High technology solutions saves money as well as resources.
The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries carried out a study on how circular economy is integrated into our industries product policy. Ten leading companies from our main sectors were chosen to take part in the the study.
The following circular economy areas were evaluated:
The areas were the activity in the company support circular economy are marked with green color. The size of the "traffic light" shows how strongly the area came up in the interviews. The highest development potential is found in the areas marked with small red dots.
The cases of industry action chosen to be presented more in detail are marked with a number (C1 = case 1 etc.).
ABB develops energy efficient and energy saving products, like motors and drives. Their energy efficiency are significant. It is estimated that motors consume 28 % of the world`s electricity. ABB products are designed for durability. Service and maintenance support to the long product lifecycle. The lifecycle for ABB products is long – close to 25 years for almost all kind of products. Modularity has always been an essential part of ABB’s product design. From durability point of view, modularity gives the customer option to choose an optimal configuration for the product. ABB provides also different services (such as retrofitting and upgrading) to customers to be able to manage the lifecycle of the product.
Zero landfill in the circular economy
The lock manufacturer Abloy has a mission to remove waste in their productions. The strict principle is to follow the waste hierarchy such way, that nothing ends up to landfill. If material is not suitable for recycling, it will be used as energy.
Reman is a true win-win case
AGCO Power has remanufactured engines for close to 50 years. Also in machine building one had to pay special attention to the durability and reparability of machines. It was essential that the engines could be repaired in very demanding conditions in the field, and without long breaks in the use. Modularity and standardization have been key design principles at AGCO Power for decades. Thanks to continuous product development, a remanufactured engine is better than the original one.
Optimization through analytics - extended product lifecycle
The goal of Konecranes service and maintenance business is to extend the product lifecycle, and to help the customer to find an optimal equipment for their needs and to use this equipment in an optimal way. Remote monitoring and extensive analytics are key enablers of this.
Nokia asset recovery service
Nokia Global Asset Recovery and Remarketing services are a cost-effective answer to the challenges of resource-efficient operations and network modernization. Nokia takes on the responsibility of refurbishing, reusing, selling or recycling operator’s equipment during network upgrades or expansions. Nokia contributes also to the circular economy by reducing the material and energy consumption of their products. The physical size of network elements is important for the telecom operators, as they have to pay rent for the device space (e.g. base stations). Smaller physical size means naturally also smaller consumption of materials.
SSAB’s steels help to make end products lighter and increase their strength and lifespan. The concept of circular supply-chain is built into the process of steel production, as 20 – 100 % of the material used in production is recycled steel. Industrial symbiosis is also a natural way of thinking in the steel industry. SSAB has evaluated, together with other members of the steel producing ecosystem, what kind of by-products are generated in each others’ production, and if somebody else’s waste could be used as raw material in some other place. Using secondary material requires strict quality controls and inspections.
Durability, Robustness and Repairability
Durability is an essential characteristics of Suunto products. One dimension of durability is naturally, what kind of guarantee manufacturers are prepared to give for their products. Another important element in prolonging a product’s lifecycle is repairability. Suunto’s global customer promise is that the repair is completed within approximately seven business days. Building durable and long-lasting devices is very natural for Suunto due to the history of the company but also because their customers, the runners, the divers, the climbers, and all other outdoor people in the world, are often very conscious about the environment and do not want buy products that become obsolete quickly.
Efficiency and flexibility through modularity
The new Valmet OptiConcept M is a modular paper machine concept for sustainable papermaking. OptiConcept M can achieve up to 30 % lower energy and water consumption compared to average production lines. The new compact machine and process technology solutions require up to 40 % less paper machine hall space. The new concept combines standardization with modular tailoring. The modular processes and solutions allow the designing of individual lines for customers’ varying needs. The ease of maintenance shortens usage breaks and increases productivity. Thanks to the modular architecture, OptiConcept M is also faster to assemble and disassemble. The machine can be converted for another type of production as at a reasonable cost. All OptiConcept M paper machines share the same core structure which saves manufacturing costs.
Sharing Economy in an industrial context
Valmet has globally 16 technology centers and pilot facilities, which are available for their customers. Technology centers consist of process parts, complete machines or power plants, but in a smaller scale. These facilities allow Valmet’s customers to test new processes and raw materials in a real-life environment without disturbing their own production. By sharing the technology centers and pilot facilities, Valmet has managed to increase the utilization rates of their R&D assets. Sharing technology centers and pilot facilities is a true win-win for both Valmet and their customers.
Remanufacturing is good business
Valtra develops, manufactures and services Valtra tractors, which are recognized for their reliability and durability. Once transmission of a customers’ tractor comes to the end of its working life, the customer can order remanufactured parts directly from Valtra. Remanufactured gearboxes are an inexpensive and fast alternative for possible transmission repairs. Each gearbox is as good as new, quality-checked and equipped with all the latest upgrades – and all this for about 60 percent the price of a comparable new gearbox. Remanufacturing process provides also valuable feedback to product development, and sometimes product design has been modified due to feedback from remanufacturing team. For Valtra, remanufacturing is a profitable and growing line of business.
Managing lifecycle of products
Wärtsilä is a global leader in advanced technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasizing sustainable innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximizes the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. Increasingly, Energy and Marine Solution customers focus their attention on equipment performance and predictive maintenance solutions as a way to optimize the availability and productivity of installations. As another way to prolong the lifecycle of their products and solutions, Wärtsilä provides also refrofitted engines. One of the strenghts of Wärtsilä is the ability offer a modular approach where capacity can be added in smaller steps as the demand for capacity increases.