Why the Forum?

The MRF Operations Forum is the only event specifically dedicated to plant operations, not policy and markets. It was developed after many conversations with recycling plant owners and operators. These industry professionals have been faced with the dual challenges of increasingly complex and capital intensive equipment investments and radically changing markets and material streams.

Recycling plants have become more and more complex as machinery and systems have become more advanced. Optimizing this equipment to run efficiently is challenging. It requires plant operators to understand each component, how they relate to one another and to the material streams being processed. No easy job.

Advancements in technology also mean that retrofitting new components into a plant can add real boosts to production, efficiency and material quality. Understanding when and how to do this is critical, it can provide a tremendous competitive advantage or become a costly mistake.

At the same time material flows have changed. Light weighting means that the volume of material that constitutes a ton has grown drastically. Long fiber has largely disappeared from the flows with the reduction in newspapers. At the same time the volume of single sheet fiber, OCC and boxboard have grown.

Aligning these two challenges during times of low value commodity markets increases the difficulty in plant operations.

$2 Billion in Costs

Recycling plant operation is also a costly undertaking. It is estimated that plant operating and maintenance costs exceed $2 billion annually in the US. It’s a huge number! Effectively managing a plants costs is the difference between profitable and unprofitable processing.

Optimizing wear parts, energy consumption, downtime and recurring maintenance is essential. Of course, directly linked to these costs is the issue of contamination. Out of program materials that enter recycling plants are often the cause of unplanned downtime and increased wear.

Managing material audit programs and providing detailed, quantifiable feedback to program administrators is today a key component of a plant operators responsibilities. Doing it right, doing it regularly and not interrupting operations to make it happen is critical.

Safely or Not at All

Managing all of this while creating a safe environment for your workforce, allowing them to be productive, accurate and go home to their family is the job today. These combined demands make the need for a forum during which plant operators can learn, grow and share with one another essential.

We’re proud to be creating the industry’s first. Be sure to join us in Chicago!