igus facilitates the recycling of energy chains


Since 2019, igus, the specialist in motion plastics, has been using its energy chain recycling program to give old energy chains a new life. Today, the company goes even further by starting recycling at the assembly stage itself.

To avoid industrial waste, igus organizes the return of used e-chains® and reinjects them into the material cycle. Sooner or later, every machine and every component reaches the end of its lifespan. Manufacturing companies are then faced with the question of whether to modernize or acquire new equipment. Sustainability plays an increasingly important role here. After all, according to Global E-waste Monitors, 53.6 million tons of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2019 alone.

A more environmentally friendly upgrade for older machines is called retrofitting: instead of buying new machines, companies can have their existing equipment converted or refurbished so that it meets latest standards. However, igus claims that this does not solve the problem of where to place discarded components.

For new installations, renovations or maintenance, igus focuses on recycling rather than disposal – starting with assembly planning. The recycling service is offered automatically with each new assembly order at no additional cost.

igus takes care of the scrap in four simple steps: first, igus removes the worn energy chain, then dismantles it into small pieces and packs it into Big Bags. Finally, igus also takes care of the return transport and logistics. The installation coordinator instructs the transport company to collect the discarded energy chains. This way, the customer only has to provide the scrap material for collection and load it. It is then taken away and recycled as part of the igus

chain program. This service is offered both for igus energy chains and for chains from other manufacturers. Customers receive a voucher based on the weight of the chains. Discarded plastics are sorted by type, cleaned and regranulated so that the material can be reused.

The customer gets everything from a single source (the manufacturer), including a 36 month warranty on newly installed power supply systems. This saves installation time and costs. In addition, according to igus, customers benefit from very short downtimes and a longer service life. This means that in the long term, they experience fewer failures. A special online tool has been developed to allow users to calculate the exact installation time of their energy chain system.

chainge, has so far collected and recycled 32.3 tons of materials worldwide. So far, 13 countries have participated in the program: Germany, Netherlands, UK, Poland, France, China, Italy, Brazil, Malaysia, Hungary, Croatia , the Czech Republic and Spain – the majority of returns coming from Germany and China. “We are very pleased that the recycling program is proving very popular with our customers, and are confident that in 2022 we will be able to at least double what we have achieved so far,” says Michael Berteit, Engineering Projects and Assembly Service Sales Manager at igus. The program aims to promote the circular economy.

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