Fondi-Metal Srl: Manufacturing Secondary Raw Materials

Fondi Metal, located in the industrial area of Carini, a few kilometers from Palermo, has a long history as a family-run business. Panizzolo spoke to the owners Baldassarre Marino, his son Paolo and his son-in-law Piero, all of them are pioneers in metal recycling in Sicily.

Photo: Panizzolo

Fondi Metal was able to face and overcome all the changes and challenges that, over the years, have shaped the scrap recovery sector. By choosing a path in direct contrast with those of other Sicilian colleagues, the company has recently decided to invest in new technologies for enhancing its metal scrap. What were the reasons that led Fondi Metal to make this decision?

Could you tell us more about your company and your history?
Baldassarre: A long family tradition stands behind our business, and Fondi-Metal is the culmination of almost 80 years of work. When I was still very young, I started to work as a scrap dealer alongside my grandfather and my father. Our main job involved dealing with scrap and the purchase, manual sorting, and resale activities. The changes in the sector, combined with labor costs over the years, have led us to focus on certain types of waste and shift operating areas. Therefore, in the nineties, Fondi-Metal was founded in Carini, in the province of Palermo.

Today the Fondi-Metal business is still managed by our family. However, we have completely renewed the business and, nowadays, we deal with the processing of metal and non-metal scrap. We purchase waste to be recycled directly from producers or other dealers who, in turn, are supplied by various industrial, artisanal, and commercial enterprises. Our flagship product is aluminum, which is fed into the Panizzolo recycling plant to obtain a refined and high-quality material, characteristics that allow us to sell a “furnace-ready” product directly to foundries in Central and Northern Italy. We sell other types of ferrous scrap directly to Acciaierie di Sicilia.

Photo: Panizzolo

Why did you decide to work with a Panizzolo plant?
Paolo: I first saw these machines at a fair. Intrigued as I was, I did further research. Immediately interested, I contacted the company for an initial quote. We purchased the first Panizzolo metal scrap recycling plant, consisting of a Flex 500 Mobile hammermill and an eddy current separator. A significant trait of this machine was the low energy consumption for hourly production. Thanks to its 90-kW motor, we can achieve productivity that can reach up to 3.5 tons/hour of the finished product. This way, we can significantly increase the profitability of aluminum compared to traditional trade. We also chose this mill, because we wished to expand our product range. It should be considered that in Sicily, there are very few of us who think the future lies in the recycling of scrap and not in trading. Together with the mill, we also purchased two types of interchangeable cradles, one more suitable for the recycling of aluminum profiles or in any case of semi-soft materials, and the other dedicated to aluminum casings.

What do you think of the plant you are currently using?
Piero: After the training provided by Panizzolo’s technicians, we quickly learned that the machine is easy to use and service. The product output is of high quality. That allows us to recycle and sell materials directly to foundries as secondary raw material. Given the distance between our business and the Panizzolo headquarters, it was essential to choose a partner who could provide remote assistance. Panizzolo has always been available and helped us to solve problems. We were, therefore, able to calibrate the machine remotely and monitor it in the best possible way, thanks to the Panizzolo management and control software.

Photo: Panizzolo

What are your plans and goals?
Baldassarre: The last years have marked a turning point in our business. We wish to continue like that, and our goal is to steer more and more towards the recycling of aluminum. Our main goal is to increase production. In Sicily, only a few companies are offering this type of service. But the market is still new. We will need to expand our machine inventory, an excellent opportunity for a new collaboration with Panizzolo.,

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2022, Page 46, Advertorial, Photo: Panizzolo)