The Austrian Society for Systems Engineering and Automation serves various small and medium sized recycling and re-use companies, which are predestined for the work in this high-tech area because of their great flexibility, as well as large producers (e.g. IBM, Fujitsu Services, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Nortel, Philips, Schneider, SEB, Siemens, Sony,...) and public authorities in order to maximise resource efficiency.
It is very important to decouple economic growth from resource consumption. Therefore resource efficiency brings together all past research topics like ecodesign, cleaner production, sustainable consumption, energy-efficiency and End-of-Life Management.
Prolongation of Product Use (Upgrade, Re-use, Refurbishment)
Especially products from information and communication technology are interesting for this topic because the amount of end-of-life products in this field is growing very fast and the innovation cycles are very short. The activities aim to develop solutions for the prolongation of the use-time of these products through upgrade, re-use and refurbishment.
Intelligent Disassembly/Separation Technologies
Our oldest core competence is the development of intelligent disassembly methods for electr(on)ic equipment.
The first disassembly system, realized is a semi-automatic disassembly cell for printed circuit boards (PCB). Before entering the cell the PCBs are fixed on frames. A recognition system with image processing identifies re-usable components and toxic parts. The combination of a special laser and/or infrared desoldering technology and a robot with special grippers removes the identified components.
The laser desoldering process has several advantages and causes minimal thermal stress for the components which leads to an extended life-time for the re-use components.
Since 3 years also a second automated dismantling line runs very successfully in industry. In this line mobile phones (most models) are completely dismantled and re-usable parts generated. In this line the challenges have been to dismantle as many models as possible, find the optimal combination of destructive and non-destructive dismantling processes and bring the necessary critical time to a minimum.
The successful implementation of the system convinced several leading mobile phone producers to recover re-usable components through this line.
With its philosophy upgrade and re-use before recycling, recycling before landfill SAT develops solutions for End-of-Life equipment with the aim to minimize the environmental impact and the costs for treatment and optimises resource-efficiency.
The activities aim to develop optimal logistic solutions with our customers that fulfill the legal and economical requirements for take-back solutions for individual products or product groups in individual countries, regions or Europe-wide as well as strategies to re-use electr(on)ic equipment at the highest possible level (equipment, device, board, component).
Design for environment
During the activities in the field of End-of-Life management and especially through the development of intelligent disassembly/separation technologies SAT has developed broad expertise. SAT makes these experiences, which are important inputs for the design process of new products, available to every interested customer.