Grundfos Manufacturing Ltd.
It’s really exciting to see how coordinating already existing processes make a seemingly complicated process piece of cake.
Circular economy – Aluminium waste reuse
Date: From 2017
Solutions of the macro-sustainability challenges
Shift to low carbon economy by increasing effective energy use and industrial energy efficiency, promoting clean and environmentally friendly technologies and life cycle assessment
What´s the solution?
In GMH (Grundfos Hungarian plant) approximately 22-26 tonnes of the aluminium scrap is born per year. Grundfos imports the aluminium material from Sweden to Denmark.
In the perspective of the circular economy we are collecting aluminium wastes from production selectively and from 2017 we are sending the aluminium scrap back to Denmark. We are using the “empty places” in the scheduled trucks for transporting the scrap back. In Denmark Grundfos has a foundry, where they can reuse it as raw material.
The project was initiated by Group EHS, local responsible for the project is GMH EHS Manager.
Since we already collected production waste separately based on the material type, we did not need to introduce special bins or methods for the collection. We have a target on the recycling rate (98%) on a monthly basis.
Extra human resource related to this project includes the shipping coordinator’s work and the material handling forklift drivers. The trucks are regularly commuting between the two sites irrespective of the project, so there were no transportation related cost.
Follow-up of material movement in the SAP system is a challenge, also the material to be reused has to be categorized as aluminium as scrap not as waste.
We consider the effect of such initiatives on our already existing mid-term waste management contract. Open communication with existing partners is essential.
Prior to the project our local sub-contractor waste handling company transported the aluminium scrap and recycled it.
If we compare the cost of aluminium from Sweden and the income we received from our local subcontractor, Grundfos wins approximately 0,8 EUR/kg. Considering the amount that has been sent back already (22.234 kg during 23.06.2017.-15.06.2018) means a saving of appr. 17 800 EUR during a year.
The project was also one of the first circular economy projects within the Grundfos Group, and as it also shows the business case, its success is a trigger to get more focus on further possibilities.
We follow the amount of transported aluminium scrap in an Excel sheet. So far during the first year of implementation Grundfos has saved appr. 17 800 EUR on aluminium raw material.
Based on the success of the project Group Management has initiated further investigations on possibilities. Group EHS started to screen all of the wastes in the Grundfos companies (for now in the European region), and they would like to find further opportunities for circular economy. Something could be a waste for one company but a material for another.
Furthermore this project facilitates a business case on product takeback programs, and thereby further cost reductions. Establishing a takeback program provides the opportunity to understand the processes involved and enable us to remanufacture/reuse materials in the future. In overall terms the cost of a product is determined by two factors: material cost and processing cost. By reusing materials in its original shape (and not broken down into waste fractions in order to be recycled) we also maintain the value of processing in addition to the material cost. Therefore, the potential business advantage is that we are able to remanufacture or reuse products, which has much higher economical potential.