocate production in China, Russia and South America.  This has given recycled aluminum ingot (RSI) greater value and increased demand.

The key applications for recycled aluminum ingots are in automotive, transportation, packaging, construction and aerospace.  Growth has been annualized at 2-3% over the last five years.

Scrap from cast products, borings and turnings; typically find their way back into the same foundry products.  Painted siding finds it way back into building and construction products, while used beverage cans are used to make new beverage cans.  Can sheet producers typically use recycled metal to replace primary metal in the ingots destined for can sheet.

Because of these and other factors, there has been and continues to be a great economic incentive to recycle aluminum.  Aluminum scrap and dross are viewed as commodities and as natural resources.  Their value ensures that aluminum recycling will continue to take place as long as there is an aluminum industry.  TAP is in the aluminum recycling business and stands to reap the positive benefits of this growth for many years.