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Technology for recycled, customized equipment or machinery

Author Heikki Pirilä
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It is easy to get your customer’s attention when remarkable savings in purchase costs as well as in the schedule timetable can be promised. Compared to brand new machinery, the cost savings
with recycled machines in an optimum case can be as high as 60 per cent. A similar reduction of lead time, or even more, can be achieved as well.

Naturally, there are several factors to be considered when calculating the final cost. The state of the machinery in question, the possible need for technological conversion and the cost of dismantling and transport to the reassembling place. Usually, startup companies with their pilot projects get the biggest financial benefits of machinery recycling. However, deep knowledge from a wide variety of industries is needed when looking for savings. We offer long-term experience in the acquisition of recyclable equipment as well as the possibility to perform their test runs and modifications – we have carried out several test runs of recyclable equipment together with customers and acquired and modified the equipment before re-commissioning.

Benefits of recycling

Using recyclable machinery can havesome remarkable advantages compared to brand new machinery. Delivery time can be as much as a year shorter compared to new equipment. The larger the recycled entities are, the more considerable the benefits are. Despite recycling and scaling, even entire plants can be converted. Reacting to changes in demand for example, e.g. paper mills can be converted to board mills. In cases where recyclable equipment needs to be modified or upgraded for technical reasons, today’s safety issues must also be taken into account and the equipment brought into compliance with the requirements. In some cases, good performance guarantees can be obtained from the equipment, but mechanical warranties less frequently. Good performance
guarantees and mechanical warranties are always provided for new equipment. Especially in limited-budget projects, e.g. in pilot plant projects, recycled equipment has been successfully used. We have broad experience of working with start-up companies in several areas, including bio-based materials. Together with the customer, we have provided all or several of conceptual design, basic design and/ or detail design services together with implementation services for plants, scaling from laboratory to pilot, then from pilot to demo and finally scaling from demo to commercial.
These projects have taken place not only inside Finland, but also from Finland to other EU countries. One recent successful recycling project was to move wheat starch machinery from Finland to Lithuania.
There is still no established technology for the processes of the currently strong growth of circular and bioeconomy. In this particular technology, there is a dual challenge. First, to find usable technology and second, to find appropriate machinery. We have been able to use our knowhow to help with these technology choices, for example in the food and pharma industry and process industry in general.

Finding suitable technology

The key is to find technology on a scale suitable for new processes. It is also possible to adapt existing technology to be suitable for another type of process. We are able to combine GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) knowhow from food and pharmaceutical processes to other process areas. With versatile and long experience in various process engineering assignments in the process industry, we are able to support startups that are already in the early stages of development. Evaluating the test arrangements and defining further tests together with the customers is an important part of this process. Companies do not necessarily want their competitors to get information about changes in their production lines, investments or R&D plans. Therefore, a third party is needed to intermediate in selling unnecessary machinery or buying machines no longer needed in some other company. However, startups are the ones getting biggest benefits of recycled
machines. Cutting costs and delivery times is a game changer for these companies. Accelerating pilot projects without costs is another driver.

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Heikki Pirilä

Vice President at Process Industry

Heikki’s special competences are project selling and execution duties in process industry. During his career he has participated in more than fifty various types of geenfield and rebuild industrial projects, both domestic and foreign, such as turn-key, EPCM and engineering projects including also project management and procurement tasks. Heikki is an excellent team player and his willingness to travel has gained him noticeable international work experience.

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