30. August 2022

#DiversityInScience - The Digital Circular Economy

By 2030, 55% of all waste plastic packaging should be being recycled across the EU. Furthermore, the long-term goal is a future with no plastic waste – while at the same time meeting the stringent demands made of the products themselves. The research facility Competence Center CHASE GmbH in Linz has set out to meet these challenges and is working closely with leading companies in the plastics and recycling branch, EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H. among them.

The concept of the circular economy is gaining importance as a means to an economy that uses resources efficiently and is the key to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This transformation presents the plastics industry with two major challenges: digitalization of the existing production plants for maximum efficiency, and implementation of practicable solutions for the circular economy. This requires fundamental research and development that deals with the topic in all its facets. The key to success is close cooperation between research and industry. Since the research centre was founded in 2019, EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H. has been one of its industry partners. EREMA is based in Ansfelden in Upper Austria and is a global leader in the production of machines for plastics recycling. As such, it stands for a plastics industry that takes a responsible approach to resources.

“We’re convinced that digitalization in plastics recycling is an important pacemaker on the road to the circular economy and consequently to a sustainable treatment of plastic waste,” explains Sophie Pachner, R&D engineer at EREMA. “That’s why we’ve been a partner of CHASE ever since it was founded. Our plants are designed for high-quality pellets so that they can produce first-class products later on. The better the connection between all the processing steps – both upstream and downstream – and the more efficient the exchange and analysis of data is, the better the circular economy works.”

“CHASE has the aim of developing sustainable production processes in which materials are utilized with great efficiency and products can be recycled as raw materials at the end of their life cycle,” explains Eva Kobler, scientist at CHASE. “For this, the digitalization of process chains and value chains plays a central role. The development of digital twins to improve the analysis, control and optimization of manufacturing processes is particularly important. Digital twins are used in various applications such as assistance systems, soft sensors and quality inspections. They enable not just forward-thinking and flexible production, but also improved products.”

Left to right: Patrick Pammer, CEO CHASE, Dr Christian Marschik, area manager CHASE, Chung Chi Nghia, scientist at CHASE, Dr Sophie Pachner, R&D engineer at EREMA, Markus Huber-Lindinger, CEO EREMA

For more insights into the many different aspects of research within the UAR Innovation Network, visit www.uar.at/insights

Bild 1 und 3: © UAR / Digitalisierung spielt eine zentrale Rolle am Weg zu einer nachhaltigen Industrie (Eva Kobler)

Bild 2 und 4: © CHASE / Seit der Gründung von CHASE ist EREMA als Partner mit an Bord