Process and Control Today | From old to new: igus makes e-chain recycling even easier

igus assembly service now takes over collection of old energy chains

With the chainge recycling program, igus has been giving old energy and drag chains a second life since 2019. Now the motion plastics specialist is going one step further. Because recycling starts with the assembly. In order to avoid industrial waste, igus takes over the return of disused energy chains – and returns them to the recycling cycle through recycling.

Sooner or later, every machine and every component will reach the end of its life.  Manufacturing companies are then faced with the question: new acquisition or modernization?  The topic of sustainability  is also playing an increasingly important role in Hierbei. According to the Global E-Waste Monitor, 53.6 million tons of electronic waste were collected worldwide in 2019 alone.  A more environmentally friendly upgrade  of old machines enables so-called retrofitting: Instead of  buying  new machines, companies can  have existing systems and equipment converted or retrofitted in order to bring them back up to date.  Nevertheless, the question remains: Wohin with the discarded components?

Recycling made easy: igus assembly service takes over old material

Whether new installation, retrofit or maintenance: igus relies on recycling instead of throwing away – and that already during assembly planning.  With each new assembly order, the recycling service  is automatically offered – without additional costs or additional effort for the customer.  In four simple steps, igus takes care of the old material: First, igus expands the disused energy chain, then it is dismantled into smaller pieces and packed in big bags. Igus actually organises the return transport and takes care of the logistics.  The assembly coordinator commissions the forwarding agency, which finally picks up the disused energy chains.  The customer only has to make the old material available for collection  and loading.  This is then taken along and recycled as part of  igus’ chainge program.  This applies to igus e-chains as well as chains from other manufacturers.  In return, customers receive a voucher based on the weight of the chains.  The discarded plastics are sorted, cleaned and regranulated so that the material can be reused.

The customer therefore receives everything from the manufacturer from a single source – including a 36-month warranty on newly installed energy supply systems.  With the igus assembly service, customers save assembly time and costs. In addition, they benefit from very short downtimes and a longer service life. This also leads to fewer failures in the long term.  A special online tool even allows users to accurately calculate the assembly time for their energy chain system.  “The goal of igus is to save customers valuable time with the assembly service  and at the same time to offer them a sustainable solution for the disposal of used materials.  With this measure, we would like  to make a further contribution to a more sustainable use of limited resources,” says Michael Berteit, Sales Manager Engineering Projects and Assembly Service at igus.

igus recycling program picks up speed

The company, which specializes  in high-performance polymers, has launched chainge, a recycling program for energy and drag chains, which has already collected and recycled 32.3 tons of material – worldwide. So far, 13 countries have participated in the program: Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Poland, France, China, Italy, Brazil, Malaysia, Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Spain – with the majority of returns coming from Germany and China. “We are very pleased that the recycling program is very popular with our customers  and are confident that we will be able to increase the results achieved so far by 100 percent – if not more – in 2022,” adds Michael Berteit.  With the chainge program, igus returns old plastic to a recycling cycle and thus specifically promotes the circular economy.

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