A German engineering company is the worlds’ leading development partner for computed aided engineering (CAE). Based in Germany and internationally represented in Austria, India, Japan and the UK, they assist customers in the business’ fields transport, energy, healthcare, industry and technology.
With respect to resource efficiency, closed loop recycling management plays already today a major role. This is in particular true for highly complex technical devices, e.g. modern cars, electronical devices, machinery, domestic appliances e.g. Where data driven automatization guides development and production of goods, the recycling is still based on manual disassembling and more or less manual distribution of the parts with respect to their material classification. Classification of raw material would require additional effort in the pre-recycling process. Hence, recycling in Europe is often not cost efficient and the “waste” is shifted from Europe to low cost countries, where recycling takes place under inhumane and ecological disastrous conditions. Further, often there is no recycling of many materials like glass and plastics, and valuable rare materials are lost.
Closed loop recycling should be done with the high technical standards as usual in production. Recycling has to be reconsidered as a manner of production. In order to be cost efficient, automatization has to be introduced in all areas of disassembling, distribution of parts and material classification. Automatization needs data. This project is to provide the digital twin for the recycling economy as a base for automatized production of the recycling fraction.
The project does not aim to replace the shredder based recycling process. It will provide the base for a pre-process of automatized dismantling and sorting of goods, in order to achieve a nearly 100% yield rate of valuable materials, in particular also rare earth metals.
As usual in production, also in recycling automatization will be a key driver towards cost efficiency and quality. The introduction of an automatized pre-shredder process will change the cost benefit ratio of recycling and will establish recycling near the production site (e.g. in Europe). It will secure raw material supply to the production, it provides independence from dominant material providers with rising prices. Further, this new technical application will generate a machine tool industry manufacturing automatized dismantling and sorting machinery. Further, there is a global need for closed loop recycling.
The desired cooperation type is a research cooperation agreement or a consortia agreement in a frame of a wider European project.
The company is looking for recycling companies, which are willing to implement the pre-shredder pilot process as a field trial in order to prove the concept. The field trial should prove the feasibility to implement the process in the current operation without significant trade-offs. The economic and ecological benefit could be assessed.
Closed loop recycling is a key issue to preserve our health and living standards in the light of ecology, climate change and significant global economic and social challenges. Hence, there are several specific calls from the European Commission targeting this issue, also envisaged within the following framework programme FP9 Horizon Europe, apart from general funding instruments like ‘fast track to innovation’.