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A German company and a research organization aim to develop an automatized pre-shredder recycling process for the automotive or machinery industry in order to secure nearly 100% closed loop recycling in particular with respect to rare and valuable materials. The process requires data driven automatized dismantling and sorting machinery. The consortium is looking for a manufacturer of machinery or an institute as research partner providing the technology of dismantling and sorting machinery.
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 rare material would require additional effort in the pre-recycling process. Today, 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 of valuable material. 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 and has been initiated by a German company that is highly specialized in the field of CAE (Computer-aided engineering) and software based methods and processes.
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 overall functionality of the automatized pre-process is a key topic for cost efficiency. In this pre-process, the individual digital twins serve as a control map and guide the automatized dismantling machinery to perform the disassembly of each individual item (e.g. car type).
One key factor in the process to generate digital twins for the recycling economy is the company’s in-house developed process to derivate CAE models based on optical scans taken from technical devices. Whereas digital twins for the production are highly classified and very detailed and complex, they will never leave the production plant and will never be accessible to the public or the recycling industry. On the other hand, the requirements for the digital twins for the recycling industry should not be so complex.
In the field of production and development, Digital Twins exist, the company’s method is protected and exists on the market, data driven automatized machine tools exist and standards for interfaces for data driven control exist. However, the application of the technology in the recycling industry is completely new, and the boundary conditions are different. Hence, the partner company will face a manageable amount of risk, but a huge opportunity to open a great market.
The company looks for a research co-operation with a partner who can develop the automatized dismantling and sorting machinery controlled via interface by the digital twin of the good being dismantled. The partner could either be from industry or an institute for applied research.
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’.
In this connection the company might also be interested to apply for European funding.
Suitable machinery could involve robotics. Important is the interface, which allows data drive control via the Digital Twin of the object to be dismantled. Often, the data format is .stl, which is suitable in this case.
The aim is a prototype of an automatized dismantling and sorting machinery, to be integrated as field trial in the recycling process, as a pre-process to the shredder stage.
Type of partner sought:
manufacturer of machine tools and/or robotics or applied research institute to develop a prototype
Tasks to be performed by the partner sought:
The required partner should develop the automatized dismantling and sorting machinery controlled via interface by the digital twin of the good being dismantled.
German and English are official company languages. Employees from more than 25 nations, many are polyglot.
DIN ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001, top innovator award, family friendly award