Pavailability of raw materials is currently in a critical state. Metals in particular have become scarce and expensive. Companies in the Green Tech Valley, Styria and Carinthia, are attempting to break the crisis through new and, in particular, energy-efficient sorting and recycling systems that use artificial intelligence. Leading companies such as ANDRITZ, Binder+Co and REDWAVE apply technology innovation to enable a greater volume of high-grade recyclate to be fed back into the material cycle and substitute for virgin raw materials. These and many other innovations were recently on display at IFAT in Germany, the world’s leading trade exhibition for environmental technology.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The circular economy starts with product design. It extends from raw materials procurement to efficient use of resources in production and subsequent recycling of the materials. There is an overall potential for doubling circularity of the global economy to 17%. On its own, this figure does not seem particularly high, but contained within it is the potential to reduce total annual associated emissions to 39%. And here companies in southern Austria are taking a big lead, applying their strength in innovation in the sectors for waste collection logistics, waste sorting and processing technologies and the production of high-quality recycling material. Added to this are world leaders from the Valley that have impressive expertise in the digitization and artificial intelligence sectors. Major players from the Green Tech scene gave live presentations of their innovations at IFAT.
From E-shredders to vibration analysis tools and intelligent dustbins
The Styrian environmental pioneer Saubermacher presented typical examples: modern platforms for building waste disposal at the click of a mouse, an intelligent dustbin that calls up collection on its own and a recyclables scanner that improves waste separation using artificial intelligence and direct consumer feedback. A recognised expert in sorting technology, REDWAVE, demonstrated two new generations of sorting machine for metal and glass recycling, along with its impressive expertise in artificial intelligence. Their digital assistant solution is a world first that provides 24/7 support to recycling plant operators while also optimising the sorting process of the entire plant. Binder+Co and its highly efficient sorting technology was equally in evidence. This specialist in processing presented a new system for sorting aluminium alloys. This enables better separation and recycling of aluminium waste and scrap. The company also presented a new machine for screening problematic materials, which often occur in the processing of recyclables, that uses up to 65% less energy. From its technology portfolio, the leading global player ANDRITZ also supplies recycling solutions for electronic scrap and presented the ANDRITZ Recycling Technology Center. IFE Aufbereitungstechnik offers separation solutions including sorting of stainless steel from PET flake mixture using magnets. Another highlight on show was the vibration behaviour monitoring system for sorting conveyors using sensors and an app. The analysis system helps to improve machine operation and identify deviations as soon as possible. LINETECHNOLOGY develops, manufactures and distributes modular processing plants for industrial residues. The Komptech company presented a range of equipment, which under high performance shredders included the Terminator machine. This is a stationary, electrically operated solution, suitable for all types of waste. Lindner is an environmental technology company that is pioneering the future of electric drives in shredder technology, as they require up to 40% less energy for shredding than hydraulically driven shredders.
v.l.n.r. Nicole Velimirovic, Projektleiterin Circular Solutions Green Tech Cluster, Sebastian Weber, Sales Engineer REDWAVE, Thomas Diesenreiter, Vertriebsmanagement Metallaufarbeitung REDWAVE